Wiggio & Ideastorm Continue The Niche Social Trend!

nichemarketingbullseye1I stand corrected. Followers did not fall off following Ashton Kutcher after the CNN battle. Apparently, Twitter really is being diluted by the mainstream that thinks Twitter is another push tool. It is a shame really. I started eagerly awaiting  an alternative to Twitter when I came across these tidbits:

  1. Wiggio Comes Out Of Beta With A Yammer For College Students
  2. Dell Goes Niche with Ideastorm for Healthcare

The two articles have very little to do with each other unless you read between the lines. The word “niche” crops up yet again. As I mentioned in a previous post, business is going niche – but so too is Social Media. I believe as the Oprah’s of the world invade and misuse Social Media channels, business folks are going to migrate to more niche Twitter like applications. Focus will allow users to..well..be more focused!

As it is-I find myself inundated with Twitter messages. They range from work, to baseball, to movies, to family members asking the supposed “social media expert” how their business can use Twitter. If I let it, I can become overly unproductive. But how nice would it be to be able to delve into focused Twitter areas where I don’t have worry about conversations outside of my focus? I personally would value that ability and not have to do a keyword search on Twitter and log that RSS into my Netvibes. Like it or not, the Twitter we know today is going to evolve into a 2010 version of old school AOL chat rooms. It has already started in the form of Wiggio which provides a Twitter-like message stream from all the group members. But it also includes a ton of valuable  features such as a shared calendar, mass text and voice messaging, file-sharing (including online docs and spreadheets) and polling. cartoon-find_niche
Dell is simply burrowing down their Social Media offering to a niche of interest for their marketing team. I suspect this will be the first of many micro-Ideastorms on the horizon.Please excuse the silly metaphor.

What is your take? Are you an early adopter of Wiggio? Are you already tired of the mainstream media disregarding the real value (listening, learning, adopting, innovating) of Twitter? If you were Dell, what would be the next business area you would penetrate?

7 responses to “Wiggio & Ideastorm Continue The Niche Social Trend!

  • Steve Murthey

    Not only is mainstream media starting to dilute the value of some of the social media platforms like twitter, there are masses of individual users who have already been providing little to no value to the discussion.

    I started using Twitter to connect with fellow social media folks to share ideas, gain insights, and discuss issues. I use Facebook to connect with friends and family. Although to some degree users are self regulating, I find myself turning off more and more updates from particular users because they are adding no value to the conversation. I agree that those of us who use these tools for productivity will find more niche communities or groups. After all, we can still go to main street Twitter or Facebook to find out what flavor jelly Lucy put on her english muffin this morning, or that Joe worked out this morning and is tired…

  • Roberta Balder

    Yes, this is the age of TMI and perhaps niche marketing is the best way to manage it. There are plenty of examples of companies and individuals who owe their success to target marketing; so the concept is nothing new.

    Those of us who are clear about our objectives using Twitter will continue to do so and reap the rewards. Those who participate merely to accumulate followers will eventually fall by the wayside.

    Has twitter peaked? No. Will something new, different and more fabulous come along to replace it? Probably. Meanwhile, I’ll keep riding the curve because Twitter is meeting my objective to stay current in the new media.

    Will I try WIggio? I could see a possible application. My book club and graduate school study groups have been struggling with organizing group meetings for years. Why not?

  • Tom Humbarger

    Derek – nice analysis and I agree that social media is moving toward “niches”. I had not heard of Wiggio and their “claytoria” was a very interesting to introduce their service.

  • Alan

    I’m with you all the way on this, D. Too much is always the enemy of just right. I agree; niche will be the instrument that brings balance to the universe.

    The real question is what the fallout will be in terms of residual use. Our culture has another dynamic called fads. How many end users will simply drop out when too much overwhelms them?

    Keep us thinking, D. All the best …

  • Mark Wallace

    Really great blog post today Derek. I agree with your thoughts on this. Look forward to checking out Wiggio. I had not yet.

    On the topic of niche, who and what business has ever succeeded that did not focus on doing one thing well first?

  • Diane Hessan

    Derek, yours is a provocative post and I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I think that, like anything else, the mass vs niche argument depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For instance, with EBay, which is a type of community, the more the merrier: you want skillions of people because the more that participate, the more value you will get as a seller.

    Having said that, I think niches — and smaller communities — are incredibly underrated.

    Think about it with Twitter. It’s interesting to learn on Twitter, and as Steve Murthey says above, it might be even more interesting to just converse with other social media types. However, if you are a social media “expert”, you don’t really want to learn from someone who is new to the field. So, “social media” is still too broad — and I think Dell will learn that Healthcare is way too large to be a niche. I confess I’m biased because Communispace only builds small communities, but in return, the math is totally different: small numbers, but the intimacy gives you much more engagement, and for our purposes, much more value.

  • Tony Stubblebine

    I like the Diane’s point. Niche and mainstream social media set out to accomplish different things. At the beginning it seems competitive and there is a bit of resegmentation as the niche players get to steal some people who weren’t getting served in the mainstream sites. But overall, I think that they end up serving different needs and that a lot of people will participate in both. The exciting thing, to me, about the rise of niche networks is not that they’re improvements on the mainstream but that they solve some existing problem in a new and better way. For example, I go to conferences to talk to other attendees and now that’s easy because many conferences let us network beforehand in a niche social network.

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