The dead squirrel paradigm and social media

Earlier in the year, I spotted a dead squirrel near a large tree in the neighbor's yard. My best guess is that this unlucky critter was hanging on to a weak section of bark and clung to it while plunging to death. This raises one of the most important challenges of social media: When do you hang on? Or, when do you get out of a social space?

For a lot of early adopters, MySpace presented the first of these dead squirrel moments. Clearly, if your friends and colleagues leave a site and are replaced by ne'er-do-wells, you may be dangling by a thread. Less dramatic examples of sites that have not commanded mass interest among my social groups include Hashable, Waze and Fring. Although I thought Yammer might catch on in the office, most of my colleagues thought otherwise. So, here I am looking at my iPhone home screen. The Yammer app sits right next to the more popular Linkedin for business contacts. Google+ is there, too. At some point, the survivor in me will ask the question: Which one of these must go to make room for X (insert next Big Thing)? If upon asking the question you feel dizzy from the fall, know you are facing a dead squirrel moment. Change or cling, as you crash to the social media pavement. The best advice comes from one of the greatest college basketball coaches: "keep moving."

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