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February 1, 2008 / compassioninpolitics

Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media and Web 2.0

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A Balanced Assessment of the Criticisms of Engaging Social Media:

Determining the advantages and disadvantages of particular activities for people and organizations is an important task. Why else would education, books, think tanks, and presidential debates exist. I thought fleshing out my personal experience with the advantages and disadvantages might be instructive in determining “the truth” about social media, web 2.0, and blogging technologies.

Advantages of Social Media

• Democratization of media.
• Relationships and conversation.
• Creativity and re-mix culture.
• Embrace your passion and identity.
• Community, sharing, and connecting.
• Increase transparency in government and organizations.

Criticisms of Social Media

• Lots of great content still gets overlooked. Current lack of good filters creates problems finding the best content.
• Writers have problems delivering content consistently.
• Anonymity can engender polarization and hate.
• Information overload and social networking overload.
• Work/Life balance is hard to achieve.

As society and technology moves forward we stand at a watershed moment and history, so it is vitally necessary to stop and think about our societal trajectory. Thoughts? Did I miss an advantage or disadvantage?

How you can learn more or learn how to make your corporate blogging efforts more strategic and productive:

If you liked this post you might be interested in a more comprehensive criticism of social media which suggests that its a little early to drink the social media and web 2.0. Alternatively, if you want to strategically blog or productively use social media and web 2.0 tools which addresses many of these concerns, you should check here. Finally, the problems with the traditional social media agency.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Part II: The Risk of a Web 2.0 Bubble

This presentation by Dave in January of 2008 outlines the economics and cultural stresses which might cause one to be wary of the web 2.0 wave, and as a very astute venture capital investor he ultimately concludes with a happy future for the world of Web 2.0:

(image credit: pikkus)


Leave a Comment
  1. Jon Henshaw / Feb 1 2008 11:51 am

    Your last point, “Work/Life balance is hard to achieve,” is really true. I barely have enough time to do my work and spend time with my family, let alone participate in the blogosphere and social networking world. To really make an impact and to participate well, you either have to have a lot of time on your hands and/or be a full-time social media participant.

  2. compassioninpolitics / Feb 2 2008 6:00 am

    I agree work/life is huge. Its certainly a question that I’ve had since I’ve begun blogging. I think long term that it leads to better participation too, because I find that when I go beyond my boundaries, I tend to end up in burn and burst cycles.

    I think in a case where people come together and collaborate, they can generate more collective traffic. For instance, while maintain separate blogs that feed into one main aggregator of 5-10 nonprofits or real estate agents in different locations or with the same company can create bigger buzz.

    Second, i think interviews, guest posts on industry standard blogs, and blogger relations are huge.

    Thats why I think podcasters and videobloggers are at a slight advantage in the sense that they can deliver one great poduct once a week and still generate decent traction.

  3. Soretta Y. Davies / Nov 14 2008 10:14 am

    I think the Advantages and Disadvantages in Life is critical because Some people planned evil against Someone and pretend like nothing has happen and tried to go to an extra means to let the person to be hurt, Laughing with the Person and is Hurting them.

  4. compassioninpolitics / Jul 18 2009 2:45 pm

    One point I really didn’t consider when I wrote this was the rise in Enterprise 2.0, software as a service, and cloud computing. These drive increases in collaboration, connectivity, communication, and productivity.

    They also have the power to help informative storage, distribution, and management. And some suggest cloud computing may even help monetization of data over the longer term.

  5. prswooz / Jan 14 2010 3:41 pm

    You state: ‘community, sharing and connecting’ as an advantage, the word community is a correct term to me however this is also a disadvantage as the online community is sucking people in, people are on their blackberrys etc. heads down, tapping away and sealed in their own bubble, have you ever noticed a group of people in a restaurant with their heads down and not communicating with each other?? I’d say this is a big disadvantage to communities in the real world that is of course if we are living in a real world but that’s another story!!!

  6. compassioninpolitics / Jun 2 2010 7:52 pm

    The social media bubble is rather off putting. Arguably, this isn’t per se intrinsic to the technology, but how we’ve allowed ourselves to become disconnected (otherwise the excuse becomes–the technology made me do it). I think the TED talk about social media increasing intimacy is informative. I also think moving forward that more technology startups will focus on solving this issue.

    There are two prime critics on these points who are worth paying attention to–author Johnathon Carr and a recent article by Omair Haque in the Harvard Business Review:

  7. compassioninpolitics / Jul 4 2010 6:13 am

    If you want to examine the disadvantages of social media in education this blog seems to cover that space fairly well:

  8. compassioninpolitics / Jul 6 2010 4:56 am

    1) If you realize that some engagement in social media and/or the internet is inevitable–but want to solve the problems and challenges associated with it–perhaps this documentary about lifehacking is what you need:

    2) Other productivity related suggestions include using project management and collaboration software like Base Camp and Go Plan:

    3) Using time tracking software can also help you assess what you’re doing.

    4) You may also want to delegate or outsource some of your projects:

  9. jollity / Aug 30 2010 9:45 am

    social media help the socialy shy people to communicate and share ideas

  10. compassioninpolitics / Oct 29 2011 5:00 am

    I’ll just deal with the cons. Although perhaps its more appropriate to call most of these challenges. Like any technology, the risk of abuse or misuse (although multi-tasking & removing oneself from the real world via mobile device seems like a very ongoing challenge):

    * Isolationism, which is already evident in parts of the gaming world
    * Continuous partial attention, which removes us from the real world
    * The desire to hyper-multi-task
    * The gamification of everything (do we need more rewards programs to turn us into buying factories)
    * Distraction & procrastination
    * Blurring or conflation of online and offline “realities”


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  2. Samantha Power: Outlining the Disadvantages of Living in Web 2.0 World « Compassion in Politics
  3. Social Media Rush
  4. Social Media in Higher Education the (in)Complete Story « Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, & Base of the Pyramid/BOP Solutions
  5. 15 Advantages of Social Media for Personal Branding | Tim Ho
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