The BBC radiolabs website has an interesting article by Jamie Tetlow that describes some of the analysis of social media web sites hey conducted for one of their projects. I was particularly interested in his analysis of the page topography of a select set of popular social media sites including facebook, youtube, dailymotion, flickr, viddler, odeo, bebo, myspace, and lastfm.
Based on a composite diagram of the content “blocks” from each site overlaid on top of each other he deduces the average topography for all the sites. The results are not surprising if you have ever visited any of these sites before.
What does it mean? If you want to get noticed like the popular kids, do what they do? Possibly. There is something to be said for using tried and true methods – standing on the shoulders of giants and all that stuff, but what about innovating and breaking the mold? Not always the safe path to take I guess, but how much benefit would there be in diverging from the sameness of the rest? …and does the social web like the oddball kids that stand out doing their own thing?