Is getting bigger a good thing?

Ask Twitter. For weeks now, they’ve been dealing with the fallout of “success”—the microblogging service has been adopted (and adapted) by so many people, they’ve had to put the thing up on the rack so the technical widgets and gizmos that run it can be replaced, like tires burned out prematurely by a teenager’s drag racing addiction.

Some of the “teenagers” in question have been less than kind as they impatiently wait to get their social media hotrod back and rolling again. Technical details aside, the problem boils down to the fact that the makers of Twitter never intended for it to get this big.

Or you could ask the guys at 37signals, whose religious devotion to simplicity and keeping things scaled down have been the hallmark of their entire business.  It’s not exactly been an unsuccessful strategy for them.

Marketing guru Seth Godin weighed in with an entire (and very popular) book on the subject.

Referred to as “Facebook for the rich and famous,” invitation-only social network has based its entire business model on exclusivity, focusing on a smaller but far more affluent and difficult to reach audience.

In the last few weeks here in Louisville, a news report highlighted some local businesses that are growing, even in a sluggish economy, by thinking small.

One of our clients here at Doe Anderson is Beam Global Spirits and Wine. Not exactly a small enterprise. But even a business as big as Beam recognizes the value of thinking small. Their small batch bourbons, like Knob Creek, are continuing to gather more enthusiasts and awards.

It turns out, just as there are some significant benefits to having a lot of something, keeping things small has its own advantages.

It all depends on what you’re looking to achieve.

img courtesy tanakawho on Flickr

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About Kat French

Kat French

Kat French is the Digital Operations Manager at CafePress. An exceptional writer both on the web and in other genres, Kat combines creativity with an agile, get-it-done attitude across a broad range of experience in community management, SEO/PPC, social media strategy and program management. She has worked with national brands like Maker's Mark, Daytona Beach Tourism, Optima Batteries and more.

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Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Internet Marketing Joy

    I have to admit that I’ve signed up for Plurk and other microblogging sites but still I think that nothing compares to Twitter..^^ I still enjoy using it..^^

  • KatFrench

    IMJ: Thanks for the comment. I’ve played around with Plurk, FriendFeed, Pownce and others, too. While they’re fun, and each has it’s own nice touches, I tend to agree that Twitter is still my favorite.

    I just like its zen-like simplicity.

  • Mari Adkins

    My man pal horror writer Brian Keene adores his Knob Creek…:)

    I have to admit that since I got on Utterz, I’ve not been on Twitter that much.

  • KatFrench

    Mari: Utterz is one of the few, the proud, the social sites I haven’t really test-driven–yet. I know Jason really likes it.

    Good to know KC is fueling the muse out there. ;)

    Oh–and I enjoyed the Beast video on your blog. I’m too much of a coaster weenie to ride the Beast, but I did ride The Crypt (formerly the Tomb Raider ride) recently.

  • Tabz

    I love Twitter.

    Niche sites have more power because of the smallness and relevancy. Just like a meetup group for travelers – you’re more likely to find someone to talk to.

    But I still love twitter.

  • KatFrench

    Tabz: I think the problem is that Twitter has really outgrown its niche status.

    Somewhere in the back of my head, I keep hearing Scottie from Star Trek’s brogue calling out “She can’t take much more a this, Cap’n! She’s breakin’ up as it tis!”

  • Mari Adkins

    Kat – I <3 Utterz :)

  • Jason Falls

    Wow. You gals are just having a gab fest on the old blog without me. Heh.

    Thanks to all of you for reading and chiming in. I just wish Twitter would work. Then we wouldn’t have to debate other microblogging platforms because, sans a few tweaks here and there, Twitter is pretty damn useful.

    (And I like Utterz, too, Mari. Just don’t use it enough.)