The information age where content is 100% free to distribute and basically free to produce. When launching a brand new media platform today you have to flip the old model on its head and first appeal to a niche to gain traction, this is the Bowling Pin method outlined in Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore. Then you build out slowly and eventually try to cross to the chasm to hit the mainstream, then wait around to be bought by Google.However, this is where media’s need to fragment manifests itself again. As the platform embraces the mainstream it loses touch with the initial core user base. These same core users will then flock to another media platform that better understand their needs. However, it is also important to note that the 800 lbs. gorilla doesn’t die it just becomes a Network, and when there is a new mass media platform there is always room for smaller more targeted mini-networks. For example when Myspace came along it was dedicated to music lovers, but quickly out grew the niche. Myspace has the numbers so music lovers will still use it connect to their favorite bands, but there are a slew of niche music social networks and music discovery sites that have smaller communities dedicated to specific bands or genres. Furthermore, these smaller niche sites, much like cable channels, are commanded much higher CPMs. This is supposed to be solved by new targeting systems that will be built into Facebook and Myspace; however, they will never command the prices of a truly dedicated network.
Fragmentation is merely a social screening process.
Fragmentation is the opposite of convergence which still lingers as a popular buzzword, but much like how people don’t want a cell phone/computer/remote/toothbrush/music player, people want their media platforms to remain separated because they serve distinct functions. Personally, I used Facebook to socialize and Linked In for professional networks. I no desire to have those two worlds reside in the same space. New/Social Media overload is a common topic today as well, but it is a problem isolated to a small group of early adopters. The average person isn’t having any issues juggling the 2 or 3 social networks they are members of. Source
Article Credit: Seni Thomas who owns the Blog
Image Credit: Digital Fragment