There's more to social media than Facebook

I quit Facebook on the weekend. For real. For good. And you know what?

Nothing happened.

Well, Facebook gave me a guilt-trip, but other than that, nothing happened.

No one called me in a panic, asking where I was, and what I was doing.
I didn't get an email pleading for me to come back to Facebook, and help them find red gems, or a lost cow, or a home for some virtual furry pet.
I didn't have a notice breathlessly exclaiming that someone had tagged me in a photo, or in a post.
No one sent me a message about all my friends who were having birthdays this week, or who had just 'changed their relationship status', or who were feeling lonely and unloved and needed me to 'reconnect with them'.

Instead, I went outside for a while. I read a book. And then I came back inside and updated my Twitter account instead.

You see, there's a lot of self-proclaimed "Social Media Douchebags Experts" out there, and they're all in a lather about Facebook, and telling you how to set up a fan page, and put a 'like' button on your blog and all that. Most of them know Twitter exists as well, but many of them downplay it. It's not the latest big thing right now.

Unfortunately for the so-called "experts", they've found themselves behind the eight-ball again. What is the next big thing is quitting Facebook. All the cool kids are doing it, as the rash of stories from Crikey (and Gizmodo), Wired, Boing Boing, TechCrunchRead Write Web, and the the EFF would indicate. And they're just the ones I've come across myself.

Mark Zuckerberg, once the poster child of the Social Media Billionaire's club (the generation that came after the dotcom kids), is learning something that every Web 2.0 entrepreneur must learn. When you give something to the public that they want, they'll embrace it. But start taking too much from them, and they'll drop you faster than you can say "Where's the delete button?".

What this all means is that there's a huge amount of commentary around now, ranging from "what does a perfect social network look like?" to "I want to quit Facebook, but I don't know what to do with myself now". Well, there's some simple answers. First of all, a better Facebook will come along (and the smart money is on these guys if you ask me. You heard it here first). Secondly, you don't need to wait for the next Big New Shiny Thing to take off. Go sign up at any of the squillion or more other social media sites, and work out what else is out there. There's more to social media than Facebook. Get out of your comfort zone, and explore.