New In Technology: Small Is Beautiful

While technology manufacturers have long realized that smaller form factors are beautiful, take the power of today’s smartphones as an example, other areas of technology have not always recognized the truism that small is beautiful.

Facebook has grown to over 600 million users in a very short span of time; Twitter is over 100 million users in just five years. As businesses, they obviously have to grow and continue growing to succeed. But for users, is that huge growth always a good thing?

Social media has so many users that finding meaning amongst all of the noise has become almost an art form these days. With many users having thousands of connections across several networks, keeping track, let alone having meaningful conversations, is a huge challenge.

More importantly, with all of this noise going on, getting an important message through all the clutter has become an increasingly difficult task to accomplish.

Out of this challenge has come a new style of networking that brings intimacy to social media. Services like GroupMe allow users to create small groups for text messages. These groups can be as permanent as they need to be, and discarded when no longer needed. For example, if you have a small team attending an event and want to keep in touch, you can create a group, share texts, and at the end of the event, discard the group.

GroupMe is not the only application offering this type of service. Others include YoBongo and Beluga (which was recently acquired by Facebook). All of these services are attracting large amounts of interest and in some cases correspondingly large amounts of dollars from investors. With all of this attention, it is likely that we will see more of these services surface.

This can only be good news for users seeking to return to a point where conversations with small groups are possible and actually helpful in our “always on” networking world.

However, these tools have even more benefits than just small group conversations. Imagine a café environment where the tables are spread over a large area. Waitstaff could text orders directly to the kitchen without leaving the customer’s table. The kitchen could send a message to all staff about specials or when something is now off the menu. Customers could even be invited to join a group to receive special offer information.

The potential for this type of group messaging is limitless and yet will still manage to retain the sense of intimacy if used properly.

How do you use small technology in your business?

Image credit: deste

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Simon Salt
Simon is CEO of IncSlingers, and is an author, blogger, writer and entrepreneur. His book on Social Location Marketing was published by QUE, a division of Pearson publications in February 2011. Simon has been published online by Mashable, Read Write Web and others.

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