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Low-impact social media

Don't let time commitment serve as barrier to entry

Anyone here want to spend hours checking Facebook each day? How about constantly checking Twitter for little bite-sized bits of communication? Or constantly tweaking settings and affiliations in LinkedIn? Social media, it turns out, takes time. For some, the looming threat of losing all of their free time to the constant chatter of social media is a big barrier to entry. If you know anyone like that, perhaps they'll enjoy today's column. Because of my work in Web traffic analysis I often get asked questions about return on investment. "What's the ROI of Facebook?" someone will ask. Or Twitter, or Foursquare or whatever. The answer is always some variation of, "It depends." It's natural to want to know the return on investment of an activity before any investment has been made. But when you put it in broad daylight, it doesn't hold up. If you've made zero investment in something then chances are fairly good that you'll have zero return. Be...