At a recent presentation by Dave White, he used the word churning to describe the rapid pace of change we went through around 2007. That was the year most people joined Twitter, it was the year that Facebook became mainstream, YouTube was starting to hit the big time. There were all these new services and tools, some of which are still with us, some of which have disappeared, Jaiku anyone?
There was a lot of excitement at that time about new services and whenever new services were announced we all went and signed up for it. Did you sign up to Plurk and so on?
These services were so popular that in the end the only way that they could work sometimes was by restricting access to invite only.
Google Wave for me was a turning point, a really great idea, that everyone wanted to be part of…. however it didn’t quite turn out as expected.
It was invite only and as a result, individuals got access and not communities, so even though it took me a while to get an invite for Wave when I did, very few people I knew had access. You can’t really use Wave on your own, so I didn’t use it, by the time access was opened, it was too late, people like me had moved on, well more moved back to Twitter.
I felt at this point that the constant excitement of the new was over. We had moved from a time of “churning” or flux to a time of consolidation. It was now less about finding new, more about using what we had.
That’s not to say new services don’t come along, I for example am really liking Instagram. But the rush for the new is no longer the driver. For some though they are still churning, they are still looking for the new. I just don’t think it’s there.
We may in the future go through another churning phase, but until that time, it’s now the time to use the services for stuff, rather than the time of finding new services.