Larry BraunerI revisit the 80/20 Rule (about which I wrote last September) because of something that I alluded to in my interview with Stacey Chadwell.

Web 2.0 is a virtual candy store, and our eyes, so to speak, are bigger than our stomachs.

Every day new social media sites crop up. We’d love to try them all, yet we can only hope to master and stay on top of a very small fraction of the myriad sites that are already available to us.

The 80/20 Rule to Our Rescue

The 80/20 Rule applied to social media sites would state that 80% of all results can be achieved with 20% of all sites.

However, the 80 to 20 ratio is no more than a concept or a rule of thumb. The actual ratio is quite often greater than 80 to 20. With respect to social media sites  the ratio could be as high as 99 to 1.

The 80/20 Rule applied to social media sites might be called a 99/1 Rule. We can accomplish almost everything we might want to accomplish with only 1% of all the social sites in operation — and almost everything is really enough!

I regularly use only a modest number of social media sites:

  1. Online Social Networking (my blog)
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Ning family of social networking sites (especially Small Business Network)
  6. Entrecard
  7. Business Exchange
  8. StumbleUpon
  9. Digg
  10. Delicious

You’d hardly call me an expert on social media sites, but the few sites I do use, complement each other in my social media marketing model, and I use them effectively.

Could I use more sites?

Of course I could. However, the point is that I don’t need to use more sites, at least not right now.

Other Aspects of the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule also applies to you as a person, to the people who follow you and to how you approach learning.

Rather than re-hash what I’ve written in the past, I refer you to my previous article, The 80/20 Rule, which elaborates on these issues in some detail.

In Conclusion

My advice to you is to:

  • determine what you’d like to accomplish
  • devise a plan that uses a modest number of resources
  • learn to use those resources reasonably well
  • and apply yourself with great determination and enthusiasm

People will look to you as a leader and a source of inspiration.

I’m @larrybrauner on Twitter. I look forward to your tweets.

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Larry Brauner

Stacey Chadwell once asked me, How do you maintain focus?

On this first anniversary of my Online Social Networking blog, Stacey’s question caused me to think and take stock.

I imagine that many blogs launched last year have long since been abandoned. How is it that I maintained my focus over the past year while many other new bloggers did not?

It has been suggested that FOCUS stands for “follow one course until successful”.

While this representation is simplistic, it is nevertheless more true than not. To accomplish something substantial, some degree of obsession and narrow focus is a prerequisite for success.

Revisiting the Ultimate Success Secret

As I indicated in Critical Success Factors, I take my cue from The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want by Mike Hernacki in which he wrote:

“In order to accomplish something, you must know what you want and be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it.”

In other words, focus arises from intention and is maintained through commitment.

This principle is the key to sustaining focus and achieving eventual success.

To demonstrate my commitment, I was willing to:

  • blog for months before seeing tangible results
  • ignore doubts expressed by friends and family
  • read books about blogging and search engine optimization
  • mastermind with other bloggers to get their opinions
  • experiment, learn from my mistakes and backtrack as needed
  • put some of my other objectives on hold

Today I have more than 100 regular readers and receive thousands of visitors to my blog each month. My articles have been featured on top news sites.

I have a Google PageRank of 3 and high search engine rankings for lots of keywords that I researched and targeted.

I was willing to do what many others were not and was able to maintain my focus throughout the year.

Planning the Next Year

During the next twelve months I would like to take my blog to the next level, for sure.

However, I plan to apply the same kind of commitment and narrow focus to new projects such as developing my new Ning social networking site and mastering the intricacies of web analytics.

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