The likes of Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Gowalla, and other new-media channels are becoming a permanent part of the new-media landscape.
They are following Facebook in establishing themselves as popular and credible media outlets that attract large consumer audiences as well as the attention of brands and corporations that want access to those audiences.
With this rapid growth comes inevitable growing pain, as the speed of expansion outpaces the infrastructure underpinning these operations. Trendy blogging site Tumblr is the latest to come under pressure, with outages this week dismaying users who have come to rely on their daily fix of content from these sites.
When I met Foursquare chief executive officer Dennis Crowley recently, he also admitted the location-based app had spent a large part of the summer “scaling up” to cope with increasing demand on the site, only getting back to normalcy in August/September.
For their part, the more mature Twitter and Facebook have already undergone these growing pains and reinforced their infrastructures accordingly.
This scaling is necessary – and crucial. And it also applies to the new-media outlets' ability to engage with brands and business. They have inboxes full of requests for meetings and engagement that they just haven't been able to get round to in the consistent way they would have liked in a perfect world. Companies want to work with Foursquare and Tumblr, but many just haven't been able to get in front of them to do business.
PR agencies can help take up some of this slack and bring the two parties together.
Because while business will have a certain amount of patience with these inevitable teething problems, the new media would be well-advised to get their acts together quickly before the big beast that is Facebook eats their lunch before the table has even been laid.