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Gina Bianchini      

Founder and CEO of Mightybell; Co-founder and CEO of Ning, Inc.; Co-founder of

Gina Bianchini helped usher in the age of social media nearly a decade ago when she co-founded Ning, a social networking site that launched the same year as Facebook.

But even Bianchini, a serial entrepreneur who has spent more than 10 years in Silicon Valley, finds herself at times overwhelmed by the growing number of social media sites now competing for her time, updates and energy. She helped raise the beast -- and now she faces the challenge of taming it.

“With all the sharing, I find that I wake up and I’m checking this and I’m checking that and at a certain point, it’s like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ It’s high fructose corn syrup rather than high quality rock sugar,” Bianchini said.

She will not go so far as to say that social media fatigue has already set in among online audiences, though she likens the trend to a recession: It’s a phenomenon that can only be concretely quantified once it’s been underway for some time, she said.

“We are definitely at a point where the supply of things to do online is at a dramatic overcapacity relative to what we can actually do in our lives as human beings,” Bianchini explained. “When you have technology that has an infinite supply of possibility and you have finite time, at a certain point, people shut down. They simply cannot handle anything else.”

Hardly a day goes by without an aspiring Zuckerberg launching a fresh social media startup that promises new solutions to the problem of sharing photos, meeting strangers offline or redeeming discounts for local restaurants. Even industry heavyweights like Walmart, Toyota, Apple and Disney are attempting to develop their own alternatives to Facebook and Twitter, with mixed success.

Bianchini argues that this new generation of social networking sites, which are born into an already crowded marketplace, will be doomed if they offer nothing beyond an outlet for people to connect and post updates. Her point is not that heavyweights like Facebook and Twitter are on their way out, but that to succeed, up-and-coming social media companies must prove they offer their users valuable services that will improve their lives in concrete ways. In the new Web 3.0 reality, users who have grown accustomed to sharing now want to be shaped -- online and off.

Speech Topics

How to use social media to drive action

For companies and brands, I believe the first generation of social technologies was about creating a conversation. The next generation will be about transforming talk into action.

The future of popular culture

When you look at how popular culture has been fundamentally changed by social technologies and media, it’s profound. What will arts, entertainment, politics, and even sports be transformed by social technologies over the next five years

What your organization can learn from the next wave of social games and platforms

Why do people love social games and how can you take their principles and use them in your organization?

Taking an idea and turning it into a hit

In the case of Ning, she took it from an idea and turned it into one of the top 10 social platforms in the world. What does this take and how can you bring it into your organization?

The future of work

What do start-ups and technology companies who have been living with social technologies for six years know about how social media will change recruiting, training, teams, and how you treat your alumni?


Gina Bianchini On Leaning In So Hard You Fall Flat On Your Face ..., the community website dedicated to women (and men) leaning into their ambitions, recently launched in conjunction with today's release of Sheryl..

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