Social Networking spinning new webs

For people who like to read and write, social networking groups are a natural phenomenon of the internet world like blogging, and similarly huge potential distraction.

It’s no surprise that a 2008 PRWeekSurvey reveals that journalists are using social networking sites such as LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook for sources, ideas, topic experts, and connecting with opinion leaders. Out of over 1,000 media members, a third have a profile on Facebook, one third are on LinkedIn, and a quarter have a MySpace profile. The growth of these sites according to Nielsen Online is amazing… between March of ’07 and ’08 these sites saw more users as reflected below 8%
Facebook 98%
LinkedIn a whopping 319% annual growth!

Meanwhile, something I’m not yet familiar with called is creeping up, with a 49% growth in users during the same period. It had a bit under 3 million users at the time of the study, but it will most definitely be growing, as the MySpace/YouTube/ audience looks for new sites related to music, trends, video and culture-vulturing. Personally, between Facebook and MySpace, I use Facebook and there’s an interesting comparison of the two by Ben Gold, called Facebook Hammers MySpace on Almost All Key Features, which I tend to agree with, being of the more nerdy camp, though I find some of the new apps on Facebook a bit annoying, time-frittering and downright juvenile. I don’t really need to know what kind of chocolate or anime girl I am or get into buying or selling people, sharing Hello Kitty Greetings, but then again, I like the Einstein Quotes, and free gifts application, which is a bit silly.

I do find there’s something sweet about the gesture of befriending new acquaintances on the site too, kind of like when you were a kid and you could outright say something like, “hey, would you be my friend?”

Perhaps I’m still on the naive learning curve of the medium, because I still thrill watching my friend count bump up, though at no where near the pace of young’uns in school or career socialites. I did encounter the weirdness of receiving a “friend” request from a total stranger. I enjoyed a colorful account of this and other issues in In-Your-Facebook, where the writer shares both the heady and the creepy side of Facebooking. I hope I don’t get to the point of having to pull the plug on this window to the world, but may have to limit the audience for my growing collection of older photos salvaged from magnetic photo pages and scanned into the present.

We must be careful what we ask for. I am thankful I can still pull my head into my shell like a tortoise and not have to run and dodge paparazzi.

Published in: on April 25, 2008 at 8:41 pm  Comments (2)