I came across two articles today which are related – one informing us that Facebook had finally made it to number 1 in a league of social networking sites:
and the other telling us that minining the social netspace for business is a waste of time and energy.
Like many things in life I was a late comer to Facebook and within a few weeks of me joining was being told by all and sundry that Facebook was a spent force and that all the cool kids were probably going elsewhere. My first thought was ‘Thank God – no more being poked by a dead sheep’ or whatever, followed by a quick examination of how many contacts I had in Facebook overlapped with contacts in my E-Mail directory.
There’s also been the ‘Facebook is purging unused accounts’ and ‘Facebook is about to charge £2-00 a month’ stories. As for the latter, I’d quite welcome it…might clear some of the dead sheep throwers\away. 🙂
But the bottom line is that Facebook isn’t going anywhere and whilst it may change I don’t believe that it matters that ‘bleeding edge’ followers of fashion are leaving. Elsewhere I’ve expressed my keen belief in ‘The Law of Two Feet’ – this is another fine example. Why stay on a networking site if your personal network is elsewhere?
There is ample room in the social networking space for many different providers; I’d quite welocme some means of having a central ‘E-Card’ that is accepted by all suppliers that basically sets up my main profile, but I personally can live without it. Having the attention span of a gnat is surely pointless when you’re trying to develop a community or a network of friends. Unless these are ‘flash-friends’ – i.e. the equivalent of people you have a swift half with in a bar when you’ve both been stood up by friends, or folks you meet on holidays and never ever see again – then surely you’d stay where your people are and not drift off because some arbiter of taste says that ‘Facebook is so Spring 2008 – FrobbleSpace is where it is for Summer 2008….’
I suppose that ‘moderation in all things’ is a good rule of thumb – just like you’d never spend all your waking hours with your friends in the pub (unless you’re a masochist / hedonist) it’s not necessary to spend your whole online life agonising about social networks to belong to. Just go with what works for you and to Hell with the Islington crowd!
As for businesses exploiting social networking space – agree with the author wholeheartedly. It’s the electronic equivalent of Tupperware sales (remember those??) When I was a teenager I did the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and on one expedition one of the guys was a keen seller of Tupperware or soemthing similar (so weird in a 16 year old). He ruined the whole group ambience by his repeated attempts to sell us stuff whilst we were planning expedition routes. And it’s the same with Facebook and such – anyone who attempts to engage me in some sort of viral marketing activity or similar tends to get cut off the list.
Just how many people seriously take on board viral marketing messages forwarded by online friends? And actually buy something or use a service based on it? I’d be keen to know – I’ll occasionally check sites out but to be honest unless it’s something that really floats my boat I may not even do that.
So….to all you out there who know me and share stuff with me. If you’ve not heard from me for a while…it may be because you sent me one vodka advert too many. 🙂