Saturday, September 5, 2009

Why are we here?

...it seems like no week goes by anymore without me getting a message from someone who is inviting me to become a part of their social network on some new flavor-of-the-day community site.

This is not really new, but it's reaching heroic proportions now, and it has me wonder what will really happen next. There are three or four key primary networks that people want to be a part of right now, and a half dozen special function platforms that are particularly inviting.

Without going into too much detail on any one, I thought I'd list the platforms I frequent, those that I visit semi-regularly, and a bunch of others that I don't visit very much -- but for which I have an account.


Your job is to reply with your own thoughts about the platforms I list that compel a response from you.

Regular

Facebook - nearly every day, I need to know what my friends are doing, and I use a lot of the applications

LinkedIn - I visit this several times a week. It's how I keep up with colleagues and professional contacts

Twitter - I interact with this many times a week. Girlfriend told me that I'd gotten too attached, but I think she was just jealous. I have about half of my Twitter updates also publish on Facebook.

LiveJournal - I try to visit this once a week, and sometimes I do more, sometimes less. I have my entries from the journal publish on Facebook if I like the entry well enough.

Semi-regular

MySpace - I just don't like the look and feel of this place. Music sometimes starts playing as soon as I touch a page, content is sometimes rendered unreadable by page owners who over-design their theme with the apparent intent of demonstrating illegibilty, and although it's settled down a bit, I usually see margin ads that I characterize as the "jiggling bimbo" ads.

Yelp! - I'm a big fan here, and a regular contributor. But I do have to remember to go there, and allocate time to write a review from time to time. I think I have a pretty good backlog of reviews I mean to offer. If Yelp! reached out for me more often and called me in, I have a feeling that I'd be there more often.

Plaxo - I don't know why I'm on this network except that some of my friends asked me to create an account there. I think they may have pre-dated Facebook with the feature that shows you what your friends are doing. (They call it Plaxo Pulse, and it would be highly interesting if the same thing wasn't happening now at LinkedIn, and of course it's the key experience at Facebook.)

Naymz - How this differs from LinkedIn is that the company hopes to offer curated social media evidence. (What that means is that there are to be some verifiable facts associated with people that speak to their credibility and the authenticity of their online credentials.) The trick is that I believe the same thing is available at LinkedIn with just a litte judicious reading. I can trace a person's network of friends, the credentials of those who endorse them, and a number of other available backtraces that give me a sense of a person's credibility. Meanwhile though, Naymz has done something powerful -- they allow community members to "slurp" their LinkedIn profile and network of associations in so that it's no longer necessary to put all the information in again.

There are other networks on which I have accounts. Perhaps when I see your comments, I'll remember my participation elsewhere and update via comment here.