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The Internet Communications

Social Networks At A Crossroads 97

mateuscb writes "A few years ago, social networking Web sites were just some newfangled technology that college students loved. But over time, they have metamorphosed into an unavoidable Internet phenomenon that is changing the way people of all ages keep in touch with friends, find long-lost acquaintances, explore new hobbies and even look for employment."
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Social Networks At A Crossroads

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  • unavoidable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:08AM (#20616159)
    still haven't joined one. facebook, myspace, hi5... who cares. I know who my friends are.
    • IRC ftw :) Im same i dont use instant messageing or facebook, myspace etc .. last thing i need is a bunch of trolls adding me as their 'friend' who cares. The IRC channel i use has all my friends on it and we lurk in there most of the day. We also have a web interface for connecting to it so you dont need a dedicated client (handy if your at work)
    • Re:unavoidable? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by justin12345 ( 846440 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @01:44PM (#20617415)
      My roommate is like that, he never created an accout on any SN site. He gets really pissed because he never gets invited to parties anymore as all the invites are distributed on MySpace (within our circle of friends). Likewise, he didn't buy a cell phone until 2006, and only then because at that point the cell phone was cheper then a land line. Before that, it annoyed everyone else that he was so hard to reach that even his close friends eventually stopped trying. I've never seen the nobility in not participating in cultural trends. All he ever did was isolate himself and alienate his friends.
      • You obviously don't value him as a friend if he has conform to be invited to a party.

        Not everyone follows everybody else's "cultural trends". He needs to hang with friends who aren't so narrow minded.

        • Oh get off it. Creating an event in Facebook is an extremely easy way to invite everyone to something, find out who is coming (who ever RSVPs emails? like 20% of the attendees?), and then remind them its coming up. Its probably the best feature (along with birthday reminders).

          The initial draw was finding long-lost friends and aquaintences, but I keep going back for the social event organizing features. I still usually send out an email, but people's addresses change and sometimes someone gets missed. And if
          • Trouble is they aren't standard. So I have invites from friends in so many different services where as they could just have a group on e-mail that included me like most people do. I don't want to be sucked into different commercial entity money making schemes because my friends aren't very discerning and don't understand the underpinnings picking something that includes everyone they might want to.

        • Well he did eventually get invited, usually because I would tell him. The problem was that I really wouldn't think to until the night of the party, and he's the type that likes to know ahead of time. Its not like anyone was excluding him, they just didn't always think to send out notices beyond MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster.
      • Sounds like he just needs to find new friends.... the ones he has can't seem to bother to stop by and let him know what's going on, they obviously don't value his company enough to go beyond whatever is most convenient... some friends those are.

      • Re:unavoidable? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @06:49PM (#20619641) Homepage
        This whole social networking (and cell phone proliferation) started as I went through college.

        My senior year of high school, cell phones were divided into two classes - "Mobile Phones" which were a brick with a handset attached that you kept in your car, and "Cellular Phones" which looked much like the phones you buy today but four times the size. Nobody who didn't have a full time job as a salesman had one.

        Four years later, the mobile brick phones were gone, cell phones were cheap enough that almost everyone I knew had one, and Instant Messaging had become mainstream.

        I noticed in that time that when they were constantly available, people became extremely loathe to make any concrete plans at all. Whereas four years before, I could say, "Hey, tonight lets meet at 7 at the club" and expect a yes or no response, after everyone had a cell phone the response was, "Well, uhh, just call me on my cell." Getting a group of people together was no longer a matter of setting a date time, and being able to reasonably expect them to show up, it now required 15,000 phone calls.

        I don't know how it happened, but cell phones and IM turned everyone into 14-year-old girls.

        Now if I'm expected to check your web site every day to see if you're having a party instead of the courtesy of a phone call or email, thanks, but no thanks.

        As such, I don't blame your friend in the least for not wanting to participate in the drama of keeping in touch with people like that.
        • by allanc ( 25681 )
          Correlation does not imply causation.

          Might could also be that all of the "Maybe" responses you get nowadays due to people being easily available via cell phones would previously just have been "No" responses because people didn't know whether or not they could make it at the time they were asked.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Bluesman ( 104513 )
            I'd rather the "no" instead of the "maybe". You can't plan anything on "maybes."

            You're assuming that my whole world revolves around providing entertainment for people with cell phones. It does not, as much as they like to think it does.

            And I find the implicit "Well, sure, unless something better comes along" that goes along with the "maybe" to be insulting. There's something to be said for making a committment and keeping it, especially among friends.
        • My roommate is like that, he never created an accout on any SN site. He gets really pissed because he never gets invited to parties anymore as all the invites are distributed on MySpace (within our circle of friends).

          I wonder how he feels about evites [evite.com] (or similar sites)? Is evite a social networking site? Would he refuse to respond to evites on the same grounds? Let me guess, your roommate is a party-goer (when he happens to be invited) -- and not a party organizer.

      • These friends could leave notes on his doorstep or in his mail, he's not ignorant is he?
      • I don't use any of those sites, although I do have a Mugshot account just for the lulz. What do I miss out on? Sometimes people send me links to photographs that I can't access because I don't have a Facebook account. What do I do? I say "I don't have a Facebook account" then they send me the actual file, no big deal. That's probably the only annoyance of not having all of these various accounts for me. Of course, I am missing out on the world-wide "Someone poked me I need to poke them back" morning ritual,
      • "Hard to reach"? You're his roommate! How, in your mind, has it become such an utterly difficult undertaking to actually talk to him? "Nobility" in not participating in cultural trends? I suppose we should all buy Gwen Stefani albums and wear socks with sandals and grabass on MySpace all day, just so we don't alienate anyone.
      • My roommate is like that, he never created an accout on any SN site. He gets really pissed because he never gets invited to parties anymore as all the invites are distributed on MySpace (within our circle of friends).

        Damn that's pretty cold man. He's within your circle of friends. He's your *room-mate*. May be, you should just look away from your myspace page long enough to turn your head, initiate eye contact, and tell him about the parties he's been invited to.

      • Do you really want a website, not under your own control, to have the following:

        Your real name, hobbies, interests, spending patterns, perhaps your work experience etc etc.

        Potential employers will be able to google you, and once your stuff in there, it never goes completely away, even if you edit or delete the page. So the law forbids them to ask for your age, gender, sexual preference, political affiliation, drinking habits etc etc, they won't have to, they can just google for it. You'll never know.

        It is a
    • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @02:05PM (#20617539)
      Then how do you get your self-esteem, if you aren't using social networks? I do not understand.
      • Then how do you get your self-esteem, if you aren't using social networks?

        Personally, I find insulting people's parentage on antisocial networks quite rewarding. Your mileage may vary. :-)

      • or in my morning bowl of Archduke Chocula How else? Just make sure you take the tablet out of the bowl before you add the water to make the gravy.
      • From the Children's Television Workshop, who has told all of us that "We're SPECIAL" all our childhood, only to find at employment-time that we're not. :>

        It's all part of the same chaos that's underway these days. Things are going to get really nasty before long. When sex is an anytime-thing, means nothing to the relationship, and can be seen all the time, it loses it's joy...leaving the person empty. (Just one example)

        The current move is to destroy ALL traditions. That way, a future generation won't
    • Great, lets discuss social networking with the most asocial demographic on the web, Slashdot members. You have to be social to care about social networking. 100s of millions of people have joined but we need to keep modding up the "I don't use social networking" posts. Why? to reinforce your asocial tendencies?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AndyChrist ( 161262 )
      I might use social networking sites if they had less glittery animated text gifs, music that makes me want to stab my ears out, and mongoloid spelling and grammar.

      I have nothing against the concept, it's just that the vast majority of social networking site users (especially Myspace) are people I do not want to have any contact with whatsoever.
  • by footissimo ( 869107 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:09AM (#20616175)
    ..with the amount of employers looking through social network sites for information on employees...surely that should be "and even look for unemployment"?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I know you're trying to be funny, but the story further down makes the point about the importance of privacy on a social site.
    • Similarly, if potential employers cannot find any information about you on the Net, then this seems a bit suspicious... There're two sides in any story you know.
      • A Google search for me under my real name comes up with one link to an obsolete website, from the 90s. The corporate site on which my details appear is not indexed by any reputable search engine. It is a mistake of people who rely a lot on the Internet for information to think that a majority of people think the same way. My employers have been able to rely on my evidence of professional qualifications and documented actual achievements, which can be referenced by direct contact with publicly identifiable
    • I know I've neglected my duties as a Slashdot reader, but I actually read the article AND parts of the website referred to in article. TFA mentions the company StrikeForce Technologies, as a way to validate someone's identity.

      I've been questioned like this before over the phone - a financial institution that questioned me asked me questions from "publicly available information" which "confirmed that I am who I say I am." (The way they did it was to ask me multiple choice questions about my address from

  • Linked In? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lottameez ( 816335 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:10AM (#20616179)
    I'm surprised linkedin [linkedin.com] wasn't mentioned. It's getting a lot of use by the professional social networking crowd.
    • by EvilIdler ( 21087 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @02:20PM (#20617639)
      >professional social networking crowd
      What the hell does that mean? Professional social networking?
      Prostitutes? Drug dealers?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stephanruby ( 542433 )

        What the hell does that mean?
        Professional social networking? Prostitutes? Drug dealers?

        Yes, if your 'massage therapist' or your 'herb specialist' check their email often, they would be included too.

        Basically, it's anyone with work experience that has regular email access. I guess you could use your friendster account or your facebook account to network professionally, but most people (I believe) prefer to keep their personal lives separate from their professional ones (even if the separation is only on

  • Lots of people use Social Networking websites. Thanks for letting us know.
    • by phedre ( 1125345 )
      Yup.. NEWS AT 11! People like social networking sites. No. I will not RTFA. The real question is why I even clicked on this.
      • Yup.. NEWS AT 11! People like social networking sites. No. I will not RTFA. The real question is why I even clicked on this.

        Your a Geek. It's Saturday. You're not doing anything else. You're hoping that, by some magic, Slashdot will help you with your (a)social life?

        Next Question!

  • by Threni ( 635302 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:13AM (#20616203)
    They're completely easily avoidable. Whenever I get sent a link to one, I reply with a link to http://isolatr.com/ [isolatr.com]. People soon get the idea.
  • it makes sense (Score:3, Informative)

    by fadilnet ( 1124231 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:27AM (#20616305) Homepage
    It does make sense that online community sites/networks rock. I was never interested into these until this year. I tried Facebook. I'm not advertising facebook, BTW. It's just interactive. Since I don't have time (like most of you) to talk to friends in real life, and to offer them gifts or to poke them (yeah, try poking people in real life and you end up with police chasing you lol), I do it virtually. Most people find it easier to meet others online than in real life. How many hours do you spend procrastinating around on internet messengers or IRC channels, just for the sake of 'talking' to friends? Well, Online Community Networks is way cooler, interactive, and more importantly, you can find people you've lost. Had a girlfriend/boyfriend in high school whom you lost? Find him/her online. I guess online community networks are part of our lives (a bit like /.) - we wake up, check our emails, go there to check messages, poke people, send gifts, update our profile page and status, feed our virtual pets, send messages, etc all in a matter of minutes, and it does not tax on our real life schedules. Viva Facebook and others. I'm just sad that Yahoo can't turn 360 into something really cool. With Yahoo messenger backing it up, maybe it can. The privacy issue sucks though - example: Facebook profiles are being indexed by search engines (unless you edit your privacy settings). hmm..just a thought here, if Ajax write or the entire google docs, spreadsheet, etc is integrated into Facebook (because it's 'open'), can it be viewed as a true web OS? (don't want to go off-topic, but it's related - since when being viewed as a web OS, more people get interested into it)
    • Using facebook and friendsreunited (ok, not really a socail networking site, but it does work) I've found a fair few people I'd lost touch with years ago. I was reluctant to try facebook at first, but within days people I'd lost touch with from undergrad days were found again.

      I'm impressed thus far, although I would say I'm not too interested in continuing those friendships through an online site, each time its moved to real world visits, phone calls and emails. That I like.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by fadilnet ( 1124231 )
        Very true. Once you start meeting new friends online, it switches to SMS and phone calls, and maybe rendez-vous in real life. However, most people keep communicating via the online community sites because it's free/cheap. E.g-> a virtual gift costs less than a gift in real life + the intention remains the same. Sending a message over facebook, hi5 or myspace, is free as compared to SMS (it's not free in many countries), etc.
    • Re:it makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

      by phantomlord ( 38815 ) <<moc.hcetwrk> <ta> <todhsals>> on Saturday September 15, 2007 @12:02PM (#20616575) Journal

      Had a girlfriend/boyfriend in high school whom you lost? Find him/her online.
      Precisely why I don't use social networking sites. I prefer to be out of sight/out of mind for my stalker ex. She already suckered me in and wasted an extra year of my life once. I'd rather not let her have any way to get interested in my life again. Even if all she can see is my last login date, I prefer to let her wonder whether or not I'm still alive.
      • "I'd rather not let her have any way to get interested in my life again."

        Same here. My ex was actually mildly stalking. The last thing I would ever do is to post lots of details of my private life so she could monitor me from the comfort of her home.

        The situation is much worse for women and children. People browse those sites looking for victims and can use everything people post in them against them.

        You are probably safer just leaving all the curtains to your house/apartment wide open 24 hours a
    • You don't have time to talk to friends in real life. You think meeting people online is easier, and assume most people feel the same way. I think that's the core of the whole problem. These sites have somehow outmoded actual human interaction and replaced it with a weak substitute. Keeping IM programs and IRC open is "procrastinating"? How about all the time people spend dicking around on social networking sites? You're on the computer then, too. Don't delude yourself, there is no difference. And has it occ
  • by friend.ac ( 1071626 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:31AM (#20616331) Homepage
    I don't mean to sound like a Troll.. but gotta love those press junkies! That article smacks of a public relations exercise by YUNiTi. I've been approached many many times by people 'offering' to manage our public exposure.. by releasing various stories, even negative ones, to increase the sites exposure. We've even had stories sent to us 'about our site' and placed into comparison with myspace and facebook, that pitched in exactly the same way as this story - and for us to have it released to the major publications / sites would ONLY cost $X per release. Give us back proper journalism!
    • by foobsr ( 693224 )
      Give us back proper journalism!

      My hypothesis is that the majority of the 'internet-population' would have a hard time to come up with an idea of what this might be ;(

      CC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mateuscb ( 1052870 )
      It sure can smack of public relations excercise by YUNiTi. But, like all things, making guesses or assuming things can lead to bad nasty places. This may be completely out of context, but since this was metioned, why not delve in a little deeper. First a little background. YUNiTi has been developed solely by my brother and I, for the last two years. We feel there are so many useful things that networking sites could do to truly turn into a great tool, and yet they don't. They worry about things to keep peo
    • Isn't writing about something that NO OTHER papers are writing about PROPER journalism? If you just write about what everyone else writes about - the major networking sites MySpace and Facebook, how is that news? How is that proper journalism? News is about writing something that people don't know about, not something everyone already knows. That's why Yuniti was perfect for this article.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by turing_m ( 1030530 )
      Ahhh, proper journalism... I remember that era with such vivid nostalgia! How the unicorns pranced merrily in the fields, sun glinting from their horns. If you got up at dawn, you could see the shimmering of tooth fairies as they completed their morning errands. And back in those days, we were within a few dollars of actually ending third world poverty. I reckon it could have been solved if only we had donated the money we saved from our offices going paperless.
    • by sglines ( 543315 )
      The truth is that journalism is dead. It was killed by greedy publishers who won't pay a reasonable price for real journalism: $50 for a 500 word article? Who is kidding who? To these publishers copy is just something that you need to get readers to view ads. Writers need to eat so if the mags and newspapers won't pay then a piece of the ad budget is the only way to earn a living. I'll admit it. I earn more writing press releases masquerading as freelance journalism than I ever made as a journalist.
    • Just because your own networking site (friends.ac) hasn't been written about doesn't mean that sites which are written about paid for their coverage (I have put as much sweat and blood into Yuniti as you have into yours). And let me assure you, there was no paid journalism here - I contacted the SNL author telling them about our latest feature, ValidateID, which allows user to prove that they are who they say they are (press release here http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=n [businesswire.com]
  • by illectro ( 697914 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:52AM (#20616479)
    I remember when imeem launched its peer to peer social networking gizmo they made a great deal about the fine grained privacy settings that could be applied to everything that you were connected to, but over time they've reduced the ability of users to protect things, shifted everything from the software client to a website only, and morphed into something like 'Youtube for music'

    The new imeem is way cooler.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:58AM (#20616545)
    Why is the users of these sites believe they have stumbled across some "unavoidable phenomenon"? It sounds to me like a self-justifying phenomenon (or, more precisely, a phenomenon of self-justification).

    And here's the part I *don't* get -- all the comments from people saying "I don't have time to keep up with friends and family, but since I joined {Facebook/Myspace/etc} we can keep in touch and make new friends..." WTF? Maybe if you peeled your fat ass away from the computer and spent time with family and friends and maybe got involved with some activities you could make new friends.

    Maybe its just Wall Street greed coupled with the myopia of 20 somethings.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      The real benefit of facebook, at least as far as I'm concerned, is not the ability to poke or post or message or whatever facebook communication you like best. I use it effectively like a huge address book.

      When I'm heading home for the summer, and I think to myself, "Hey, it would be cool to hang out with my old HS buddies. I wonder what they're up to." I can start up facebook, search for them by name, friend them, and get their phone numbers.

      I don't have a little address book like my parents did until r
      • It's funny how many comments I'm reading on here about "social networks are BAD". I think people are focusing on the wrong aspects of them. Its not something to keep you busy, or to spend time of instead of spending time with friends. Its really just a great tool. It would be like saying, "oh I really hate e-mail, why should i use it when i can just go the persons house and talk to them directly" A comment like that today would seem ridiculous. But that is what I'm hearing from all these negative comments
    • "WTF? Maybe if you peeled your fat ass away from the computer and spent time with family and friends and maybe got involved with some activities you could make new friends."

      Or MAYBE I can do BOTH! I frequently go out and converse with new people and make new friends... however I have some really good friends that I don't want to lose track of, and Facebook happens to provide a wonderful solution to that. If I had to correspond via letters, phone calls and long trips... I would have lost touch with many
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:58AM (#20616547) Journal
    A few years ago, social networking Web sites were just some newfangled technology that college students loved

    ...Whereas now, the first round of those original college kids have graduated and some haven't yet moved on; additionally, their younger siblings have started using these services to get a head start on the Cool New Thing(tm). Woo-woo.



    But over time, they have metamorphosed into an unavoidable Internet phenomenon

    I'd call this a sad commentary on the steadily advancing age-of-first-real-job, not an "internet phenomenon". YMMV. In any case, I've managed to avoid them quite well, thankyouverymuch.



    changing the way people of all ages keep in touch with friends

    No, not really. The afforementioned "college kids who haven't moved on yet" use it to keep in touch. The rest of us still use the phone or email or, wonder-of-wonders, physically meeting one another.



    and even look for employment.

    "Look". Not "find".

    These folks have a rather rude awakening to look forward to... The rest of the world really doesn't give two shakes of a rat's ass about their pathetic little ego-pages. It doesn't care about their blogs, their favorite bands, their pictures of their cat/dog/iguana/fish-named-bob.

    Your future employer doesn't care about Bob-the-fish. He cares that you have the ability to work, in person, with others, and get the job done. The fact that you can't differentiate between "friends" and "people you've never met but add to a counter on your website" doesn't really help with that.
    • by sleight82 ( 948607 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @12:22PM (#20616753) Homepage
      No, not really. The afforementioned "college kids who haven't moved on yet" use it to keep in touch. The rest of us still use the phone or email or, wonder-of-wonders, physically meeting one another.

      I'd disagree...the fact that I have moved on (2000 miles from where 90% of my friends live) is precisely the reason I use it to keep in touch. It's not a substitute for phone calls, emails, and personal visits, but I can't afford a $300 trip to meet up for coffee with a friend, and time zone differences often makes phone convos difficult with more than immediate family. I think each form of medium has a place along a spectrum of options - personal visits -> video calls -> phone calls -> emails -> social networking blogs -> twitter -> shouting from a mountaintop.

      These folks have a rather rude awakening to look forward to... The rest of the world really doesn't give two shakes of a rat's ass about their pathetic little ego-pages. It doesn't care about their blogs, their favorite bands, their pictures of their cat/dog/iguana/fish-named-bob.

      But that's the great/worst thing about the Internet - you can put up anything, and whether anyone really cares is a moot point. But undeniably, there is someone is crazy enough to care.
  • I* am on [Facebook/Myspace/etc.]** and have 128 social network friends... and they ALL know me and are interested in me... honest!

    It's all a fad type website idea, it'll pass.

      * I personally don't use those kind of sites.
    ** Delete as appropriate.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @12:24PM (#20616771) Homepage

    Social networking sites seem to me to be kind of over. A few years ago I was active on a few of them; Tribe and Nerve were fun. But the fun sites are over. Myspace is just the new AOL.

    Phone-based social networking is probably where things are going. Although, interestingly, the iPhone doesn't have social networking. Helio does, but nobody uses Helio.

  • Tell me a bit about these "social networking" websites.

    I missed out on them when I was in college because I was busy going out to bars, playing sports, seeing plays, and generally being social. Then I graduated and got busy going on dates, volunteering, and traveling with friends.

    So, what was I missing?
    • by Skadet ( 528657 )
      Well, instead of telling all the "cool" things you do to the folks on Slashdot (who are less than impressed with bars, sports, dates, and - to a lesser degree - "being social"), you can tell all your classmates, former classmates, friends, and coworkers about it.

      It's like an e-peen about real life: "Hey everybody! Look at all the awesome stuff I'm doing IRL!! Aren't I awesome!!!two!11"

      By the look of your post, it doesn't seem like you're missing anything at all -- just not for the reason you imply ;)
  • [...]they have metamorphosed into an unavoidable Internet phenomenon[...]
    Still avoiding them here! Maybe it's the complete lack of friends, or the low-speed connection that makes loading most of the sites impossible, but I've found it quite easy to avoid them.
  • The rate of growth for most of the social networking sites peaked in late 2006, almost a year ago. The referenced article is a reverberation of the inflection point.

    http://www.realmeme.com/roller/page/realmeme/?entry=social_networking_meme_verified [realmeme.com]

    I predicted MySpace's peak in growth early in 2006, almost coincident to when it occurred. The introduction of Facebook's third party API is a sign of an industry entering a consolidated and standardization phase.
  • Here's something to think about; feel free to tell me if you think I'm wrong.

    This is probably the first or second graduating class who spent their entire college career exposed to the social networking phenomenon. I think this is going to further drive apart the generational gaps that exist in workplaces.

    I'm actually in the middle; I went to college just as the web was becoming popular. It was a really neat toy...sites like Yahoo and online retailers were just getting started. We used it just like that...a
    • The other day I was watching 'The Big Sleep' (1946) with Humphry Bogart and Lauren Bacall. At one point the DA's man is taking down Bogart's testimony regarding a case. The camera cuts the the sheet of paper to reveal he is writing lines of what appear to me to be incomprehensible jibberish. I exclamed "What the hell lanquage is that?!" to which my girlfriend replied: "That's shorthand, its how people used to write quickly before touchtyping [wikipedia.org]".

      Given that people commonly compose emails on thier phones or PD

  • Social computing is supposed to fetch ~ $750 MM by year 2011 as per Gartner!

    Many VPs, Directors, CXOs, do not understand why social computing is so 'in' thing may be (they are old) but the youngsters do understand it.

    In the US especially, with the huge number of experienced people retiring in the next 5 years and some young blood joining the ranks, it is important in two aspects to implement social software in the enterprises too.

    The knowledge of the old will be lost if not captured. But any amount of

  • Social networking sites are a great idea (whose time has finally come, it seems), but the implementation could use some improvement. What we need is standards, so that profiles from one site can be linked from another. I have been dragged into one social networking site kicking and screaming, and I am on a few other sites that happen to do social networking (though I joined for different reasons), but I'd rather avoid them altogether as long as there isn't a widely implemented standard so that I can ACTUALL
  • The other day, someone asked me what I think of Myspace. Now, I really have something against the site, but I couldn't really explain it to her. It just feels...wrong. I noticed this sentiment is common among geeks, even geeks like me who are actually sociable people. I have been too tired to really try putting my finger on what exactly it is that is wrong with Myspace (and its ilk), but maybe others have had better luck. If you recognize my sentiment and have maneged to put it into words, could you please
    • Turning over access and control to your "meta data" - your personal contact list - to some third party provides an invasion of privacy. Control is the key issue. If this well-meaning company (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) gets hacked, or just decides on a whim to provide better access to the data (as Facebook did recently), you're out of luck.

      The risks of interview candidates missing out on job opportunities because of MySpace profiles is a well-documented situation. I have seen real life examples of this.

    • Because, at its core, it's the continuation of the guestbook phenomenon of the '90s. Most geeks now realize how unnecessary and silly those were - enough so that ESR lists them as a characteristic feature of HTML HELL [catb.org]. A lot of geeks have considered blogs, or at least the typical examples thereof, to be no better. Besides which, geeks don't need MySpace: we can write our own webpages (in flawlessly valid HTML at that). The point of social networking sites is to make easy for non-geeks a subset of the sa
  • Facebook is cleaner and nicer to use but their are so many applications all doing the same thing, fun wall, super fun wall, super dooper fun shout wall with candy - and it gets messy.

    Myspace is messy by design but the prepubesant little shits like the colours and crap and seems to be the most popular.

    Bebo, hi-5 and the rest are smaller and less useful.

    Its like IM again, some use AIM, some yahoo and others msn - all offering a different experience and you end up going where your friends are... like it all n
  • They are eminently avoidable. Not "unavoidable" at all... rather, I feel they are mostly unoriginal, unattractive, undesirable, ungainly, unpleasant...
  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:55PM (#20621539) Homepage Journal
    Through a decade of technological "progress" the Internet self-important-erati have slowly been inventing the equivalent of the venerable BBS. What's worse, those who arrived to the party late actually think they've created something new that hasn't been done before.

    It's both amusing and frustrating to see the BBS spoken of as a technology of yesteryear, while mainstream Internet culture gets closer and closer to being an exact duplicate of BBS culture. Strip away all of the fancy buzzwords and you've basically got the same thing: people connecting to each other online.

    As a BBS sysop of nearly 20 years (please visit us online!) [citadel.org] I can say with certainty that nothing has changed. Everything old is new again. And may I say to the "Web 2.0" and "social network" people: you didn't invent it.
    • BBS are web 0.1alpha.
      They're as much as social network as random forum about linux.
    • Everything old is new again. And may I say to the "Web 2.0" and "social network" people: you didn't invent it.


      Ditto. In many (most) ways, the transition from BBS to Web was a huge step backwards. HTML+CSS and HTTP blow. It took a long time, using these hacks, to recreate the functionality we had with BBSes. The ubiquity of TCP/IP (connectivity) won the day, but a lot was lost in the switch over.
  • Paul Graham wrote about this stuff [paulgraham.com]. A cursory glance at the article shows that it's little more than a press release for Facebook. As Graham puts it:

    Of the stories you read in traditional media that aren't about politics, crimes, or disasters, more than half probably come from PR firms.

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