This is a very nice article I found,on social networks author unknown.The original idea of Facebook was good because it served a real purpose in a normal environment for a niche group of people. But it wasn’t long before the company got lost in the network effect and everything turned into a storm of virtual critters inviting me to bite my friends. Now that’s a good time, especially when the critters can get to me before my email messages. Wrong order of operations for the “social utility that connects you with the people around you.”
More astounding is the fact that fun dominates the Facebook playhouse and is making it incredibly difficult to stay around and wait for the real value of the service to emerge (for the user, not the business). MySpace pioneered social networking mayhem. With all the crazy profile features and advertising I’ve never been able to feel at home. LinkedIn on the other hand targets an audience through a niche service and feels more welcoming than both MySpace and Facebook, leading me to believe they will walk away victorious.
The sad truth is we’ve all been pointing at Facebook, but the numbers are an indication of the world we live in and the ways people utilize their time, which has nothing to do with Facebook other than they offer users a place to do it. Fun is not a bad thing at all and of course fun is part of any business that becomes successful, but I’d like to think that for the sake of society, fun means something different. Go outside, run around. Don’t bite people.
The first time anyone signed up to join a social network it was fun because it was new and made it easier to connect with lots of people from all over the world. Consider that at some point the developed world will be full of people who were born into social networks. The dynamics of the game will have evolved and at that point, Facebook and MySpace will hold less purpose because they fail to pinpoint a niche audience and it will have become distasteful to see so much at once.The social networks that survive the changing times will be niche sites like LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and FriendFeed. Think of niche social networks as TV channels. What are the characteristics of TV channels? You watch one channel at a time (LinkedIn business contacts channel, YouTube video channel, Flick photo channel, Twitter messaging channel) and one special channel serves as a guide to all the other channels (FriendFeed channel guide). I want my Internet like my TV - a proven and logical format.
Data portability is the key to unlocking this freedom. The way Facebook and MySpace try to bring so many features onto one screen is overwhelming and there’s been a lot of problems because of it. I’m voting for channels and decentralized authority. Facebook will never be the mecca of my digital life and I think other people feel this way too. What do we really need it for? To bite people..
LinkedIn + YouTube + Flickr + Twitter + FriendFeed - MySpace - Facebook = my recommendation for an improved social networking experience.