Monday, January 21, 2008

Network Social Net

How many of us have gotten really sick of facebook? Even some of the other sites like MySpace? They may be great as "Graphing social patterns," discussed in an article from the Economist. Yet, it's just time before another site social networking site is discovered and favored above the rest. Once a social networking site is discovered and favored among the masses, it turns itself over to producing annoying ads. As the author says, "On Google, advertisements are valued; on Facebook they are an annoyance that users ignore." I can't remember the last time I saw an advertisement on Facebook that had an effect on me.

The next thing a social networking site does is form some type of constant news feed or source for people to be constantly connected.

Facebook's second masterstroke is its “mini-feed”, an event stream on user pages
that keeps users abreast of what their friends are doing—uploading photos,
adding a widget and so on. For many users, this is addictive and is the main
reason they log on so often. Jerry Michalski, a consultant, calls the mini-feed
a “data exhaust” that gives Facebook users “better peripheral vision” into the
lives of people they know only casually. This mini-feed is so far the clearest
example of using the social graph in a concrete way.
This feed is similar to the invention "Twitter" that constantly updates your friends and/or social network what you are doing every minute. You can share information as to whether you are out to coffee or what you are eating for lunch. This starts crossing the threshold of TMI (to much information).

In an interview with Robert Cross, he believed that having these networks and forms of network communications could be managed and used for productivity amongst company colleagues. I beg to differ in that, instant messaging and consistent communication via the Internet begins to demolish the effect of face to face conversations and can lead to less productivity. We have a tendency to be overloaded by everything online and it takes time to learn the new ways of communication. If we were to believe that social networks were the next way in forming daily communications, how many people would accept it?


Deepak Shahani said...

I also believe, to some extent that social networking sites such as facebook tend be anti-social in nature. Face-to-face interaction is important and there is only so much one can do through facebook. I believe it lets people keep in touch and see what they are doing in each other's lives.

I know some people who have formed romantic relationships over facebook. A friend met her boyfriend on facebook just by searching people's profiles. I think such encounters might be rare, but it just goes to show that it could happen. So not only does facebook allow current friends to keep in contact, it allows some to make new friends.

Timur Khalif said...

I believe face to face interactions are vital, especially for networking. Facebook just gives people an excuse to have 500 friends and actually know 150 of them. I mean thats cool but thats not what you would want. The more people you know the further you will get. Being connected always helps. Having a few extra friends doesn't hurt either.