Monday, April 28, 2008

The point of this social networking thing

Social networking sites obviously have been a bit of a thread in the last couple of entries. I came across an interesting post today at Internet Evolution. It's from Andrew Keen, who has been analyzing the Net for a long time (relatively, anyway).

Keen is questioning the worth of facebook. Microsoft paid Mark Zuckerberg -- who's about the age of most of these bloggers -- $15 billion to own just a little bit of the site. Part of Keen's rant seems to be a bit jealous, and, heck, who's not? Don't you wish you would've come up with an idea like facebook or myspace?

But another major point of his blog is the importance of the Internet today. After the dot-com bust, it started reshaping as a way for people to connect. Gannett, and by extension, The Times, have bought into this. And there obviously is something to say about the popularity of Web relationships. Before the paper's Web site redesign, people would write anonymous comments on articles for hours on end. Literally. That is still happeneing to an extent, but users still are getting used to it.

So Keen says social networking sites basically have to figure out how to really make money off of advertising without alienating the folks who need to connect. The money-making part is something newspapers including this one deal with constantly. How do yout think all these sites will progress?


Stephanie Bemrose said...

Well, Adam, if I had that answer, I'd probably be trying to get me a piece of the financial pie, too!

When I think back to the days before MySpace, even just five years ago when I was still in college, and all we had were chat rooms or e-mails, but no friendship and networking sites such as these, it is very interesting in how they have progressed.

When Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, 8th Air Force commander, met with The Times editorial board awhile back, he said that information creation such as wikipedia -- and what we're doing on the new Times site by encouraging users to do by submitting news articles for consideration for print, it makes the user not just a reader and a part of the conversation, but possibly the beginning of the conversation.

Now -- is that scary or what? I don't mean the submission of articles but by allowing everyone to have control on the content similar to wikipedia.

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

Elder makes a good point. I'm not against "readers" (we'll call them that) starting the conversation. I think that is important in many ways, because a lot of perspectives may have been left out in the past. I think part of journalists' and other public servants' jobs are to answer questions the general public may not know how to get.

Where the scary part comes in is when people who don't know the facts put them out there for everyone to see. And even worse, others accept them as fact without question.

Tiffany Winbush said...

I'm a big fan of social networking. I'm active on Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace, although not very often on MySpace. I recently signed up for twitter as well. I plan to become a social networking queen. LOL. I definitely believe advertisers can make money from social networking. It does take innovative ideas to achieve this goal though.

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

Thanks for the post, Tiffany. I haven't gotten on LinkedIn, but a lot of my friends and coworkers have. Maybe we should figure out exactly how to cash in on all this stuff!

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Because I have a 13 yr old daughter, I’m likely just lying to myself about my young adult status, but I still like to stay in touch with all scopes of society; thus, I’m reading and replying to this blog. I’m not exactly cashing in on the “social networking thing” but I am investing in it. I had, and still have, serious reservations about the impact social networking sites can have on tweens, and teens. However, my daughter has an account – with rules and much supervision involved. One day I was driving her and a friend and I started listening to their conversation about their layouts. Not only was my daughter spewing HTML, she was teaching me a few things I didn’t know! She’s picked it up solely through having a MySpace site. So I’ve been slowly feeding her “how to” sites and HTML faq’s to broaden her knowledge. My next step is for her to create her own web page. Through my investment, maybe there is a career in her future where she will be the creative one and cash in my investment.

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