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?