Sunday, August 09, 2009

Social Networking

I read recently that use of facebook by teenagers has declined for the first time ever. Some time earlier I also read accounts of what happens when the first facebook high wears off and you start realising. Oh so anything I put on Facebook will be seen by my boss, and my parents and my mother in law and ... what have I created. Fortunately for me I don't believe that any one of the above individuals in my life actually have a Facebook profile.

My Partner, has expressed similer annoyance with Facebook, where she has several groups of frends from different periods of her life. Very often something she wants to post is particularly relevant to one group and not the others. However having one networking sites all will see it, leaving some to scratch their heads and wonder what she is going on about.

Recently I have joined site dedicated to a particular subject of interest. What I found inside was an entire social networking site (blog included). I've been thinking about this for a while and I think it makes sense. The Facebook Idea of one network site to rule them all is a bad one. Why, because we all have segments to our lives. Places where we don't want to expose to everyone we know for one reason or another.

Interestingly this is one place where I don't even want interoperability. And their are certainly things I have posted in special interest sites that I don't want on my Facebook Page at the present moment.

But why not just use the entire internet as your social networking site? well that comes down to the problem of finding other people with similar interests. Take this blog. Its on a general blogging site, and all things considered I don't know that anyone actually reads it. Often I feel its I get more of an audience by posting my thoughts to Facebook, then to recording them here. Ditto for special interest sites where my posts are guaranteed to be on topic and delivered to an audience who will be interested in some of what I have to say on the matter at hand.

So it is natural that their will be an array of special interest social networking sites. Each with a target demographic of sorts, and many fostering particular special interests, whatever they may be.