Sifting Through Social Sites
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 • 3:11pm
Eons ago, when the dinosaurs still ruled the earth, there was MySpace. It was mostly frequented by a specific collective of humans, most under the age of 25. Fast forward a few lifetimes later and you have Linked In and facebook dominating a world of social sites. LinkedIn and facebook are the New York and Los Angeles of social sites, the popular big cities with bright lights and multitudes of people visiting and hanging out. Sites like Plaxo and Merchant Circle and Foursquare are the smaller towns, sitting in the outskirts, wishing they could grow up to be a big city too.
These days there are as many social sites as anyone could ask for, and, some may say, more than we really need. But just as there are different types of people in the world, the stay at home types and the traveler types, there are sites to make anyone happy.
While early naysayers claimed it’s all a waste of time, clearly the reality is that human beings who have embraced the world of social networking have derived real benefits from it – their social life or business life has grown as a result of interacting with others online.
In fact businesses have been developed solely as a result of social networking. Take a look at all the experts popping up around the world – people offering lectures and seminars, selling lessons and books, writing articles and blogs not in addition to their real jobs, but because it IS their only job.
How many can you belong to? How many do you really engage in, spending chunks of your day visiting? How many new ones are you willing to try? How much time will you invest in setting up an account, inviting your associates, posting statuses and photos and background information?
Of course, it depends on who you are, what your daily routine is and what you want. Most adults with full time jobs may spend a few moments updating their LinkedIn during the day but pop open facebook in the evening to catch up with friends and family.
So why on earth are new sites coming out month after month? There are many reasons of course, mainly because the companies creating them see the potential for huge revenue (sorry – the reasons are not altruistic). Also because people are fussy and if they like some features but dislike particular aspects of one site, they will seek the newer, better place to hang out in.
Considering the time you invest in creating and building up your account/profile on these sites, ponder the following: