Check out my man here. He’s heard a lot about social networks and he wants to check them out. He’s not sure why he should, he just knows that everyone is talking about them, they use them to meet people and they use to talk to friends and relatives and it is THE Thing to do! But where should he start. What social network is right for him? Should he do some research? If he does he’s going to find differing opinions from all over the place. He’ll hear about the notion that Linkedin is not Facebook for grownups
Or maybe he saw this video that parodies Facebook? And now he’s all WTF is Facebook about?
The bottom line is that when you decide to Join the online social community, this is what happens:
You are a lone individual that is joining a community of individuals. At that point, it is now up to you to join the conversation. But joining the conversation does not mean that you are, in theory “part” of the conversation. You could move your way up the social media spiral but that would mean that you are doing a majority, or want to do a majority of the below stages of the spiral:
But you don’t need to. You just want to know what it all means and where you fit in. You just want to know, what exactly is a social network? Let’s segue to our friends from Common Craft shall we?
Ok so now you have an idea but what should you do now? Maybe, just maybe you could jump into a social network, but do you even know which one? Here is a quick primer of two of the more popular social networking sites. Honestly though, if I’m explaining this, you have to be living in a freakin cave. But I digress..
If you’re going to use Facebook then you need to know that it has more than 60 million active users, an average of 250,000 new registrations per day since Jan. 2007 and over 55,000 regional, work-related, collegiate, and high school networks. More than half of Facebook users are outside of college and the fastest growing demographic is those 25 years old and older. Is that too large for you?
If your cup of tea might be MySpace maybe you should know that it has more than 110 million monthly active users around the globe, however, 85% of MySpace users are of voting age (18 or older) One in four Americans is on MySpace. MySpace is translated in more than 20 international territories: U.S., UK, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, MySpace en Espanol, Latin America, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
But thats just 2 of the big ones that I’m sure you have heard about. Here is a nice breakdown of the top social sites provided by compete
In the end, you should check out each one and see if it fits the criteria you want in your selection of a social network. It will be up to you to decide which one fits you the best. Because in reality, this is how the social networking funnel should look:
Ultimately, and you will see, if not already, that the best way to thrive in a social networking setting is to be amongst people that are of like mind and spirit. Thats why if you are in your mid 30′s and love reading books and are more concerned about what is in your 401k, maybe MySpace ain’t the ticket. Eventually we will all have our own sense of where we should be within a social network, it’s merely up to you to find your way and craft, meld and shape your online indentity in the social network that makes sense to YOU.