Posts Tagged 'Myspace'

You have 11 months to step up your social media game

What are you looking for when you read the latest link bait blog title? I’m always looking for the new tool. I’m looking for what I haven’t found yet, We all are. It’s why new diet books keep popping up on book shelves. Because people keep buying them. Because what worked before just doesn’t seem to be doing it now. We’re all constantly looking for a new approach, a new way to do things. Social media is no exception. We just have a different name for it, it’s called social media obsolescence.

Here’s an example:

You see as a society we’re just not satisfied. This extends to the social networks that we use. Yes, we all are using Facebook, and they are truly the exception to the rule. They are the immovable force. But other sites just die on the vine but for no other reason than it has reached it’s point of critical mass. It’s now in decline for the simple reason that we are looking for, no craving more than what that site delivered to us flawlessly.

To that end, I often find myself pondering whether I could possibly write something that hasn’t been said already. What will satisfy this rabid audience of social media consumers looking for the brass ring or the uber answer? Well the answer is, every day there is another great batch of great posts from some really smart people that I’m pleased to know professionally. Each with a new twist, a different angle, a fresh thought. Which tells us that indeed we are in the nascent stages of this monolith that we call social media.

So what’s there left to do?

What is left is for you and even me, to take all of these thoughts and processes and put them to good use and into action. Then you, my dear readers must pay it forward. No more selfish consuming.

You need to become the next legion of social media foot soldiers. We still have so many people that are completely perplexed and yet those of you that have been playing in the sandbox now for say the last year, know so much more than 75% of the population. That’s you! Start sharing what you know and what you have read. Don’t keep it to yourself.  Be a creator, as well as a conversationalist. Push the envelope in 2010, you have 11 months to get it done!

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Social Media Thought for the Day #3 Social Obsolescence

I’m struck by what Geoff Livingston titled his book from 2007. “Now is Gone”. It almost seems prescient. Content is content just for a day and almost seems irrelevant if it is from last week. Social sites are only as good as the purpose they serve right now. Fame is fleeting, personal brands last only as long as your last Google update and social networks continue to evolve.

What does this mean? When a social site no longer serves the needs of the people that participate, those people move on. Though there might not be a thing wrong with it. The site has become obsolete.

We need social media mentors not evangelists

mentor

Be a mentor.  this thought occurred to me while watching  a vid on Todd Adrilik’s blog titled, The dumbest generation, don’t trust anyone under 30. While it was a compelling piece about how anyone under 30 might be more inclined to be lazy and check on their social networks and do nothing else- I would like to think that there is a tremendous opportunity not only for them to lead us even further into the digital age but also for us, as digital marketers, to do the same. Lead them, and show them now, how to do it right.

You see, at some point all of that digital knowledge you have, those social media experiences in your head, needs to be transferred to others. Just telling people about how great it is, is one thing, but showing them, and taking people under your wing to guide and mentor, and to teach and explain, is something completely different and much more valuable.

Ok, so for those of us in the social media bubble, we get it. Now go out and instead of telling people how great social media is, show them how great it can be.

Put your social media mentor hat on and make an even bigger difference.

5 huge tech trends that you can’t ignore.

That’s it. Just 5. But why just 5? Because these 5 are rockin’ our world now and will continue to do so for the next 10 years. Do you remember the Gartner Hype Cycle? I blogged about it awhile back in regards to certain things we can be excited about over the next 5 years. Take a look at it real quick.

Ok Now look at this next slide real quick:

 

Ok, one more and I will let you off the hook.

 

 

So the hype cycle pretty much lets you know where certain “things” are in their growth development. It’s a great point of reference and doesn’t take a long time to figure out. Samw with the next slide, what does it tell you? It tells you that music is important to us. Always has, always will be. Here’s a quick 1 question quiz: What does the MySpace business model revolve around? Music and social networking. Ok So there’s 2 trends that will not be dipping anytime soon. Awhile back I wrote a blog post about the top 44 music related social networks and to this day it still pulls traffic. I recently tweeted a question as to what brick and mortar industry has completely dried up but thrived online-answer: music

Trend #1 Music will continue to thrive online and you cannot ignore it.

According to Comscore  In August 2008, Americans conducted 11.7 billion core searches, virtually unchanged from July, as Google Sites extended its lead in core search market share by 1.1 percentage points.

Search is, the gateway to everything that we do online. You may see some play in regards to trying to refine search into more of a niche based environment, but the bottom line is search will alway be the mainstay of any internet based activity.

Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in July with 63 percent of the searches conducted, up from 61.9 percent in July, followed by Yahoo! Sites (19.6 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (4.8 percent), and AOL LLC (4.3 percent).

Americans conducted 11.7 billion searches at the core search engines, nearly identical to the number of core searches conducted in July. Google Sites handled 7.4 billion core searches (up 2 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.3 billion and Microsoft Sites with 977 million.

In the comScore August 2008 analysis of the top properties where search activity is observed, Google Sites led with 10.2 billion searches, a 2-percent increase versus July.  That’s billion! Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 2.4 billion searches, followed by Microsoft Sites with 1 billion and AOL LLC with 839 million.

Trend #2 Search ain’t going nowhere.

According to Hitwise, MySpace.com received 67.54 percent of the market share of U.S. visits in August 2008 among a custom category of 56 of the leading social networking websites.  The market share of U.S. visits to the social networking site decreased 2 percent in August 2008 to 6.40 percent of all U.S. visits compared to July 2008. Visits to the category decreased 17 percent year-over-year. But check out the chart below:

What do those numbers mean to you? It means that MySpace had 66 million visits in one month and Facebook had 28 million. The fact of the matter is that social media and social networks are interwoven into the daily fabric of our lives. I know, it’s not like it’s earth shattering, it’s just not a fad anymore. It’s legit. It will continue to evolve and the potential will always be there for someone to do something different and exciting and unique with the social media application. Could that be you? I hope so.

Trend #3 Social networks will continue to evolve and grow larger and gain in importance.

A recently released UN study indicates that by the end of 2008 mobile phone use worldwide will reach 50% of the earth’s population for the first time in history. Although the percentage of mobile phones in North America, Western Europe and most of Asia is much higher than 50%, in developing countries, a mobile phone is still considered a luxury.

Mobile phone ownership rates have been rising significantly, almost at an exponential rate. Countries like  India, Brazil, and China are seeing crazy growth in the number of people owning a cell phone. In fact, China had an estimated one billion cell phone subscribers in 2007. At the current rate of growth, there will be over 3.3 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide by the end of 2008.

So there’s no escaping the fact that cell phones are now-another essential part of our daily lives. Grab the keys, grab the wallet, the purse, the backpack and the cell phone. Ok so we get that. But now, pay attention.

According to a recent online survey conducted by ABI Research, nearly half (46%) of those who use social networks have also visited a social network through a mobile phone. Of these, nearly 70% have visited MySpace and another 67% had visited Facebook. No other social networking site reached 15% adoption mobile adoption.

So what are these consumers doing when they access their mobile social network? They’re checking for comments and messages from their friends, with both of these features registering above 50% for mobile social network users. Posting status updates also has proven popular, with over 45% of mobile social users letting others what they are up to via their phone.
What we are seeing is a melding of 2 functions into one via the hub of the cell phone. Or is it the hub of the social network?  There’s no doubt that a social network is increasingly becoming a central hub for communication across online and mobile domains for a lot of people. Because it’s  allowing them to consolidate activities or processes. From text, to email, to chat, to phone calls, to exchanging of data, uploading images and downloading songs. The phone and the social net. allow thesee things to occur almost seamlessly. As a trend, the centralization of a consumer’s cell phone activities combined with their increased social network usage is only going to make adoption of mobile social networking more inevitable as we move forward.
Trend #4 The growth of the mobile social network will be steady and exponential.

Here is trend 4a for you as well:   comScore M:Metrics reports that in June 2008, 20.8  million U.S. mobile subscribers and 4.5 million European mobile phone subscribers  accessed search during the month, an increase of 68 and 38 percent from June 2007, respectively.  The U.K. had the highest penetration of mobile subscribers using search at 9.5 percent, followed closely by the U.S. at 9.2 percent.  That’s right, Mobile Search.

Ok last one-And it’s a no-brainer. Check out the slide below. It’s from December 2007, but the message is loud and clear.

Google Sites  ranked as the top U.S. video property in December with 3.3 billion videos viewed (32.6  percent share of videos), gaining 1.3 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for more than 97 percent of all videos viewed at the property. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 358 million (3.5 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 340 million (3.4 percent) and Viacom Digital with 238 million (2.3 percent).

In total, nearly 141 million Americans viewed online video in December. Google Sites also captured the largest online video audience with 79 million unique viewers, followed by Fox Interactive Media with 43.9 million and Yahoo! Sites with 38.2 million. So if you don’t already know it online video consumption is growing at a sick-ass rate.

Trend #5 Online video consumption will evolve into an acceptable replacement for a TV.

In conclusion, here’s the most interesting aspect of them all. The hub for all of the above trends can and will be centered on one thing, Your cell phone.

12 sites to check out and a MySpace story.

Sometimes I just want to effin rant about stuff going on in my life, but one of my mottos has always been to keep an even keel. I know, try keeping an even keel with all of the bullshit going on right now, right?. So with all of that noise, here are some sites and blogs that you should check out and or bookmark:

Crazy Egg is a site that provides visual representations of customer data and web traffic.

Keeping the theme of the egg, VideoEgg is a video ad network for online communities that connects brands to consumers with video and rich media across a network of more than 200 leading video and gaming sites, social networks and applications.

I was in NYC recently and relied heavily on this. I thought HopStop was invaluable.

Trendrr tracks the popularity and awareness of trends across a variety of inputs, ranging from social networks, to blog buzz and video views downloads, all in real time.

View and create user flows here @ Product Planner which is a product from Kissmetrics

Thinking of turning that white paper or ebook into something more? Check out Lulu, which I plan on taking advantage of.

Here’s a cool Linkedin app called social minder, though I haven’t tried it out yet, but it is on my to-do list.

Paul O’Brien provides the The Definitive Online Marketing Conferences List which is a nice list for all of us. Thanks Paul.

You will love Usernamecheck, this is very cool. Its very self-explanatory.

If you have not seen Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynote from Web 2.0 expo in NYC. Then here you go, it’s pretty damn good.

icharts listened and read my TechCrunch50 blogpost and got back to me, so I’m getting ready to take it for a test drive.

Lastly, let me tell you about the conversation I had with a MySpace sales rep named Jason Steingold this past week. He has been historically relentless in trying to get me to buy advertising for one of our products. Relentless to the extent that even though I have told him “no” half a dozen times. He’ll send an email to me stating to “just let him know when I’m ready”. and “we have some really good deals right now”. Oh Ok Fast Eddie, I’m on it.

He’s hammered me on the quality of the demographic for the one product we market, pitched me on specials,  seasonal deals, you name it. So I sent him an email back this last time that said that his price point was too high. My exact words were, “your price points are wayyy to effin high”. Ok my mistake, I should have been more professional.

That email I sent him was more conversational than most of the emails that I send him, at least to the extent that I said more than “no thanks”, but I figured I’d be semi-nice and congenial this time. Big Mistake-I’ve now engaged him and he immediately fires back an email saying the wrong thing or definitely taking the wrong tone and tact with me in implying my naivity, my stupidity and their massive size.

At a $.45 CPM?  What other social network that houses such a large amt of your demographic can you receive targeted inventory at a $.45 CPM? 

 

So I come back with, “yea but you have a minimum spend of what?”

He responds with… drum roll please…

200k minimum for the month….but you’d get a 72 hr out clause…..

 

 

 

Oh ok, cool, so I get the 72 hour out clause on a 200k minimum spend. Damn that’s a sweet deal. Spend $200,000 to make what? So here’s how the rest of the conversation via email went down.

Me: there’s your price point mah brutha

Him: 72 hr out clause?  That’s a great deal….you guys must not be in the business of making money….just trying to help you out, times is rough son.

Nice sales tchnique there, don’t ya think?

Me: Let me digress. Our typical customer for this product does not use social media. Just because you have data that shows 10 million users that “might” use this product doesn’t mean it’s our customer. Looked at broadly, we could say that everyone is a potential customer, and I could see why you thought or think that. Your comment about us not being in the business of making money-  you might wanna work on those closing techniques and avoid using that in the future.

Him: Who’s your typical customer exactly?  1 in 4 Americans is on MySpace….pretty much encompasses people from every walk of life….

Me: Thanks Jason

Him: You’re welcome! 

Moral of the story: No wonder sales people have such a hard time communicating, articulating and understanding their customers. They don’t listen. They push and force the message. He engaged me and he had me listening and did not handle an initial skeptical rejection well.

 

4 reasons to be excited about the next 5 years

According to the Gartner Hype Cycle, they have identified 27 emerging technologies to keep an eye on. They have also predicted that 8 of them will have a major transformational business impact. For that reason,  those 8 should be strongly considered for adoption by technology planners in the next 10 years. Of these 8, there are 4 that have caught my eye and thus have a particular interest to me.

The first of the 4 is Web 2.0. Although if you look at the below diagram, Web 2.0 is currently in Gartners “Trough of Disillusionment”. Though it almost sounds like some type of business purgatory, it will emerge within two years to have a transformational impact, as companies steadily gain more experience and success with both the technologies and the cultural implications-according to Gartner. If you cannot get excited about how Web 2.0 is transforming the web and the way we utilize it, then you just might not be geeky enough. That’s ok though, there are enough of us out there that truly are “giddy” about the direction we’re heading.

The next area that Gartner feels is about to explode is Social computing platforms — you’d have to be living in a cave on the island of Fiji to not suspect that consumer-oriented social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, are causing companies of all sizes to evaluate the role that these sites, or various components of these sites, including their enterprise sized brethren, might do to transform and elevate the way that they currently communicate and do business. What’s more, the individual components and their ilk are forcing people to re-think what it means to be social, to re-evaluate what communities are all about, and how all of this can change the way we might interact with each other in the future.

If it hasn’t been obvious to this point what would be on Gartner list, its Microblogging— Thanks to Twitter specifically, and Plurk and Friendfeed to a lesser degree, microblogging is the new kid on the block in the world of social networking. But if microblogging is the new kid, it’s the new kid who can hit the ball out of the ballpark the first time he picks up a bat. The potential has already been leveraged by some pockets of the online community such as social media marketers and PR people, but it is also slowly being adopted by some forward thinking leading-edge companies who are using it to communicate with its customers, and employees. It’s becoming and will become another viable tool in a companies quest to engage it’s customer, communicate with the customer and brand their products more effectively.

Lastly, I’m going to lump 2 together. Corporate Blogging and Social Network Analysis I think that corporations, because of the advent of Web 2.0 technologies and the emergence of social networks and their niches, are starting to realize the importance of communicating like they never have before. We throw around the word transparency and I think it has never been more self evident what the upside can be to these organizations. As soon as Corporations can get a handle on the how’s and the why’s of blogging, they will be well served to incorporate it into their marketing mix. My suggestion would be to start with the book Naked Conversations.

Social Network Analysis is a natural extension of Web 2.0,  social computing platforms and microblogging. Because we are in the realtive infancy of these aformentioned technologies, the measurement of these is still as well, in it’s early stages. Analyzing the impact, the ROI, the level of engagement, the depth, the reach, the frequency, the conversations, the numbers- of social networks is something we talk about every day. An example of a company that does monitors social media would be Radian 6. As social networks continue to mature, look for this aspect as well to become robust and very vertical and very in demand.

So take a look at the diagram below, which ones get you excited to be in this space?

Social Media slides you can relate to

For the sake of virgin ears, the actual title of this slide presentation is “What the F**K is Social Media”? and I wish I could have taken credit for this but it came from alisa leonard hansen’s blog site titled Socialized or thewebissocial,  which came from Marta Kagan take your pick. Subscribe to both their sites, they both have a good take on whats up. Though I am down with Marta’s genius. Per this, it’s amazing as you work through the slides how large the numbers are and yet how they ( social networks and social media per se) have not even scatched the surface.

The top social networks this month, MySpace still dominates..

You know, we don’t talk about MySpace the way we used to. At least I don’t. Perhaps because there are so many great social media stories out there since MySpace came on the scene. One thing though you cannot ignore is MySpace traffic.  the bottom line being that MySpace receives a massive amount of visits; In addition to receiving over 25% more visits-per-visitor a month than Facebook, the site jumped to 72 million unique visitors in June, generating over 1.3 billion total visits. That, my friends, is a lot of traffic.

With that being said, lets look at the numbers as compiled by our friends over at Compete these numbers might seem a little out of whack, but they base the rankings on amount of attention as well as traffic. Thats why some might appear to have more traffic than others. the bottom 10 have more of an ethnic diverse, niche like quality than the top 10 as well.

But given the rush to crank out a social networking group these days, being ranked anywhere in the top 20 is not such a bad thing. It may actually mean you’re making money!

  1. Myspace with over 72 million visitors per month.
  2. Facebook with 22 million visitors
  3. Bebo with 3.5 million
  4. Tagged with 3.3 million
  5. BlackPlanet with 1.9 million visitors
  6. myYearbook with 2.89 million visitors
  7. hi5 had 2.98 million visitors
  8. Classmates had 11 million visitors
  9. Friendster had 1.3 million visitors
  10. Xanga had 3.7 million visitors
  11. Orkut, intrestingly enough had 460,000, but was ranked 11th.
  12. Asiantown came in at 147,949 visitors
  13. Flixter had 3 million visitors
  14. Migente had 1.2 million visitors
  15. Reunion tracked 6.2 million visitors
  16. Quepasa had 177,000 visitors
  17. Tickle had 2.1 million
  18. Piczo had 660,000 visitors
  19. Multiply had 656,000 visitors and last but ceratinly not least and somewhat surprising is
  20. Linkedin at 1.4 million visitors

How many of you have been to these sites and have given them a test drive? Which user interface makes sense? Which do you see continuing to grow and which do not have a snowballs chance in hell? Personally, I may check out Multiply, the rest I am somewhat familiar with, with the exception of the hispanic sites. I am surprised as well by where Orkut is. With summer being a time when we spend more time outside than in, lets regroup in September and see where we’re at.

The funnel theory with social networks

 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.

Social Diversity on Social Networks

First, let me talk about how I just tried to publish this and poof it was gone, so I am having to rewrite it. But it’s also giving me more time to think about whether social diversity exists online in social networks. My gut reaction is that online social networks are direct reflections of the offline world and thus we run with our own pack and very seldom do we like to step out of the bubble. Heres a quick test: Try doing a search on social diversity in social networks, there are no results or better yet, nothing with any substance. 

Although in doing an initial search, I did come across an interesting site called Mixyourworlds. The title should say it all but Mixyourworlds goal is to “put the fun back in racial profiling”. I say that tongue in cheek but they are dead serious. Mixyourworlds wants to help its members create diverse friend groups while helping them realize and change their racial biases. In fact it’s tagline is “Can racial profiling be fun?”

A noble if not challenging task to say the least. Especially when there are many many other larger, more well known social networks out there. Yes but are they diverse? That’s tough to say. But interestingly enough, when searching for friends on Facebook for example, you cannot search based on race. And why should you? or should you? I understand the premise. We want you to search on people not race, creed, or color.  Which means that you can search on people, just people… People with like minded interests but who may have a different skin color or ethnic background. You won’t know until you see their picture. Then you’ll make your snap or accelerated decision.

 But if we like to hang with people who are like us, another question arises, Do mixed race, mixed ethnicity relationships work better in social networks? Do they have a better chance of making it?

They do if the social network is niche based. They might have a better chance to flourish. Businessweek broaches the subject in the Rise of Niche Social Networks But really what we are talking about are 2 types of social networks here. We’re talking about the pasty white networks that are Facebook and MySpace and then all of the “other” social networks. Mixyourworlds’s “racial profiling” for instance, comes from tracking the make-up of users’ friends on the site and pointing out racial attraction preferences and biases. So if your looking to expand your social base beyond what MySpace and Facebook offer, then the thinking is that “yes there are plenty of other niche sites out there to meet exactly what you are looking for”. I know that is a direct conflict in trying to create a harmonious online social networking experience, but that may be more of a reflection of 21st century society than we care to admit.

After thinking about this long and hard, I decided to throw the question out to my Linkedin colleagues a few weeks ago.  The question wasn’t geared towards diversity in social networks per se, but you will understand the context as you read further. Here was the question:

Can social networking help the poor and the disadvantaged?

On the surface social networking seems to be reaching the far corners of the universe. But are the poor, the disadvantaged and even minorities, operating on an even playing field? Do class distinctions hold steady even in social networks?

One of the better answers came from Jason Breed from Neighborhood America:

Good question. I will answer in a couple of ways.
1. I’m making a couple of assumptions – it seems the spirit of your question is genuine and I do not believe you are trying to insight any prejudice or tensions by grouping anything together, you simply want to know if and where social nets are leveling the playing field and are there still inequities. the other assumption is that by “social networking” you are referring to digital social networking. In both of these cases, I”ll give you some examples where it has worked.
2. Case Studies (and a couple of different ways to think about it) – MOBILE – adidas has a campaign running “Basketball is a Brotherhood” targeted to basketball players at the street level or street-ballers. there is a mobile component to this campaign that lets you interact with any of the 5 sponsored players like T-Mac, KG, Chauncey Billups, etc. They have received over 100k people who have opted in via mobile that is a series of ongoing interactions. Consider Mobile as a way to engage populations who are less likely to be online or who want to connect whenever, however they want to.
The second example is the Government (believe it or not). Specifically working in the Miami area, the transportation department is mandated to reach out to citizens and provide fair access to information on any project and specifically on a road project that spanned 7 different neighborhoods of varying socio-economic and demographic residents. Using the web, the department was able to create dialogue with residents who were comfortable using the web in this way. The benefit is they were able to focus their limited amount of employees to meet face-to-face with more of the people who did not want to communicate via the web. This is in-direct however very effective use of social media in the gov sector. Who would have thought, right? I have dozens of other examples too. Hope this helps.

A great response that touches on a few points there. The most important being that social diversity can exist on may levels in online social networks, and is and can be accessible by more than just the privledged, affluent, white middle and upper class. Tom Ford, CEO of Town Connect puts it more succintly:

Interesting question. The public Internet and sites like MySpace remove economic, class and social barriers. Since anyone with internet access can interact with anyone else with Internet access.  People are communicating online with others that they would never interact with offline.

In the U.S, class distinctions are determined by wealth, income, education, and type of occupation.

Although Linked In enables greater interaction between classes (CEOs connecting with entry level workers) it still remains a social network for educated, higher income, knowledge workers.

Facebook began as a network for class distinction based on education – each university was their own network. The students at Harvard weren’t friending the kids at Podunk State in rural U.S. Today, networks are still established based on class distinctions – corporate, geographic, etc.

Our research and experience with TownConnect indicates people feel safest in social networks in their local community and with those they know. The class distinction in our network is based on where you live- which implies a level of income. Online social networks are mirrors of offline social networks, just accelerated.

Accelerated relationships. Couldn’t have said it any better than that. So do accelerated relationships promote the possibility of social diversity? No, if anything they imply that you make a quicker decision based on quick touch points, like ASL. People cut to the chase online and probablly as much do the same when reading profiles. You read a profile, you look for certain things. If you do not have access to a profile then what do you do, you look at a picture. Then you are going to make a decision based on that picture and nothing else. Looks like an accelerated decision is at hand.

Bottom line, social diversity in social networks probably has a better chance of succeeding online than it does offline since you can go out of the hood without the usual fear and backlash that accompanies someone who does the same in the offline world. Bottom line: We choose to run with our own pack even in the online world.

 

 

 


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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