Social networks are like lawns with dandelion problems. They’re very nice, and hopefully well-maintained – but those weeds!
I’ve joined quite a few now, primarily out of curiosity. The value is clear, at least to me, in the better ones. Being connected is a good thing, and finding new people with similar interests, hobbies, careers and so on can be very helpful.
But good grief – the noise!
I finally signed up for MySpace – they launched a Canadian version yesterday and, given that it’s the biggest one out there (not the Canadian version, but the whole deal), I decided to sign up to get familiar with it. It’s too early to tell but my gut reaction is: very good tool, pretty well designed, not a great deal of value for me.
I think size kills value – that’s my guess. There is just so much, and so many people, that pretty soon I think you end up spending most of your time trying to crawl your way through all the “stuff” and people to find what and who you want. Take music for example. I’d say something like 95% or more of what I see there is stuff I don’t give a monkey’s behind about. Same with film.
I still find my own blogs to be of much greater value to me. And my own address book. And my Gmail account. Yes, it’s much smaller. And yes, there is likely a great deal I miss. But … well, I’m okay with that.
However, I’ll still stick with MySpace, Facebook and all the others. You never know when a light bulb will go off and I’ll see a way of getting more from them. And it’s never a bad idea to keep up with what everyone else seems to be doing, if only to remain informed.