Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Some interesting developments have occurred on the social network scene. If you're on any of the sites heavily, you'll notice each are making some screw-ball changes that uproar the community. It seems that each social network site that gets too big makes a major sloppy decision that marks the beginning of the end of the power-tool website. Prokofy calls it "jumping the shark" in regards to Twitter. I call it selling out. Same difference in these situations. It seems to always be the same scenario:
1) Site is used, site is highly awesome, giving away new net tools for free, site is spread
2) Many more people use, Site becomes popular
3) Site becomes mainstream as more powerful features are added
4) Site owners change specific features, limit abilities that were the initial cause of making the site popular, or change the layout, or offer an IPO, or change advertising features, etc
5) Active user base goes into an uproar threatening to quit forever. Through using the company's own social network against them, the user community boycotts and protests.
6) User numbers drop as corporations move in.
7) Site ends up still popular, however the tech geeks and power users have moved on to what is the next most powerful thing.... the thing that we'll all be on soon (Friendfeed for example).
A Social Network site reaches skyrocketing popularity when it's a 'for the people, by the people' site. Once the company goes all Republican, and starts catering to the corporations, or the elite users, or the payola users, the social network site that was once blossoming, get turned into an advertising spam farm mixed with teenagers wasting time (a la myspace). UPDATE: Aliza Sherman of the Web Worker Daily has this to say on the Growing Feedback Fiasco of Twitter and the general social networks 'company versus user base'.
I could be wrong, but I am predicting Twitter's peak was April 2009, and will head down fast just as Myspace did. However, right now, it's powerful, and the #1 most important currently.
Facebook has been battling with itself trying to become the new new new Facebook.
Meanwhile, FriendFeed is morphing into a twitter + facebook, however, it's only good in theory right now and not practical to use. It is very fast with it's real time spout of information though.
Youtube completely sold out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V025E_b5I4g
And of course Second Life (www.SecondLife.com) is dealing with a major shift because of new adult content terms & bot terms. That, plus the recent SL viewers and SL experience has been subpar lately.
But we still love em all, and use em all....
For right now, May 2009, here's what I recommend for the time-constrained web 2.0 user:
Use Twitter to its full potential. Right now Twitter is HOT, and using it to your needs WORKS right now, while the userbase is heavy and active. You may even want to consider twitter as another option to Google. With twitter, you can search for current news and info faster than google can bookmark it.
Sign up for Facebook. (make sure to sign up using your real name) Use it when you want. Facebook is your new myspace. It's good to have a facebook profile, even if you don't want to actively use it. Set it up to give yourself the full potential. Use the tools, and don't get sucked into the stupid invite games.
Sign up for FriendFeed and set it up. It's okay if you don't use it. Set it up to aggregate your status updates. This is your backup in case Twitter fails.
Sign up for Koinup (the virtual world photography and video social network). The users are bubbling with activity. Plus I believe Yahoo's Flickr will never be anything more than it is now. New photo and video sharing sites are much more powerful than Flickr.
Sign up for LinkedIn.com. Put a professional business profile up.
Plurk is a dud.... but sign up to it anyway. The Second Life user base on Plurk is HEAVY.
Use Tr.im as your link shortener.
Use Twitter and Digg for breaking news, and interesting articles/finds of the web.
Music: Reverbnation.com | (http://www.reverbnation.com/bradreason)
Sends and Receives through Facebook and Twitter
Don't forget about the upcoming virtual world: Metaplace
UPDATE: I'm keeping an eye on BLERP.... looks like the future of the internet.
Do you have an opinion about a social network site or tool that has been powerfully effective for you? Is there a popular web 2.0 site that should be mentioned? Please, post your thoughts in the comments.