I came across a brief blog post titled “Social Networking – Do you do it?“. While the context of the question in that post was more along the lines of “Do you use social networking to promote your products and servers, and drive more traffic towards your site?“, it got me thinking. And, as usual, in a somewhat different direction.
If we are to ask “Social Networking – Do you do do it?” to a large Internet crowd, what sort of responses would we get? I guess, the majority will be somewhere in between “No” and “What’s social networking?“. I think that the majority of people on the Web have no idea of what social networking is, where to find it, and if they are using it already or if they should use it at all. And I also think that the majority of Web population do use social networking, either for their personal or business purposes.
Examples from the top of my head include LiveJournal.com – the most popular blogging platform in Russia, Flickr – one of the most popular image sharing services, YouTube – the most popular video sharing service, Odnoklassniki.ru – the most popular (in Russia) social network for people to find and communicate with their class mates, and a few other, similar services. A huge chunk of their userbase have no idea that these services are a part of social networking. “Oh, no, I don’t do no social networking. I use this web site to communicate with some of my friends and share blah blah blah“.
And I’m not sure if we need to push the term “social networking” any further. We are humans. That what humans do – social networks. Give us a communication tool and we’ll start networking with it. Then, instead of asking us if we use the tool for social networks, just ask us how we use it. Yeah.
4 thoughts on “Social Networking – Do you know that you do it?”
Great article, though I disagree a little bit. I think you are correct in saying that most people don’t realize that they are indeed using social networks when using Youtube, Livejournal, etc, I DO believe people understand it when it comes to the likes of Facebook and Myspace. I think you would be surprised by how many people are familiar with this term, all because of the dominance of those two sites….just my opinion though. :)
Well, probably you are right about MySpace and Facebook. These have a large userbase and “social networking” attached strongly to them. Which other sites do? The only one other that I can think of is del.icio.us, since it was one of the early ones and was too often described and “social bookmarks”.
Great post, ‘coz it is really stupid to ask people somthing like Do you breath? or Do you wash face every day?
However, I absolutely agree with Jennifer that it under-estimation to assume that most people do not understand nowadays, what social netwoking is?
I get very confused when I log into Facebook, and I realize that while there is a lot of people out there who just loves to ‘poke’, throw a beer, and have cute icons littered around their pages… , there are people like me who cannot mentally assemble the various pieces to form a perfect picture..
Thinking about it, I feel that it might be the problem with all the cross linking.. and accessing the same item from different pages.. as if there is no ‘right path’ to a certain page to follow everytime…. Hence while I hear the term social networking night and day, I hardly ever participate in them..
Am I the only one ?