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.