The Social

The internet is a social place. You meet people, share things, you “talk” without having to talk. The irony, of course, is that if you’re not very social in real life, you can still get your social fix in cyberspace and a lot of people do exactly that. Good for them.

But there’s too much irony going on. This starts with Facebook. And I enjoyed it for a while and I’m still there but I’m not sure how much I enjoy it anymore. Then came Twitter and to me, this space was something I “got” right away. I get most of my news there, I’ve met countless people though it (even if I’ve never physically met many of them) and have made new friends and, of course, I do my writing thing, which has exploded into something I could never have foreseen. There’s Tumblr but I never got into it, for whatever reason, and so never joined. I’m on Goodreads, a social space for booklovers. I’m on VYou, which is social media with video. (You can see some of the places I’ve hitched my hat on the links page at the bottom of the home page.) I’m on Instagram, the photo sharing site. On Quora. Then Google, trying once again to become bigger than it already is, brought out Google+. This is still new and I’m there too, and I’m trying that out.

I just signed up for webdoc. Which seems like Tumblr but for adults. Maybe. I’m also on A Small World. I’m very social. Perhaps overly so.

For what? At what point does all of this become too much? I guess that’s the question being asked, especially on the eve of Google+ going from invitation only to open to all. How social do we want or need to be? What’s the tipping point? Why are all these spaces separate from each other? Shouldn’t I have some master social page and then post and chose where I want to post it? Is the internet heading back to the day of the different gated communities all trying to blow each other up? I mean, isn’t Google big enough already?

Just asking.

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9 Comments

  1. Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Despite assertions to me by people, I think G+ will attract techies and those who aren’t very social.

    1) Techies don’t much care about UI. G+ is FriendFeed Mark 2. Think about a G+ with hundreds to Follow, as with Twitter. Can’t Be Done.

    2) Those who aren’t really social can set up low-velocity Circles on G+ and ignore what’s really social for the rest of us.

    webdoc I think will explode once people understand what they can do with it. I don’t count webdoc as social despite the Twitter/Tumblr-like Follow thing.

    • Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

      I’m spread too thin. I’d rather listen well in a few places than not listen in a lot of places.

    • Posted July 14, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      I could never get into Tumblr and I’m afraid I won’t get into Google +. I mean, it has such an awful name. Really, it’s name is “+.” And that’s not really a name. It’s two sticks in a pile. Ah, man.

      And since I always contradict myself, I did update my Google + account and post one status update.

      They should have let the fabulous Mike Cane or Arjun Basu name it.

      Just saying.

  2. Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    It’s all going to come together. The question is when.

  3. Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised you didn’t like tumblr. I LOVE it but perhaps I’ll check out webdoc. I enjoyed reading. Thanks and see ya at twitter.

  4. Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    This has been happening ever since man established society in a formal sense. Things go from one to another and there is an explosion! And finally some tweeks here and there, with integration of things that ought to be together happens to restore purpose.
    So we have to just wait and witness that this time also.

  5. Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I think you’re right to bring this up; lots of people are probably thinking about this question again after the launch of G+. I agree with Mike’s comments, but I think this raises a larger question of whether new features like circles really address our needs for socializing with different groups of people.

    I’ve turned my first thoughts about this into a post: http://wellpreparedmind.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/spending-time-on-too-many-social-sites-ur-doing-it-wrong/

    I’d love to hear what you think.

  6. MindChirp
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh My Lord, To thee I pray
    De-addict me from virtual world, I beg to say
    Excessive social networking, I keep at bay
    Let no new platforms come my way
    In open fields with my kids & friends
    I just want to run & play

    – @mindchirp

  7. Posted July 16, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I think there are two main reasons for main two types of social networks.
    1. There is a limit on how many books/movies/questions/X you can read/watch/ask/Y. That’s why (plus no.2 below) niche social networks does get cult following but not anywhere Facebook-big or even Twitter-big.

    2. Global brands like Facebook or Google are creating social networks basically for broadcast model. That’s where the big money is. Facebook wants you to open as much as possible. Google+ is doing similar because their entire (and genius) business model is based on openness of “others”.

    The issue with these two models (niche and general) is that the center is not *you*. There are some *things* you want to experience. That’s why you want to go different social networks. And because you are not at the center you want to go try something else as you bore out. Add, too, that humans want to try different things sometimes. We try to apply this “you are the center” idea in our start-up.

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