Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Social Networking Explosion

Last couple of years has witnessed an explosion of Social Networking starting out with Friendster, MySpace and Facebook. These three received considerable attention due to the large following, and the mega-acquisition of MySpace by Rupert Murdoch.

Is it hype or real? I don’t know, but I am skeptical about the true value of these social networks. Are we getting pulled into Virtual Worlds, blending or rather bending reality? My background is completely tech-oriented and even then (having access to the Internet, mobile or wired) mostly stayed away from Instant Messaging & Online Chats (which I would consider as major pre-cursors to the Social Networks). Point being, I really wonder what’s going on. Businesses going crazy to have real estate in Second Life (it has its own currency!), and making widgets for Facebook.

In any case, I have decided to get my feet wet or should I say virtually wet…

I have built out my profile on LinkedIn (Disclaimer: had an account for almost 2 years or so), publishing my pictures on Flickr (Had the account for year or so but started using it frequently) and sharing my passion for Books on Shelfari. LinkedIn is pure professional networking but it has helped me locate my classmate from my Middle School in India J and that was amazing, bumping into somebody after almost 20 years! Flickr is more of an outlet for my creative side and Shelfari is an expression of something I love to – read.

Last but not the least, Wikipedia is NOT a social networking site, BUT it is the “Britannica” of the Virtual World, and very powerful tool. I bring it up because I would classify Wikipedia as a Network of Communities contributing their expertise. And it has a great list of Social Network Services!

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