social networking sucks
No really it does.
Give it 12 months and no-one will use facebook anymore.
Remember Friends re-united…?
how quickly that became… soooo dotcom dated…
then myspace… which had a more musical niche and was THE place to network with friends and pretend you knew/interacted with “celebs” and musical heros…
Hi5… Tagged… bebo… snore.
now the big “web2.0” darling is facebook… bla bla bla. YAWN.
I have 1 big issue with all of these sites, they don’t connect with any others. The reason the “get Luke on facebook” campaign will most likely fail is that I don’t see the benefit in them anymore, sure I could spend hours trying to reconnect with the same people I reconnected with on FR or MS… I could spend hours customizing my page to match my other online pages… or uploads pics there… I won’t though.
If you want to make a mint on web 2.0 stocks, find a company that connects social networking sites together, wait for them to grow ridiculously huge and then be bought up by a big company, then sell. They won’t make any real revenue by doing so, but google/newscorp/microsoft or someone will still pay a sheeeeedload for them.
YouTube… hmmm… now thats a bit different, I’ll start using that more n more (or if it gets sued to hell, then move onto whatever takes its place) for business and personal vlogs… although it does have profile pages, friends and messaging.. I think its a different platform more than other SN sites.
12 months ago I would have agreed with you Luke, more so as my experience of social networking pre-Facebook was as follows-
MySpace- looks awful, everyone just had millions of ‘friends’, annoying flashy things and automatic music every 5 minutes
Linkedin- too sanitized and not enough real functionality; needed a lot of work put in to make it work well for me
Also seen a few Bebo sites, but they look just like MySpace, maybe even worse.
A friend who is at uni showed me Facebook and I thought it sucked, just couldn’t see the point. Then I went back to it a few months later, after some emails from friends old and new, and I spent some time looking around, and from there I can honestly say it’s the best website i’ve ever used. In the past 6 months I have been able to easily keep up with new friends, know what old friends I don’t speak to often enough are up to, know exactly what my close friends are doing at the weekend, have found out about cool local events and co-ordinated where and when and how with the help of maps and invite lists and flyers. I’ve flirted with women i’ve only just met in a far more expressive way than texting; i’ve played Scrabble with strangers, and have more than once used the mobile version to fish out someone’s mobile number when out and about. MOre importantly i’ve reconnected with a load of friends a stupidly lost years ago, including one who now lives in Oz and may be planing to come over to the UK to catch up.
Everyone on there as a ‘friend’ is a friend in some way; there’s no strangers at all, and so putting my mobile number and email address is fine, as are pictures. Someone uploads a pic in my network and tags me as on it- I approve it and it gets added to my pics; don’t like it then I detag it. Either way, only people in my trusted group can see all or any of this stuff.
And even the simplest things are so much better- email with no spam, ever. EVER! No mailing lists, or online shopping promotions. Every time you get a message it’s one of your friends saying something. I hardly email my friends at all any more.
And for self-promotion it’s great. I can promote my blog on my profile, I can drive traffic to my Youtube videos, or embed videos directly into the site. I can create a group called “Get Luke on Facebook” and invite all my friends and get them to invite their friends. It would have a discussion board, its own photo album and messaging system. Events created on there could be exported to Outlook or Gmail.
Every single thing you can possibly imagine doing amogst friends is there. Want an IM app? It’s there. Countdown to Xmas? There too. Scrabble? Texas Hold ’em? Pacman? Anyone can write and submit an app. Positive link app, to list people’s goals, share them and drive traffic to PL? Easy. And forget the gaudy flashy HTML mess that is MySpace- all facebook apps share a common API meaning every page looks pretty similar; clean tidy and easy to look at and navigate.
And the site is making money, Wikipedia reports $1.5m profit a week. The site creator and majority owner, Mark Zuckerberg (only 24) turned down $975m from an unknown bidder, before Yahoo! admitted they had offered $1.2bn. MySpace sold out for $580m, Zuckerberg aint interested in all the $$ in China, he thinks Facebook could be the biggest thing on the Internet since the advert of the World Wide Web.
And this time i’m inclined to agree with him…
See ya next week- enjoyed our meet up on Monday and think it’s going to prove popular as we spread the word.
PS, just read the following;
On September 24, 2007, Microsoft was in talks with Facebook about a potential investment in the company. Microsoft’s investment would potentially value Facebook at $10 billion or more. If successful, Microsoft would invest between $300 million to $500 million for a 5% ownership in the company. Google has also expressed a competing interest to invest in Facebook. 
Fake pre-submit edit: This is slightly ranty and quite poorly written, but it’s going to have to do now, because I’ve run out of time. I don’t mean I’m going to kill myself, I just chickened out of saying that I have to go out now, bearing in mind the contents of this post. Anyway, yeah, apologies if it’s a bit hard to read.
…well, not just Facebook, but all the “social networking” (typing/hearing that makes me feel physically sick) sites. Facebook gets a namecheck because it has interrupted my own life more than any of the others.
The final straw actually came in the middle of last week. I was in a pub, and I bumped into my friend Claire:
Claire: Ahh, Gazzbox, you OK? Are you coming to our BBQ on the 19th?
Me: Yeah, definitely, it’ll be good, it’s been ages since the last one!
Claire: Oh right… you’ve not confirmed the event thingy on Facebook, that’s all…
Me: Yeah sorry, I’m almost never on there, that’s why I’ve not filled out my profile properly or anything, but don’t worry, I’m coming on the 19th, definitely, I’m really looking forward to it.
Claire: Oh OK… it’s just…
Me: You want me to click on the link on Facebook, to say I’m coming, don’t you?
Claire: Well yeah it’s just that we’re buying food and… you know, we need to know numbers, and…
Me: I’ll do it when I get home if I remember.
So, a matter of months after Facebook first came to my attention, things have got to the stage where I can’t actually confirm that I’m attending an event in real life, to the organiser’s face, like a proper human being; rather, I have to click a fucking link on fucking Facebook.
It’s not just that, though, I’ve literally lost count of how many times I’ve been annoyed by it; I am genuinely going to Email the owners and tell them to delete my account so I never get pissed off by it again. I hate everything about it, I’m actually genuinely angry as I type this, far more so than I’ve ever been whilst posting in a thread about war or religion. I suppose the other main thing which sticks out in my head as being a primary grievance is the fact that by deafault, people can see when you’ve been on there. So that automatically creates the problem whereby sometimes, you’ll have not replied to a message from someone on there, but they’ll be able to see that you have actually been on your PC and indeed logged into Facebook since receiving it; so it can seem very rude, as if you can’t be bothered to speak to the person in question. A mate recently told me how a co-worker remarked to him, albeit as a joke, “On Facebook at half 10 this morning… naughty naughty!”, and he had no idea that she even knew his full name. I said “problem” back there, but I am aware that it’s a very deliberate feature of Facebook, because as I’ve illustrated it basically makes people feel guilty for not using it obsessively. Literally centering their lives around it.
Another issue is the complete lack of any privacy or discretion. Unlike some people, I don’t want everyone else to know how pissed up I’ve been getting, where I’ve been getting pissed up, and precisely who I’ve been getting pissed up with. Sometimes it’s politics amongst friends, sometimes there can be tact issues with exes. A few weeks ago I had a snippy email from someone I used to go out with, which boiled down to “I’m offended that you didn’t contact me and invite me out with you on Friday.”. How did she know that I was out on Friday? Well, durr, because some cunt had taken photos of me on Friday, put them on Facebook, and tagged them as being me so that my image literally linked to my profile. I couldn’t believe it when I first learned about that feature. This is probably starting to sound like I’ve got something to hide, and I’m wary of provoking replies like “Lighten up a little bit, what’s the matter, ugly bastard who lies to his mates about what he gets up to the whole time, are you!?”; but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be saying what I’m saying at all, as I’ve clarifed, there are fairly regular occasions when you need to exercise at least a little bit of discretion when it comes to advertising what you’ve been up to socially.
These sites also seem like relatively creepy thinly-veiled flirting and shag-organising systems to me. Look at most peoples’ main profile bit on Facebook – Name: Dave Smith. Sex: Male. Interested in fucking: Women, up the cunt. That’s another thing which actually shocked me, the fact that they consider that to be the third most vital piece of information about members. My mate and his girlfriend of 8 years both have “Interested in: Women/Men” respectfully on theirs; and another mate, one of the most timid and polite people you’ll ever meet who is concerned chiefly with European politics, has “Interested in: Women. Looking for: Anything I can get.” on his. Basically, it makes people who I know not to be cunts, sound like cunts. Desperate needy showoff cunts who are trying badly to arrange a gloryhole wank in some Welcome Break toilets.