presentations of the online self and social networking.
The sort of research and insightful investigation into online dating services , which is being conducted by the likes of Science Direct and New Scientists articles (Valentines Specials “Together Forever” and “The Dating Game“) and will prove valuable as to why, and how people are seeing the online space.
We know alot (1.57 billion) of people are using online tools, and have several different identities, but I have not seen or heard a clear explaination of the phychology reasons why or the incentives or return on investment on why we use social networks at this stage.
It seems to be a flimsy case of, I want to connect mixed with, well I need to get the latest application which is the feature of the media buzz.
Both good commercial cases for the companies involved, as a first to market advantage will secure them a premium similar to the heady days of the tech bubble in 2000, but where to from there?
Is the social networking model another tech bubble?
Let’s think long term strategically and get away from the doing or the reacting of paying the bills day to day, it does pay to look at where you want to be tomorrow or next week or next year from time to time.
The review of how people use dating sites, how they optimise their profiles and how a self monitoring honour system is very interesting.
How is this sort of study going to open up the insights of social networking websites?
It seems now that things are very competitive, who looks the coolest, has the coolest friends, it appears that the ROI is one of our need to belong, for popolarity and self esteem.
However, this means that in general, we see alot of photos of people looking cool, hanging with cool friends, cool clothes, cewl drinks in hand, it is a subtle PR campaign, a mutual admiration society where kind of talk up all of the members of our club, and yes we leverage this offline, we have a secret club of which we belong.
What happens if we can’t use this tool to cross over from nerdy to cool? Seems all you used to need was a few photos of you looking cool, look at any generic profile, a couple with some cute guys or gils, easy enough, just jump out on a street with your mobile, or evena picture of a celebrity to boost your kudos.
Will the herd close ranks and due the dating due diligience model, which in away reconciles the online and offline persona?
Will we get burnt by our community who see our profile as a billboard advertisment of where I want to be?
How long till the superficial surface is broken?
It feels similar to global credit crisis we are facing, the business model crashed because there was no tangible value built in, they we repackaged, BBB- rated subprime housing loans sold as CDO of a AAA rating as recently featured in the CNBC House of Cards program.
Hot property for a while, but no underlying sustaining value.
Will our use evolve as we mature and grow as individuals? Over time will we go from looking cool to dig deeper into out passions? Or will we keep up appearances via our mafia front?
What do they really do?
Sure you know what your friends are doing, but history and some of the greatest thinkers suggests that life is fundamantally the same each day, at this broad, generic level what tangible value exchange is taking place?
Is it just a splint for our ego? Is the sense of connectionand community enough to maintin loyalty to one social media network?
If it is just a sense of connection or community, we will migrate with the herd, just like the new figures out now that rate Facebook as moe popular than MySpace, what happens when the herd move a again to the next big thing?
It is so fleeting.
Are we going to have a series of digital ghost towns?
FaceBook - A digital ghost town?
The great thing is that, this stuff is several years old now, but it is the bleeding edge, we use it because our friends do.
I can’t wait for the compelling business case behind it to emerge, in actual fact we can live without it, it is not like food and shelter.
Contrast this to my iGoogle page has great value built in, has all of my news feeds, stock quote information and connects me straight to quality search results and my email, in one place, plus I do not get the SPAM friend request to join their MafiaWar (alas I am guilty or send a few) or sign up for Zombies Vs Vampires.
Say there was a global financial crisis and we can’t afford internet connections or the internet companies fail?
How does the other 3 billion people on planet earth live without it? What will their use of the tool be? Figures suggest it is going to be in the mobile space, as connect handsets FAR outway access connected computer terminals base on expensive CAPEX on infrastructre.
Will mobile dominate?
I am sure it will involve food, quality of life, education and bettering themselves, what do we use it for?
Will we revert back to true social network groups which sprang out of the like fo photography clubs where there was a tangible exchange taking place (deper connections, face to face contact and knowledge)?