And That's A Wrap
I thought this article was interesting. For those of you who are too lazy to click through to it, it more or less talks about ditching the effort of amassing large social network followers to use sites like Twitter and Facebook to solely connect with people you know.
In reality, most social network users probably limit their engagement to friends and family, unless they’re out hustling a brand or what not. To hear someone in business (journalist) say they’re shifting their use is interesting. It’s not surprising, though.
Social networks are really just message boards, which are just web forums, which are just chat rooms, and a quick Google search of any of those three terms will lead to the fact that things like Twitter and Facebook have existed on the internet since it was born. It was actually one of the first applications on the platform — user groups of very early internet adopters gathered, met, fought, left, etc. just like you see social network users doing today.
In fact, I built my first startup in 2004 leveraging a handful of various social networks at the time. None of them were named Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or YouTube because none of them except MySpace existed before 2005.
But such things did exist and users were as active, robust and powerful. I have seen swarms of people crash sites and clean out merchandise like locusts in minutes dating back to as early as 2002. The only difference? The sites were niche, and mostly women’s though there were plenty of men’s as well. 2005 marked the first time social networking blew up to mainstream, mass market consumer use — that was MySpace. It forever changed the future and moved millions of people to the early stages of adopting communications functionality on the internet platform.
It did not change, however, that we’re in a second iteration of the internet’s proliferation as a communications and information delivery platform, and in the first one (‘web 1.0’) social networks were alive and well. In fact, not only were they present but hold a lot of clues and insight to how users move and will likely behave in the future to come. For example, during 1.0 social network sites would swell in numbers, influencers would arise, people would meet in real life, etc. — and then in time, users would start to long for smaller groups, and weed out those they don’t know. Just like we’re starting to see now.
The ability to create small groups within your social network is one of the most noted feature of Google+. There will be all kinds of other shifts and changes in the coming years. A good majority of those we’ll see will be repeats from social network use during web 1.0.
It might not seem like it today, but we’re in the midst of an end of an era, and the start of a new one. Hot stuff!