Webometric Thoughts

March 14, 2008

Yesterday big day for SNS, but what about tomorrow?

Filed under: Bebo,MySpace,Social Networking Sites,web innovation — admin @ 8:42 am

Yesterday saw a couple of big social network stories:
MySpace launched developer platform in beta
Bebo bought by AOL for $850 million
Whilst we have been waiting for the MySpace story for months, the second was heralded with much less fanfare. Together the two stories mark final growing-up of SNS.

The big three have now all been bought (at least in part) and all have developer platforms. They are no longer new and exciting, but rather an integrated part of the web users’ daily lives. Whilst there may be new entrants and new exciting innovations, the heady days are past us. The question now is what is going to be the next big innovation? What will be the next exciting range of products that get the big players fighting over the start-ups? The obvious answer is the virtual worlds of Second Life etc, but they have yet to really capture people’s interest in the same way…and if EA-land is anything to go by they won’t for a while yet.

If I knew the next big idea I wouldn’t be writing some crumby blog, instead I would be programming like crazy. But if you know where I should be investing my spare sixpence please feel free to let me know.

Nb. In truth I wouldn’t be programming, instead I would be getting others to program for me. Too much wrapping up of programming and web innovation stifles innovation.

February 20, 2008

Bridgend and Bebo

Filed under: Bebo,Brigend,Social Networking Sites — admin @ 12:21 pm

In the last year 17 young people in Bridgend have committed suicide, and such a cluster is, unsurprisingly, getting the interest of the press. Possibly more surprising is the interest that is being given to social networking sites. For the most part it has been mentioned as an aside, i.e., the youngsters were members of the social networking site Bebo, although it seems that certain newspapers are beginning to build up a head of steam…and it’s not surprising that the Daily Express is beginning to look like one of the first to lose the plot.

Today the Daily Express have roped in ‘psychologist and novelist’ (alternatively “writer, psychotherapist, and media commentator”) Lucy Beresford to explain how:
“What could be going on is that adolescents are sharing and describing experiences on the internet…People of this age tend to be very imitative…The experiences they describe are toxic, rather than in my day when you might be influenced by magazines like Smash Hits.”
Yes, in my day the world was full of balloons, chocolate, candy floss, little puppies, and butterflies, and it has all gone to hell since the demise of Smash Hits and the rise of means of communication that allow us to share our ‘toxic’ feelings.

I am expecting a follow-up that proves that:
1) social networking sites killed Princess Diana*
2) social networking sites encourage immigration to the UK by lazy benefit cheats

*nb. Princess Diana dies in 1997, the same year as sixdegrees.com was launched…spooky.

October 10, 2007

Is the UK Networking or Wilfing?

Filed under: Bebo,MySpace,comScore,facebook — admin @ 7:44 am

The latest research from comScore finds U.K. social networking site usage to be the highest in Europe. Whilst the UK users average 5.8 hours per month (with the heavy users’ average being 22 hours per month), the average hours per user in Germany is only 3.1 hours and in France 2.0 hours. There are two ways of viewing these result:
1) UK residents are using social networking sites to share ideas, collaborate, and come up with innovative ideas, and increased use of social networking sites will help economic growth.
2) UK residents are merely wilfing, aimlessly surfing the internet with little or no purpose (from the phrase ‘what was I looking for), and is of little productive use.

Whilst the press release lacks details on which social networking sites are being used (LinkedIn use seems likely to be more productive than MySpace), I fear that the majority of use is likely to be the big three generic sites (i.e., MySpace, Bebo, and Facebook), and people’s surfing habits have changed from aimlessly surfing the whole web to aimlessly surfing/interacting with their social network communities. Whilst I am sure that our fellow Europeans will soon catch up, I don’t think it will be something that they’ll be boasting about.

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