Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Save social networking for all our sakes

So is this how it ends? A media journalist and blogger has declared January 30, 2008 International Delete Your MySpace Account Day, through, what else, but his Facebook space (check out the logo).

Is it just the rallying cry of Facebookers asking fellow citizens to abandon a competitor’s platform in a brand war to rival some of our biggest this century, like Pepsi versus Coke, Macca’s versus Burger King, Windows versus Mac or Britney Spears versus the real world?

It could be something much more sinister – the beginning of the end for the social.

Spam and a continuous stream of friends’ requests from friend harvesters and bots that crawl social platforms looking for names are cited as the reason to pull stumps on your MySpace account. But won’t that only increase the problem for the rest of us? Everyone pulls out of MySpace, then Live Spaces goes next and then all the spam comes to Facebook and then we might as well all pack up our pokes, superwalls, our galleries and our “which animal/colour/drug/Olsen twin/wardrobe malfunction are you” applications and go home.

For the upcoming February edition of Marketing magazine we discovered just how luke warm marketers are on social networks despite the fact the networks are meant to be a total engagement platform. And lets face it no matter how open source/creative commons/'you make a buck I make a buck' we are all feeling these days, no one is going to keep these things going if there is never any business model.

So please, do your bit to save social networks or beware of the alternative: we might have to start talking to our social network in person, like in real life. Oh the humanity. You'll remember when making friends involved, actually making friends.

Social networks have shortcutted all that for us.

Here's what it would loook like in the real world: you walk in to a room full of people and move from one to another as fast as you can saying in a robotic voice, "add me as a friend, add me as a friend, add me as a friend, who else are your friends? Oh them over there, ok thanks ... add me as a friend..."

You get the picture.

Disclaimer, the contributor has a healthy FaceBook habit...(add me as a friend)