Judging young net companies by their current state and making that an immutable
“It is not the social network sites that are interesting — it is the social network itself”
This is just one of the sorts of quips I have read lately on the state of affairs on the net.
On the positive side is a basic importance of the social graph. It would seem somehow we have rediscovered the meaning of our connections in our lives [the number of research, articles and blogs on it]. We’re addicted to the activity that tells us we matter. Social networking provides the means to count our value in other ways than money and show it like peacocks to all and sundry.
Yes I would agree that most, if not all of the social network sites are rather mundane today and do not offer much value nor focus to make them part of the lives of the members, beyond counting the said ‘I matter’ points.
I read some research on the percentages of social network member revisits over the last 12 months [looking for the research]. The numbers were surprising – around 60-70% of the members had NOT been back to facebook as an example. Do we read about large unique visitor numbers as there are new people joining, or? Within the top ten Yahoo and MSN tended to have better revisitation numbers. Even adding all kinds of applications onto these sites at a rapid pace does not really solve the problem, perhaps it just adds to it.
The quote, taken as it is, suggests that social networking sites are without merit or purpose and it is only what the social graph(s) make of it. Comments which seem to suggest that innovation ended about a few years ago get to me.
A survey on plaxo education group showed results from a survey asking how many social networking sites might survive beyond 2012 and the results are an interesting mixture of views on where social networking is going. Out of 521 votes 1 says 1 and 1 says 2, 92 say 2-6, 73 say 6-10, 83 say 10-100, 62 say 100-1000, 98 say 1000+, 15 say none, 96 people believe social networks will be transformed into something else. I found this today and it pretty well sums it up.
Social networking is old for humanity and it is young on the net and there is plenty of work to do before the dust settles on social networking sites.
I would be interested in finding out more from the social network owners on their actual numbers. When I find the research on revisits I’ll post a link to that.