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Social Networks Are Taking Over The Web

Jun 11, 2008
The word on the street lately is that social networking is in trouble. Networking site MySpace is, for all intents and purposes, the only successful site, with more than $20 million in ad sales this year and plenty of long-staying subscribers.

Social network fatigue is getting worse with every new site that comes along and it doesn't have to. In the very near future, you won't go to social networking sites to interact with your friends, every single site will have social networking built in, Web 2.0 is here.

Social networking has a lot of problems as both a business and a cultural phenomenon. To start with there is generally no true business model. This can vary a bit from application to application but most are vying simply for eyeballs and hoping for Google ads to pay the bills until some large firm make them an acquisition offer they can't refuse.

Web 2.0 is about to be distilled down to the corporate space level, allowing employees to interact with each other in a similar way as members of a social networking site. However, instead of sharing information about movie stars, music genres and cool websites, users share information about work related matters, such as projects and staff skill sets.

Social networking is laboring under the inescapable weight of the dot-com curse (you have to find the money). No matter how cool your idea is, it's dead on arrival without an actual business plan. At least, that's the theory. If that's true, though, why has blogging, which seems like a neat idea dependent on interest but without a concrete revenue stream, managed to not just thrive, but really dominate the Web.

Social networks are this year's "next big thing." Facebook is so hot that it's theoretically valued at $15 billion. Because it has allegedly reinvented something huge: the way human beings interact in their social cliques and circles. With the advancement in technology and the ability for every web site to become a social networking site, it all can only get bigger.

One of the great advantages of social networking services is that they significantly reduce the effort of keeping in touch with friends and keeping contacts updated. This allows users to share and backup content when they are on the move, share calendars, and to make it clear when they are available for a phone call. Enabling consumers to automatically communicate their location to their contact base is a risky move, and one which is meeting with initial resistance due to privacy concerns.

There is a lot to be said about web2.0, as networks develop so does the information about you get easier to obtain, your habits and the type of people you hang with. So you need to be carefull of posting photos of you and your semi-clad friends boozing it up late at night could sink your chances with a prospective employer, who will no doubt be snooping around for this very type of incriminating evidence. But the good far outweighs the bad. No doubt all the blog, Facebook and MySpace mentions are helping.

What will likely happen to social networking is that some applications will survive on a more modest basis than now, others will morph into some new next big thing. True hard-core social networkers will jump to more advanced technologies that eliminate the riff-raff. In the meantime, 70 percent or so of most social networking functionality, (the really useful functionality) will be sucked into the dominant social networks like MSN and Yahoo.
About the Author
Gav Shannon is a Network Marketing Professional who writes about different topics that he feels may be of an interest.If You want to know more about him go to http://www.gavshannon.com
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