Sunday, July 8, 2007

35 Perspectives on Social Networks

I'm sure historians will be analyzing and re-analyzing the social network phenom for years to come, so I thought I would pass this along as a possible preview of what's to come.

I'm fairly sure that most of those "perspectives" are little more than the musings of a researcher with a bit too grant money to go around. Some are downright over-the top and probably there for no reason other than to get bwoggers like me to link the article. For example:

The body and sex perspective
Social networking sites are sexual playgrounds for young people where they portray themselves in a provocative or soft porn-style manner. It is all about appearance and body making the youngsters superficial and shallow.

Keep that in mind when you're building your LinkedIn network, fellow entrepreneurs!

Others may deserve a second look. Check out:

The branding perspective
Social networking sites are places where young people learn the mechanism of branding and learn to sell and brand themselves in a positive manner.

The growing intersection of the individual and the brand will be a running theme in my writings here. Most humans possess some natural marketing talent... that which is needed to conduct normal social interactions and keep up physical appearance. However, online social networking presents the opportunity for the individual to coalesce into the brand through multiple sites, profiles and an expansive online presence.

Also interesting:

The surveillance perspective
Social networking sites are surveillance. Everything young people write online are saved and can be used (against them) by marketing people, future employers and so on.

While probably a bit narrowly defined, it is worth noting that individuals are getting increasingly adept at displaying more and more of their private lives. So on and so forth. If you're reading this blog, the trend is probably old news. But it's certainly one worth understanding.

- Brad


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