Friday, November 2, 2007

Social Network Exhaustion

I've been using Yahoo 360 as my main social networking site these days, but Yahoo is going to eventually phase it out. My problem isn't that 360 is going away or moving to a new system. It's where to go. I've been watching where all my 360 friends are moving to, and I can't say that there is really one compelling place to go. Everybody is drifting off to different social networking destinations, like LiveJournal, HoverSpot, and others. The places that I'm currently at are:

* Facebook (but I'm not really active here)
* MySpace (but very out of date - haven't been there in a long, long time)
* Blogger (You're reading this here)
* U R Not Alone (but I'm not terribly active there)
* A few others not worth listing...

My concerns about places like these, especially MySpace, is the ownership of what we post. I want to own whatever I say. I'm afraid that any of these places will try to assert ownership of whatever I post on them. And the more of these social networks I join, the more time I have to spend just checking up on what's going on in them. Frankly, I'm suffering from social network exhaustion at this point.

I've been tempted to just put up my own web site, but how do I get people to visit it? What's great about social network sites is having people find you while they're looking for other things or people (and vice-versa). But - there's no doubt about who owns what code.

What's interesting to me is Google's Open Social initiative - having a bunch of API's that will allow these social networks to interoperate with each other. It's a nice idea, but I don't know if it's going to get enough social networks to join. (Orkut is Google's network, so it's part of OpenSocial, but apart from Brazil it's not really all that popular. MySpace is supposedly interested in joining this, too, but, again, I worry about them and copyright.). And isn't this a little of what Yahoo is proposing with their new Mash web site? Don't know, though, because Mash is an invitation-only beta.

So I'm still here in my Blogger blog and on 360 for a while. I might join LiveJournal, but only because that seems to be where most of my friends have gone. LiveJournal is so yesterday, though, and the interface is kind of awkward to use.

*Sigh* So hard to figure this out.