Sunday, May 20, 2007

Social networking

I happened to read Youthcurry on and I am surprised at the number of people that are trying their hand at it. Perhaps there is a small bubble waiting to burst here, as in travel portals. Apart from BigA, there are atleast two others Minglebox is one, Desimartini is another. I read that Minglebox is being funded by one of the VC biggies, Sequoia?

Today, most people are member of some social networking group or another, but beyond a point, especially if you are working, it is tough for anyone to be socially active on a networking site. When you are in college and if you have good broadband connections, it is fine, otherwise it is quite difficult to be active on it. Freshers in IT companies perhaps, but after a while either the company blocks the site or they move on in life. The time to get onto a social networking site is when you are in college or just starting work.

Once you are a member of orkut, perhaps Ryze, Linkedin (this site is really good - IMHO) how many more social networks can you really, seriously be a part of - unless all you do all your life is socially network?

Why would I join a network? Usually people join a network through word of mouth. You meet someone after a long time and you ask - are you on orkut - and thats how you link up. In India, as of now, social networking is mostly about not losing touch with friends. Social networking is also about how a particular generation thinks. So, a lot of the graduating class today is part of Orkut since many of their peers are. Most of those a few years back were members of a "Yahoo group" or similar thing. To get working people to be a part of social networking is difficult, unless there is exceptional broadband penetration and you come home the only thing you do is log onto a social networking site! And I have not spoken yet about online matrimony and job sites - if they get into SN, it is perhaps a better target audience...

And remember that youngsters are more hooked onto mobile phones today than the internet - really. Talking of SN sites, how far are we from a Twitter lookalike here? I leave you with this wonderful link I found at Doc Searls blog.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting point, I especially liked the diagram. Wonder where these new sites will fit there or if anybody can "customise" this to India.

Shubham said...

A nice article. Good points regarding social networking is good only during college.

One interesting thing I found out yesterday was that in order to rent an apartment, a friend was asked for his orkut profile to prove he was a decent guy. How about that? Orkut as a directory for people ;)

neelakantan said...

Wow...thats a cracker of an idea. I like that!! In these tumultuous times, it is a great idea.