Sunday, November 2, 2008

Are Social Networks Underhyped?

Apparently someone thinks so.

Pretty bold statement, in spite years of Facebook's repeated failure of making any money. If you don't have the time to read the article, the argument goes like this: we haven't seen the full potential of them yet. In the future the entire Internet will be revolving around social graphs because, presumably, our social connections are what guides us in real life: doctor recommendations, business introductions etc. And these real life nets are going to be transitioning online dragging the rest of the Internet along.

Don't think so. All that stuff's online already, there isn't a greater degree of "onlineniness" possible. This is not an early adopter game anymore. How's someone is going to "get more connected"?

In fact I am observing the opposite: the mainstream public (looking at my non-techie friends) have been fully exposured to it, had enough of it, and is slowly getting tired of it. We're not talking about early adopters anymore: everybody has an online identity and has learned its limitations and implications.

If anything, social networks are getting boring: outside of your real circle of friends you see the same strangers posing to be smarter, better looking and happier than they really are: people aren't that different after all, and your real social network stays where it has always been: in your cell phone's address book.

And that's where I'll be turning to for an advice about finding a doctor or a car mechanic. I don't give a rat's ass about what "people on the internet" have to say. At least half of them voted for Bush. Twice.

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