Sunday, June 21, 2009

Social Networking- Where from Here?

I am afraid it is a non-starter. I cannot even use a bicycle pump.”
• When asked whether she uses e-mail.
Judi Dench : in Times, 13 Feb 1999

Social Networking is ‘The Buzz’ on the Web these days. And everybody seems to smitten by this e-bug. Twitter, Facebook, FreindFeed and a host of other websites are the places to be these days.

As dynamic as it's growth is, social networking mushrooms on one simple idea- bringing people closer to each other. The keynote storm started about two and a half years ago, a period when social networking sites were literally multiplying by the day. Now that we have so many of these websites, do we really need more?

I think the way forward would be exploring ways of linking the present socio-net sites to provide a user with richer experience of social-networking and give a new meaning to the phrase ‘being on-line’. The point I want to stress is that, every possible contour of web-based socializing has been explored (well, under the restraint of the present technological know-how.), so it would na├»ve to pile on content on a single web-page. Instead, clever tie-ups with other sites would make the user-experience better, redefine ease of use and set bench-marks for future.

Here, I would like to point out the striking resemblance of the growth of social-networking with the growth of internet itself. During its early stages, organizations and groups developed computer networks exclusively for their firms (Arpanet et all). But soon enough it was realized that the strength of a network lies in the number of workstations it syncs. That small realization back then is the main reason why internet is the big monster that it is, today. And the same goes for social-networking. The techies should dig deep and ensure that socio-net’s future is bright.

These are early days for socio-net. There maybe divided opinions about its future, some different than mine. What’s your perception? Drop in a line.