Friday, August 12, 2005

Does online social networking actually work?

I get invites to LinkedIn all the time. People talk about Friendster like it was God's gift to online social networking.

But do they really work?

There's a great article in Pyschology Today about this...

"An important part of real networking is vouching for somebody who is introduced," explains Heath. "By automatizing that process, you make it less effective." While the sites may speed up connections, the ease of adding "friends" to your online circle makes the quality of those links dubious. The genre is also rife with exploitation and fraud. Some Friendster members claim tens of thousands of "friends"; others devise fake profiles like "Pure Evil." Invitations to join Orkut are already being auctioned on eBay. "All this suggests it's a game people are playing," says Columbia University sociologist Duncan Watts, author of Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age.


How have online social networks affected your business and/or personal life?

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Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag