Personal Blog

Social Networks: useful or enormous Waste of Time?

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster researching social networks. The process is the same for most of them. It’s a free account, and after you set it up you write a little profile. One of mine says it fairly succinctly: I am on a professional mission to question all things related to the business of the Internet and to the best of my ability explain it in plain language to anyone interested.

I kind of feel like Movie Critic Richard Roper – one of the guys on the TV show At The Movies. Sometimes he comments on how the movie he was reviewing was so bad it was painful to have to sit through, but that since his job is to review the film, he had to do it. That’s exactly how I felt by the time I got to the so called social network site called tagged dot com. That one really sucks.

But not all of them are like that, and some are important to understand. I was talking about this topic tonight with Marty Walser, one of my colleagues here at Web Teks. He pointed out something about social networks that gave the topic clarity I want to share. There is a big difference between a true social network site like Facebook, or MySpace and one of my new favorite sites; Sites like MySpace share thoughts. Sites like or LinkedIn share information.

Digg is another example of a social networking site that is about gauging the popularity of something on the internet. It–s sort of like eavesdropping on what people are talking about around the water cooler. Mostly people look up inane and innocuous things, but when you see a trend evolving it could be an indicator of a change approaching. I guess you can say it–s the 21st century equivalent of our hunter gatherer ancestors listening closely to the dark. Most nights nothing happens, but you want to be ready if a beast approaches.

O.K. – Back to Marty. He cracks me up with some of his comments– Today he was doing a usability report on a client–s corporate portal. We often are asked to evaluate sites to let the client know what might be improved to make a site more user friendly. So today’s Marty Quote of the day “Every new click is a mystery– but I can’t put that in a note to the client”.

Now that’s funny;)

BTW my picture on MySpace is awful – and I have not taken enough time to figure out how to change it ;(

Originally Published on and recovered via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine