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July 10, 2007

Online social networking continues heating up

Facebook is adding new users by the second. 33% of all adult Americans visited a social networking site in 2006. Customized social networking site Ning just closed a $44 million round of venture capital funding. I'm closing in on 100 connections on LinkedIn (care to help me reach 100?). Do you need any more evidence? How about 65% of all professionals are using social networking sites. In other words, you're in the minority if you're not on LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace or whatever!

Online social networking is hot, there's no doubt. Even after the failed Orkut experience, Google is getting back into the social networking realm, too. Honestly, I'm a little surprised that it continues to have such a consistent upward spiral. But it really does solve a real-world problem, as Social Networking in Plain English taught us.

In the forum of his Facebook group called Association of Associations, Andy Steggles asks (login required) what components of social networking sites could be used to enhance a traditional online membership directory? Virtually all of them, I would argue. Let me upload my college and graduation year so I can see other members who attended college with me. Let me see if I have fellow members who like bluegrass music. Let me find other members who write a blog. Let me upload a picture. Let me establish virtual connections with other members and learn what activities my connections are involved with in the association.

Social networks give me so many opportunities to stumble upon and connect with people I know, knew in a past life, know of, or should know. Why would anyone not want to be involved in social networking?

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Kristi said...

Oh geez... wonder what the statistic is for adults who are on 3 or more social networking sites? A colleague (much younger) said to me recently when I connected to her on a networking site - wow, I can't believe *you're* on here! I felt old for the first time! Hopefully that stereotype will fall away soon.

Fred Simmons said...

I am on friendster, myspace, facebook, linkedin, and virb. And flickr, yelp, pownce, twitter and some others that don't really count even though you can add contacts.

Dennis McDonald said...

I've started to pare my list down. I realized how extensive the list had become when I diagrammed the services I "belong to" ( and I decided to focus more. I deleted my MySpace account, I dropped a few duplicative Facebook groups, and I've decided to delete Pownce. My rationale is simple: quality over quantity.

Dennis McDonald
Alexandria, Virginia USA

Ben Martin, CAE said...

@Fred: You win the prize for most sns memberships! High five!

@Kristi: Facebook is winning amongst the professional crowd. It won't be long before it's commonplace amongst our peers.

@Dennis: What makes one sns more "quality" than another?