The Real Life Social Network v2
My MBA Marketing class is focusing on social media as the new wave for reaching customer audience with product message. As a result I have been researching social media trends. This excellent slide presentation by Paul Adams of Google's UX team explains the dichotomy between today's social networking tools and the dynamics of real social networks. We keep many different and often separate social circles, yet online social networking tools blends these separate lives into one big, muddy pool. While this is true, I realized that I have been getting around the problem, albeit poorly, by using different social networking tools differently. LinkedIn is obviously for professional contacts, Facebook is for "Great sushi restaurant" type status updates, and Twitter is for linking relevant industry news as a supplement to resume building. A pattern is interesting to note here. LinkedIn had a well established purpose message from the starting gate, which targeted a specific demographic of my network, my professional contacts. But neither Facebook nor Twitter had a purpose message, leaving users to guess which of his or her social network to accept as friends to their profile. Even today, after some time for establishment, neither service has a purpose message. Herein lies an opportunity for clarifying purpose and guiding users in structuring their online networks as organically as their real life networks.
Posted by Connie Kwan