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The Next, Big Social Network

Ken Chen

Ken Chen

July 23, 2010

18 thoughts on “The Next, Big Social Network”

  1. So True
    10:38 am Jul 29, 2010
    I never go on Facebook anymore. It was fun at first, but since I’m relatively private, it was weird to put status updates. And then, when I would comment on something, I would expect someone to say something back. When nothing happened, I would lose interest. Now, I don’t know what’s going on with my friends anymore.

    1. There’s always the phone
      10:35 am Aug 03, 2010
      It’s become almost too easy to communicate with friends now. First, the phone killed face-to-face meeting. Then, email killed phone calls. Then, text killed email. Now, it seems like the easiest thing to do is to just post something on Facebook.

  2. Saturation
    11:12 am Jul 29, 2010
    good post but I want to state the obvious here – there are only 900 million computer users in the world and Facebook has 500 million of them using their service. What does it take for Facebook to be successful? Are their numbers declining simply because there is no one else to join? Just a thought.

    1. Or maybe it’s just summer
      10:34 am Aug 03, 2010
      It had to happen at some point that they slammed against the saturation wall. I’m hoping that they mature and focus on creating features that enable deeper conversations.

  3. Yes!
    12:03 pm Jul 29, 2010
    I love the idea of a social network that allows conversation with specific groups! Although I am on Facebook, I don’t participate. My “friends” list is a weird mix of real friends along with co-workers, acquaintances, past school friends etc. I don’t really want to share info about my latest vacation with someone I briefly worked with several years ago! But if I could control who gets my message or can see my pictures, that might be a different story…

    1. Unnatural
      10:32 am Aug 03, 2010
      Yes, I can count many distinct groups in my cluster of Facebook “friends.” I have groups for each place I’ve worked, each city I’ve lived, and each life stage of my life. Why would we throw them all together?

  4. Dead on but . . .
    6:10 pm Jul 29, 2010
    I think you are dead on about the opportunity for another social network to come in and offer more flexibility for communicating with different networks. But it won’t be easy. First, I always question one month trends. FB’s growth probably did decline in June as its core users discovered the outdoors as the weather improved. But I’d bet my right knuckles (which are nice) that may was overstated and this is more a data sampling issue than a trend. Second, users are apathetic. while you and I may be quick to try some new service, it’s going to need to be pretty sexy to get people to haul off and try a new service, leaving their friends behind. The best strategy is probably to go back to FB’s roots – college students – develop a service that works better for this segment and hope that it can spread like FB did.

    1. Or Be Google
      11:18 pm Jul 29, 2010
      Rich – totally agree with your assessment. FB will be huge for the next decade. But, I have a feeling their need to make $, will kill real innovation and progress in improving their platform. Or, maybe just be Google and spend your way there.

  5. Go Organic
    11:12 am Jul 30, 2010
    I agree that richer ways of interacting would keep me in deeper touch with my network. I am interested in finding more natural, fluid, ambient ways of relating to my social network. Some of the visual and auditory “presence” functionality of virtual worlds and augmented reality can create a landscape that provides insight into relationships and activity on an ongoing basis to help one quickly decide when to jump in and to what depth. The brain has evolved to work this way, filtering through hundreds of inputs per minute in the background.

    1. It’s coming
      10:30 am Aug 03, 2010
      Richard – I think the virtual world technology is coming. Look at how kids play video games now. They are interacting remotely on their XBox with other kids when they play games. I suspect that this will be a very natural way of interacting with people in the future.

  6. FB is a good start.
    3:11 pm Jul 30, 2010
    Your points are good ones, Ken. How people communicate, and what they want from communications with others will not change. FB allows a certain kind of conversation to take place. If feels organic at first, but over time, most everyone comes to realize it’s not. Right now, we bend to fit our communication using the social web to fit the technology. If the social web was 2.0 (or was that 3.0?), the next phase is one that starts from the human standpoint of personalized interaction and matches the technology to that behavior.

    1. Machines/Technology is ahead of us
      10:27 am Aug 03, 2010
      Jeff – I hope you are right about Web 3.0 and it having a more human orientation. But, those darn software/web developers and computers have a way of chasing what is cool before they find out if anyone wants to use it.

  7. You do have control in FB – custom lists!
    4:59 pm Jul 30, 2010
    I control who sees my status updates, mobile uploads, tagged photos of me, personal photo albums, etc. to a custom list called “Friends & Family” which is limited to people who are closer to me.

    1. I wish everyone did, including me
      9:28 pm Aug 01, 2010
      Yes, I think ideally, we should all create these custom lists and segment our contacts this way. But, how many people actually know how to do this?

  8. The problem with friending everyone from mom to clients
    9:26 pm Jul 31, 2010
    Good call, Ken, on the social networking experience not mimicking how we interact in our lives offline. I’m a fairly open person. But, offline, the parts of my life that I share with my mom are not necessarily those I share with my friends, and both of those tend to be quite different than What I share with clients. Having everyone lumped into one group on Facebook is kind of like living my life in a fishbowl. I actually had to worry about whether to post a response to a friend about dancing last Friday night – wondered who else might read it and think that was too wild for a responsible consultant. Oh, well, I decided that I could live without their business if that was a deal breaker, but I’d rather not have to worry about that! And, yes, I think most of what is posted isn’t all that intriguing. (But my posts seem fascinating . . . at least to me!) I guess that’s how everyone feels. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

    1. Fascinating
      10:25 am Aug 03, 2010
      Kimberly – your posts are so fascinating that they leave people speechless or textless.

  9. Great point
    12:06 pm Aug 02, 2010
    Yes — it’s true. I even created a whole new FB account so I could have some control over sharing certain conversations with dif groups of people. I didn’t want to spam those who I knew wouldn’t be interested in one thing and I did want to be focused and engaged with particular folks on some subjects. I didn’t realize this was a common need — how validating. Nicely described, Ken — thanks!

  10. Advanced
    10:24 am Aug 03, 2010
    Matt – you are part of the advanced minority and thoughtful to think of others when you are broadcasting your messages.

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