Social Networking| Tidbits

By Catherine Potts | Jul 9, 2009
More Articles by Catherine

A new and cute commercial by Coleman camping equipment is capitalizing on the term ‘Social Networking.’ They’re claiming that they’re the original social networking site… ya know, the camp site. Bringing people together and all that. Guess I can’t disagree…


So what is Social Networking? It’s essentially online gathering places for those who share similar interests or hobbies.

“The main types of social networking services are those which contain category divisions (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook widely used worldwide; MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn being the most widely used in North America” (Wikipedia)

At first, I was hesitant to use Facebook. Why? Because it just didn’t appear to offer much, let’s say, visual response, to efforts I might put forth. Ok, so I “poke” someone or send them a drink. What exactly is the point? I had a hard time really getting into that and I guess at this stage of the game, I don’t really engage in sending “gifts” or “drinks.” I think it’s because it just kind of goes off into oblivion.

I do, however, like the connecting with people on Facebook much more than when I tried MySpace. Both are huge time wasters but I tell you what… I have reconnected with people via Facebook (or shall I say, they with me) from my elementary school days and I couldn’t be happier about it.

A great thing about Social Networking is that in the age where millions of people are working from home (like me) it helps me stay connected. I go to school part time as well and both things (school and home office work) can be pretty isolating at times. Keep in mind that people you might be connected with (the boss) are watching what you’re up to. So, as with anything, be good about it.

At this stage of the game, I’m considering Facebook visits much like a virtual smoke break. Can’t have too many in a day, some days are more than others-just don’t take advantage sort of thing. Yes, I do have days where I’m more active than others. The good thing is, it takes nothing to respond (less effort than an email actually) so it’s not a heinous amount of time spent.

Additionally, I’m also connected to work topics through Facebook. As mentioned in a previous post of mine, I discovered a new social browser called Flock that I love. It keeps the statuses of all you’re connected with refreshed on the left-hand side. This makes it far easier to track updates that usually fall down the page in normal browsers. Try it! I love it.

Changing Workplace Environment

So let’s address how the workplace has changed to accept the online presence. In the not-so-distant-past, internet usage was a big no-no. In some respects it still is. For the abusers-which in-turn ruins it for the non-abusers. Take it from my brother-in-law, people are idiots. He’s the head of the IT department and security for a major local company and he has had to have “the talk” with people on numerous occasions. Also, Facebook is kind of known for spreading viruses which lends to some hesitancy in allowing its use in some environments. Of course, it doesn’t matter what you do sometimes, a virus is just going to get you.

Sarah Perez of Read Write Web tackles social networking acceptance in her July 2 article. She recites a Facetime statistic (based on their own survey):

“46% of IT professionals viewed some social networking applications as having business value and 31% even went so far as to say that social networking is critical to business. However, that 31% believed they need to be secured and controlled.

Sarah goes on to say that LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are the most widely accepted. One commenter on the article, “Stefano,” makes a good point:

“Social networks (and their use) have also significantly evolved over the past years, and that also explains the shift in attitude.”

Anyway, perhaps it’s just because I’m so deeply involved in the online world that I have a mistaken idea as to how accepted social networking is in a “normal” work environment. Some places are, no doubt, way behind the ball but others are grasping that this is the “wave of the future” (actually it’s the wave of now) and that social networking is a great way to connect with the world around you.

Moving On…

If you’ve read much that I’ve written, I hate repeating topics. It’s because of this that I struggle to write and be original in an industry that basically finds new ways to write about the same things. Sure, sometimes things ARE new and different but there is definitely a ton of repetition. So why am I writing about Social Networking today? Hasn’t that been written about enough? Well, how about this for interesting and original:

comScore rated Russia as the World’s most engaged Social Networking audiences. I bet you thought it was the United States, didn’t you?

“The study found Russia to have the world’s most engaged social networking audience, with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month.”

And interestingly:

“Of the 1.1 billion people age 15 and older worldwide who accessed the Internet from a home or work location in May 2009, 734.2 million visited at least one social networking site during the month, representing a penetration of 65 percent of the worldwide Internet audience. The Russian social networking audience had the highest engagement among the 40 individual countries reported by comScore, with an average of 6.6 hours and 1,307 pages consumed per visitor. Brazil ranked close behind at 6.3 hours, followed by Canada (5.6 hours), Puerto Rico (5.3 hours) and Spain (5.3 hours).”

Well how do ya like that? The United States is not number 1 in social networking visits! I guess that’s a good thing eh? Right boss?, which basically looks like the Russian version of Facebook, is the country’s top social networking site and brought in 14.3 million visits while Facebook (in Russia) brought in 616,000 visits.

So there ya go.

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