Why If You Say Social Networking Like It’s New I Will Punch You

Yes. I will. But I’m wiry so it might not be successful.

I am tired of hearing about social networking like it’s this hot new topic, like all of a sudden the advances made in other sectors of computer science like software engineering foundations have made it all of a sudden possible. Although some of the more granular concepts of how people currently envision social networking are new (I am not denying that), are not the aggregate benefits of it moderately similar to the throw back systems like BBS’s? I am under the impression that what we are trying to achieve with a social network site is to build a community of people, driven by the people, and if this site exists within the enterprise, we are attempting to foster that environment to garnish increased productivity from users.

Look, I am cool with the concept. I get it. It’s neat. But having new development factors and web standards are not going to change the fact that a social networking site is driven by the users. It’s not a technology thing, it’s a people thing. Didn’t organizations once try to do this same type of shit with message boards before, where they thought by empowering the users with the option to automagically generate content that it would just appear? While some of them might have been modestly successful, I think a majority of them went over like a fart in church (I am not talking about the new very popular sites such as FaceBook etc., so don’t bring the ones that are clearly successful up por favor, I will talk about that shortly). I guess what I am trying to emphasize with this whole rant is that although technology and what not might make coding overall systems better, with community driven sites, it won’t make building the community better. Community building, particularly within a corporation (I am a SharePoint developer so this IS my primary concern) does not, and never should attempt, to use a social network site as the only community driven catalyst in the company, I honestly believe that there are several factors that instead are part of this responsibility whereby the site is just one venue.

I think I can accurately break down, albeit in a minor prose, what makes social networking sites successful. I do. I actually broke it down to a client when we were building a social network site when I was 17 for Malt-O-Meal, which I call the three C’s of successful network sites. We can easily describe it as a binding of




between two people which in turn fosters a relationship between two principals. I think that’s the exact reason why FaceBook has done so well, it does that hella good. I don’t use it (and I won’t since I am a privacy freak in general) but my fiance does and it works out great for the three c’s.

My point of this whole post though is that procuring the three c’s was always a possibility regardless of rifts in computing over the past couple years. I truly am not of the mindset that the recent developments in computer science has contributed significantly to this in any way, it reminds of the AJAX shit were everyone is going nuts for something that has been around for 8 years, but now that is has a fancy name it is all of a sudden the best thing since sliced bread.

I know I am going to have to suck it up and deal with it, since it is eventually going to be a part of my job as a SharePoint developer, but sometimes little things like this just kinda irk me.

Sorry if this post was disjointed, I didn’t feel like editing it for clarity.