Please, Please, Stop With the Social Networking


I got an email today from Manyworlds that they are adding social networking capabilities to the site. This comes on the heels of MyBlogLog doing the same thing. When I logged in the other day (I use MyBlogLog to check the stats for a few sites), I was prompted to enter a screen name to use for the new social networking aspect of the site. I could not skip it. I had to put something in.

The trouble is that, for the most part, I don't want to network and I don't want to be social. My experience has been that I can typically find the people I need to find when I need to find them. I get a lot of email from this blog, other sites, people I know, people recommended to me by friends and others, and there are only a few dozen people that I correspond with on a semi-regular basis. And even that is too much. But the point is that I don't want to be part of any more social networks.

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I don't blame MyBlogLog and Manyworlds for adding them. They are all the rage and, I guess, most people like them. But I don't want to connect with old friends. I don't care what my high school classmates are up to. I want fewer contacts. I don't need another person to pitch me on their MLM scheme because I have labeled "entrepreneurship" as an interest. That is the problem with social networks. Like anything else, they start off well enough and then people exploit them to find sales leads and aggravate people that don't want to be bothered.

So forgive me for not wanting to sign up, but I am not lacking for contacts or social interaction. I am lacking for time. It is the only thing I wish I had more of, and joining another social network just saps more of it away.

  • COD

    I wrote this in Jan 04
    //…You heard it here first…well maybe not first, but you did hear it here….social software will be a total bust from a financial perspective. It’s only a matter of time before one of these services rolls out a sock puppet as its mascot.//

    Community was on the “4 Cs” of web design we preached to clients back in 1996. It’s a feature, not a business.

    It’s nice to be right once in a while :)

  • Rob

    Nice. I agree that it’s really a feature. Sure, some people like it, maybe most, but there is way too much hoopla around it these days.

  • Cant these people stop with all this now. How much more social can the net be. I dont want to have to be social all the time, I dont want to have 30 logins to chat with my friends.

    I think companies should stick to their core business and not jump on this sinking ship. Social networks are cool in some regards but they get boring in the long run.

  • We’re not necessarily asking you to be more social. We’re suggesting that you take a couple minutes to get to know your readers better. Our most basic offer is a click-tracking system that lets you know what your users click on to leave your site and what they are reading elsewhere in our 20,000 blog network. In addition, you can encourage your readers to fill out profiles so that you know your readers even better. Does that make grounded business sense?

  • Yes, it has become a bit of a fad to have a social network…and everyone wants to hop on the MySpace bandwagon. The thing is, I truly believe there are ways to improve upon it to make it work, especially if it is being incorporated into an already solid business model. It’s still a fairly new concept in the grand scheme of things, and will evolve over time. I don’t think they will come and go like pixel ads or anything.

  • Jay

    Oh yeah, preach it brother! I could not agree more. I never understood the appeal of the whole social networking thing.

    Maybe we’re just too INTP or something.

  • I think that you go alittle to over the top. Maybe you are too into yourself. Your writing in a way that you would only enjoy. Reread this and see if you understand. I don’t like to read cocky blogs and that is what I am getting from your’s.