Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Evolution of Social Networks: What’s Next?

It’s problematic talking about social networks on an Email Marketing blog, because once you do that you’re bound to be confused with social marketing- multi-level marketing schemes- and other poor marketing.

But really, how has Web 2.0 glided by- effortlessly- the stigma of MLMs? Maybe they haven’t: latest post on Logic + Emotion reminds me of this, though he’s talking about ‘spamuritis’ and the clogging nature of Facebook when you add too many friends, who all love to install applications, that all have questionable privacy policies, and finally, you are at the hub of a chain letter wondering how in the hell you got there.

My latest experience was to play Scrabble/Scrabulous on FaceBook (FB) with my mom, a fun diversion that continued the holiday marathon game playing. But now there are semi-porn ads on the banner, and jiggling Nano ads on the left hand side, and if it’s making me go into an epileptic attack, it probably isn’t helping my mom either.

So sure, we all know FB has jumped the shark. Even writing about FB jumping the shark is tired. Friend last night was mentioning this article: the Economist’s on Ning- and in Logic + Emotion he mentions Twitter- my favorite description of twitter is “death by croutons”. I for one thing social network aggregators like Socializr are the next wave, but I can see the appeal of Ning, which lets you create private klatches, instead of a universal profile. Kind of like eGroups, before being bought by Yahoo (and turned into YahooGroups). It’s an interesting trend of creating a hub and disbanding (FB) and now having user-created satellites (Ning). The evolution of the social network begins briefly, and solidly, with the MUD, then pre-teens hyped MySpace, collegiates got into FB, and now perhaps it’s cresting the wave of adoption (After NewsWeek famously put Zuckerberg on the cover in 2007).

So what’s next? These are my predictions for features that will sing in the next app:
- Privacy. Didn’t all of us email marketers chuckle a bit when Facebooks’ default opt-in blew up in their faces?
- Better contact preferences. Inbox email, wall posts and statuses- too many? unclear?
- Groups. Easier to setup, but also with confirmation, but both FB and LinkedIn are too rigorous (and geez, lose the year on the college alumni thing! You will never get the dot-boomers in with that!)
- Quizzes/apps. The interesting content, pre-created or created in an open-source style environment is still really key to the lure of Facebook.

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Written on Monday, 07. January 2008 at 15:58 In the category social networks. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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1 Comment »

  1. This doesn’t go to the point, in general, but as a specific suggestion: just use Adblock to filter out ads. My Scrabulous screens are totally ad-free, which I guess is kind of cheating the creators…but, then again, they’re trying to make money off someone else’s intellectual property, so…

    Comment: Chester – 08. January 2008 @ 7:50 pm

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