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A Return to Social Networking?

Posted by: Jas

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Jas

So Google+ is now available to the world, and yet I still feel no compulsion to join “the fastest growing social network”. Sadly, I’m starting to dislike the whole movement that Google is taking: trying to make the Web more social. I’m slowly getting to the point where I feel I might be better off disassociating myself from all their services, and finding alternatives (and there are many alternatives available, and while they’re not always free, they are on the cheap – like web hosting for email and your own Diaspora seed).

From the news, I see that Facebook is set to release a slew of new products and features to the site, from video to music to Skype integration etc. I guess it shows us just how dynamic the Web really is becoming (as a platform), and also shows us just how important the browser, and its continued development is!

Then there is the alternative: Diaspora. After the last time I wrote about the social network, it looks like they’ve decided to change their platform quite a bit – they’ve moved more towards using applications that more web hosting companies provide ‘on the cheap’. This is a good thing. But one has to wonder that, with the release of Google+, the new improvements to Facebook (that I can only read about online), whether this new social network will actually gain enough mass to be effective.

It definitely is one of the few social networking ‘sites’ that I think I would consider having on my web hosting solution (a little marketing for the fantastic www.texo.co.za – you guys rock!). The idea of being in control of your privacy, and knowing that you’re not going to be some ‘market’ to sell to the highest bidder is somewhat appealing.

But at the end of the day, I still wonder about the validity of having a social networking profile. Since I’ve left all the social networks, yes, there have been some instances where I’ve “missed out on some information” where people use Facebook instead of using traditional communication means to send out an invite.

But on the whole I find being out of social networking arena has actually improved my life. The relationships I share with my friends and family are much stronger, I don’t waste any time at the office on it, and I get more face time with the people that are important to me – because there isn’t a ‘convenience’ mechanism to be used: people have to pick up the phone or send me a text message / email to correspond with me.

Somehow, I don’t think I’m quite yet ready to make a return to the world of social networks: at the end of the day, they don’t provide any value to my life (not even perceived).

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