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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: Online Social Networks

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles


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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Online Social Networks

And now I can add Facebook to my list of online social networks. Who has time for all this? I'm just checking it all out to see what the big deal is. How they are different from each other. Buzznet, Myspace, YouTube, Facebook. So far I've spent at least a few hours on each. Maybe not enough time to really get a good feel for things. But I'm noticing similarities and differences right off the bat.

Myspace is clearly for the (cough-cough) younger demographic. Not much in the way of restrictions. When they say you can customize your own page, it is absolutely possible to have a unique look. It's the online social network with the most members so far (active or not). Still, I haven't come across a page that looks similar to another. Not bad for being a free service. It'll be interesting to see how things will change in time.

Facebook seems to be more geared to specific networks (schools, workplaces, geography and common interests). Members are only allowed to join up to five networks. A bit limited but perhaps easier to navigate without getting so overwhelmed. Not sure yet. Most members use their real names (or nicknames) as opposed to a screen name. So if you're looking for old friends and colleagues, this could be a viable option to get caught up and keep in touch. Facebook offers the ability to keep photos and import blog entries. Members can find which friends are already Facebook members by doing a quick search through their email address book (yahoo, gmail, aol and hotmail). So far though, the layout seems pretty generic - something I don't mind as these tired eyes can hardly stand all the flashes and blinkies on other pages like Myspace. Facebook pages generally load faster without all the custom layouts.

I joined Buzznet a couple of months ago and basically left it for dead. I'll be back though because a good friend will be traveling and posting updates through her page. There's limited customization - colors and layouts. The community seems a little small but perhaps it's because I haven't done extensive searching. Plus it was a bit glitchy when I started. My page kept loading to the default layout after spending (too much) time personalizing it. I finally got it back to something I like but it's been so long since I logged in that I forgot the name of the site before posting this entry. Nice huh?

I joined YouTube just to have a place to easily and freely post personal videos. There are some very talented filmmakers, editors and other creators on YouTube. But there are many lame, painful videos to weed through first. The "most viewed" are not necessarily the "top rated" and the "top rated" are not necessarily the "best quality" -- just like any other site. Here's what I'm learning. The most viewed get viewed the most because they are at the top of the main page. It's a vicious cycle. They are at the top because they may have been featured once. When members get subscribers based on one great video posted seven months ago, two things happen. one: their subscribers are blinded by fandom and continue to rate (even bad) video posts with five stars. two: new members and wannabees rate and comment just to be seen by other members.

What else have I learned about YouTube? Many of the top videos (lonelygirl-style) are performed by professional actors. Lonelygirls-1-48 are actually 20 years old (not 16) and getting paid to act pathetic.

Very discouraging.

My thoughts about the potential of YouTube? Remember the days of watching movies and saying, "I could do that!" How about watching bad movies and laughing, "I could do better than that!" Well I say, HELLO! Here's our chance to prove it. To at least try.

Imagine the features, documentaries, music videos, tv episodes, etc that we could create. YouTube allows members to upload ten minutes of video in one post. Longer than most music videos.

Geez, write much Trish?

I'm off to work on a post-Thanksgiving Day video. Mostly, I do all this for the pure fun of it. And to find out Windows XP comes with all the free video editing software I could ask for... ugh, don't get me started up again. I'll write more about that later.

Do you have experience with these or other online social networks? Thoughts? Opinions? I'm interested to know!

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Comments on "Online Social Networks"


Blogger Kathy said ... (8:08 AM) : 

I've looked around some but I guess I am just not the cyber social butterfly type.

Have you looked at the AIM pages? From the looks of Joe's journal about them I am guessing they will be quite a bit like MySpace. But I could be wrong.


Blogger Robbie said ... (10:59 AM) : 

I liked 43Things/People/Places but have neglected it for the past year because I found myself fixated and used only that to the neglect of my blog. I guess my time is limited so I choose to use my Blog and Flickr predominantly and sometimes not even those quite enough.


Blogger jennifer said ... (1:09 PM) : 

I just facebooked you... :o)


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