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Social Networking - Qualified Perceptions
Social Networking
I've been playing around with Facebook recently, and it's been interesting to compare it to LiveJournal / Flickr / LinkedIn / Ravelry, and what I find compelling in each of them. Livejournal seems vastly better for both long soliloquys and conversations, but is more social than, say, blogspot, which seems to be more designed for Here Is Me and My Blog, In A Vacuum. Facebook is almost more like zephyr in its immediacy (I don't think I'd post to livejournal saying "My feet hurt" - it's too trivial), but also has a lot of interesting connection-y things, like photo tagging. But Facebook also seems also over-obsessive about informing your friends of everythign (Do I really care that someone is playing scrabble again? Does everything have to generate an invite?), and had that debacle of posting whatever you bought at associated sites onto your page.

Ravelry does an amazing job of filling its niche (knitting / crochet / yarn), and is almost the perfect example of why databases rock. Search for everything everyone's made with Yarn X, or in Pattern Y. Get examples of everything made from a particular book of patterns, ranked by favorite-ness if you like. What can you make with 800 yards of laceweight? Well, what did everyone else make? And it has its own mysteries - why does everyone else like the Clapotis shawl so much?

My flickr usage is mostly to stock my ravelry account, so I haven't really explored it very much, and the average flickr user (as opposed to the average ravelry user) probably doesn't care so much about pictures of yarn. And LinkedIn has never really attracted me; I think that's all in the presentation, since I don't really want to consider my friends to be Professional Networking Resources.

Ah well. No real conclusions, but I've been thinking about it, and having decided that LiveJournal is for soliloquys, I felt compelled to make one. :)

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

8 comments or Leave a comment
hr_macgirl From: hr_macgirl Date: August 19th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting observations! I've also found that I'm willing to "friend" many more people on Facebook. Also, because my name is actually attached to my account on Facebook, I'm much less open with what I post there.

I have noticed a "yin" and "yang" effect: when I'm chatty on Facebook, I'm more silent on LJ.

chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: August 19th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like flickr for using my friend's photos to fill gaps in my memories/albums (with their permission, of course).

There's also the neat use of flickr my new media to find interesting shots; they have their audience add photos to pools or use tags and then pull them and use them to illustrate stories.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: August 19th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. I have a range of choices for what to do with my photos - say, iPhoto -- personal web album -- flickr. On the left side, it's most convenient for me, but least helpful to anyone else. Personal web album is slightly more convenient for my friends (who could presumably at least go and look), but less useful to the world. Flickr is more useful to the world in general, especially if I tag them. :)

On the other hand, Flickr is less in my control than on-my-machine is. Then the question ends up being, how many places do I want to put them?
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: August 19th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I keep most of my pictures on iphoto.

A personal web album is harder for me to control permissions to than flickr is, so I've chosen flickr for sharing pictures with friends and family.

I would say that fewer than 5% of my photos end up on flickr, but I'm trying at least.
bluepapercup From: bluepapercup Date: August 19th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I use lj as a forum, a braindump, a place to actually write. I maintain a Facebook page so that friends far away who have requested to stay in touch that way can do so, and a LinkedIn page because I like networking.

Flickr I use as a storytelling medium, an online photo album, and a way to share my life with friends and family.
merastra From: merastra Date: August 19th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool thread. I wish I had time to ponder this... Maybe next week. :-)
treptoplax From: treptoplax Date: August 21st, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
And of course, there's Hoffspace, for multicultural worldwide discussion of all things David Hasselhoff.
twe From: twe Date: August 25th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
The rampant popularity of the clapotis pattern is an utter mystery, and not just because I have ten times as many scarves as I will ever need. (Fingerless gloves are only slightly less of a mystery to me.)
8 comments or Leave a comment