Social Networking Enters the Age of Angst

in internet on (#3JY)
story imageThis is either the age of social networking, or it's not. It's either the future, or it's already a has-been. What the heck is going on?

Forbes has printed a thoughtful article on why Google Plus has failed to thrive . The Atlantic has written a piece suggesting Twitter is on the decline . Facebook's interest among teens seems to be slowing, while their "page reach" is down by 50% .

So, what's going on? Is it because, post- Snowden , everyone is tired of being spied on? Has everyone moved on to cooler platforms? Has everyone ditched social networking and gone back to Usenet ? Is it possible, as one author suggests, that privacy is now overtaking sharing on the 'Net? Or has everyone just found something more productive to do, like work in the garden?

[Note: this article has been cross-posted nowhere else. :) Want to comment? Here's the place.]

Re: Gah! (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-05-05 07:49 (#1CE)

That Forbes article flows like honey compared to BBC News online article. By policy, every single sentence is a separate paragraph. This shows a disgusting disregard for all the principles of good writing that I was taught back when the UK had an education system that actually taught you something, and shows either the same disregard for the readers or is simply patronising to them.

Anyway, back on topic, I think a lot of it is simply fashion. Is there any reason to think that facebook or twitter will follow a different-shaped popularity curve from myspace's from last decade? I can't pretend to be an expert in any of the individual social media platforms, as I've never been a member of any of them, never seeing them as just stupid flashes in the pan pandering to people who weren't using the internet back in the 1980, and the web in the early 90s, say, and who want strokes from as many different directions as possible. And like other fashions, when you see your kid brother wearing the same types of clothes as you, and listening to the same music, you cringe and find anything exclusive and new to differentiate yourself from the likes of him. So your next hang-out was a pub, rather than the multi-story carpark. The bottom line is that both actually smell of piss, but you're briefly happy while you're there with like-minded individuals. Of course, as seen in platforms closer to home, it's just as easy to get fed up of the platform by it changing under your feet. I stopped listening to some metal radio stations when all they played was industrial sequenced synth shit^W^W^Wmetal. There's little reason to think that the users have any more loyalty to the platforms than the platforms have respect for the users. So in some ways, it's a non-story, as it's so predictable.

(Bryan: feature request - when looking at an prior post linked to from the mail messages, can it be given a "parent" link, and the option to see its whole subtree?)

(And fuck beta!)
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