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I remember saying that social network sites just aren't worth it, and with blogs coming up, people waste their time. But ever since I've left home, and friends and people I got to know there in the past 10 to 11 years, the significance of these has come to light. They really help in keeping touch with people who've gone far away and you've lost contact with. Chances are, they'll show up in atleast one of the networks, and presto! You found your long lost friend again! :) But now that I've used the likes of hi5, Orkut and Facebook (my favourite! Haven't given others a whirl, its hard enough keeping track on these), I think I've figured some of the key ingredients which make one of them my favourite, and not the other.

They aren't perfect!

There still are problems with these networks however, and I am not asking you to signup for any of the above right now. The biggest annoyance is the crazily profuse amount of mails you'll suddenly start receiving, alerting you of friend requests, group events, and what nots! There are options to turn these off, but the initial reaction is that you're being spammed. The second is that random people will start adding you, and before you know it, your friends circle is full (if you fall for the noob mistake) of people who you don't want, tucking away the important people in a corner. Facebook does things right by actually asking you to estabilish relationship or a relating factor with the person you're trying to add. Once the other persons confirms that, he/she is added! These network sites should take steps to put barriers of similar kinds, so that you don't have a 1000 new 'friends' in a couple of days. Hi5 suffers from this, so beware!

Blogging can't keep circles together. They become specific, and is a good way to get to know 'new' people, and create your niche, get your thoughts across in a specific group. Hence, social networks are required. Its all part of the Web 2.0 boom (no longer a boom :P ), and like everything else, only a few companies got it right. Facebook got it right to quite an extent, by first putting restrictions on who could join, then opening up to everyone but again limiting to only certain types. For all these reasons, if you're looking to start with a network, I'll suggest giving Facebook a trial run.

What do you think about these social network sites? Are they really worth the time? Have they helped you in anyway? :)


1 Comments

I use social networking sites for the same reason you do. With all the moving around it's hard to stay in touch with the people you've known. Orkut, however, makes life simpler.




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