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Social Networking Goes Big Business

kdawson posted about 8 years ago | from the this-profile-for-sale dept.

68

PreacherTom writes, "It is no secret that sites like Facebook and MySpace are big hits among students. Big business is catching on to their possibilities too. Even in the wake of online stalking scandals, companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Apple, and Burger King are building whole marketing campaigns around social networking sites, to the tune of an estimated $280 million in 2006. It appears to be working: take the King, for example, who has amassed more than 120,000 'friends' that opt (for rewards) to associate themselves with his profile." These marketing drives are aimed at younger consumers, but (from the article): "About 36% of MySpace users are people aged 35-54, as are 30% of Facebook users."

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huh? (4, Informative)

User 956 (568564) | about 8 years ago | (#16083879)

Big business is catching on to their possibilities too.

What do you mean "is catching on"? News Corp (FOX) bought Myspace for 500 million a year ago.

Re:huh? (1)

Funkcikle (630170) | about 8 years ago | (#16084532)

Well, anyone can BUY into something like MySpace. But it is strange how these "kids" actually chose to "make friends" with Burger King, a fast food place with no appreciable "cool factor" that I have ever been aware of, and affiliate themselves with it.

Re:huh? (1)

russ1337 (938915) | about 8 years ago | (#16084558)

Why didnt they just give away 280 Million Whoppers? That'd work.

Not "Burger King", The Burger KING (2, Informative)

User 956 (568564) | about 8 years ago | (#16084627)

no appreciable "cool factor"

They're not making friends with "Burger King", they're making friends with The Burger "King", a character designed such as to appeal to tweens and teens who have grown too old for Ronald McDonald, yet still are likely to frequent fast food restaurants. Brilliant campaign by Crispin Porter. Check out pictures of their revived king-- the guy would be right at home in any Snoop Dogg video.

Re:huh? (3, Funny)

q-the-impaler (708563) | about 8 years ago | (#16084653)

Apparentely you don't understand that uncool is now cool. I remember seeing stores carrying "SPAM" shirts before it became a name for unwanted email. And what was so cool about wearing a SPAM shirt? Dunno, myself... but kids bought them. If they brought back Hypercolor shirts it would be a hit.

Re:huh? (1)

Funkcikle (630170) | about 8 years ago | (#16084665)

So basically...KIDS THESE DAYS! PFFFFT!

Even taking into account the entity being not Burger King but "The King", that 120,000 people have fallen for it is just...incredible.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16085460)

i also sign up for quizno's promotions because I like to receive free stuff.

Re:huh? (1)

Zaphod2016 (971897) | about 8 years ago | (#16085827)

Being a bit of a cheapo myself, I can underdstand becoming a "friend" of the King in order to get coupons and what have you, but take a look at those comments. Yikes. Not only have these people "fallen for it", they are literally singing a chorous of praises to a corporate mascot.

Who should I hate more: brilliant marketing execs or the consumer whores who empower them?

Re:huh? (1)

Korin43 (881732) | about 8 years ago | (#16085843)

Hey! Me and The King love eachother! Who are you to understand the complexities of our relationship??

young people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083904)

How can they stop advertisers marketing junk food to younger people? when half of the people on these sites aren't who they say they are (exaggeration).

36% (3, Funny)

Eightyford (893696) | about 8 years ago | (#16083911)

About 36% of MySpace users are people aged 35-54
That's a lot of pedophiles! Yikes...

Re:36% (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 8 years ago | (#16083951)

No big deal, the other 64% are FBI agents posing as 13 year olds.

Re:36% (3, Funny)

ConsumerOfMany (942944) | about 8 years ago | (#16084061)

There is even a class [youtube.com] for older people who want to learn how to sign up and use myspace. (its SFW, if watching vids at work wont get you fired and hilarious)

Re:36% (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | about 8 years ago | (#16084336)

How weird is that SNL did a sketch on that and I thought it was a joke.

Re:36% (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | about 8 years ago | (#16085289)

Good one, but in all seriousness, I know a guy who is 32 who hangs out at MySpace (yes, I was like "MySpace?! What the hell is wrong with you?"). Turns out there are enough people there in their mid- to late twenties and thirties to make it a social networking site for them too, not just the teens and tweens.

And here comes the bubble... (2, Insightful)

TheAmazingJambi (998707) | about 8 years ago | (#16083924)

I see this fad burning out in the next few years as teens move on to something else, or grow out of it. Now when the investing companies can get a larger adult user base, they'll have a chance at a long term business.

Re:And here comes the bubble... (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | about 8 years ago | (#16084508)

As quickly as fads change today, I'm amazed that Myspace is getting so much attention still. I'm just glad that spinners are going out of style. Those were a horrible trend to start with.

Re:And here comes the bubble... (1)

steadymobbin (1001339) | about 8 years ago | (#16084791)

Yeah MySpace will go down. Thx to the infamous PornBots which killed the rise of chat rooms.

Re:And here comes the bubble... (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | about 8 years ago | (#16084650)

MTV's not a fad. The phone isn't a fad. Hanging out at malls isn't a fad. These all became part of teen culture. The same may one day be said of myspace or other social networking sites.

Re:And here comes the bubble... (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 8 years ago | (#16085207)

Anyone who thinks MTV is the same as it was when it started obviously wasn't alive (or paying attention) when it started. Considering how often MTV plays music videos these days, how many 14-year-olds even know that MTV supposedly stands for "Music TeleVision"? Unlike Myspace and the other hundred sites just like it, the telephone doesn't really have a viable alternative for real-time voice communication, other than perhaps eventually PC voice software. Likewise, shopping malls don't have many alternatives for 15-year-old girls to visit 20 different clothing stores in one afternoon </gross stereotyping>.

Re:And here comes the bubble... (1)

Deoxyribose (997674) | about 8 years ago | (#16086423)

No one said that social networking sites wouldn't change. There is no doubt that social networking sites, like everything else on the internet, will change and shift as the demands of users likewise change and shift. However, the underlying concept of a social networking site is something that can remain viable over the years. Unlike something like, for example, shiny white DRM-ed mp3 players, people, teenagers especially, will always see value in something like a social networking site, preventing the concept from quickly becoming a fad. Social networking sites simply allow someone to easily transfer their real-life relationships to an easy to use online hub, a fairly simple concept. In this simplicity lies its value.

...

Of course, I could be wrong, and next year we could all be using shiny white DRM-ed devices to communicate with our friends instead.

MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (0, Flamebait)

NerdyJock (1001797) | about 8 years ago | (#16083948)

I'm glad I'm not into that crap. People get stupider by merely visiting those sites. I wish those teenager would spend their time on wikipedia, and actually learn something useful.

Re:MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#16084076)

I'm just glad the MySpace types don't edit Wikipedia.

Re:MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (1, Flamebait)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 8 years ago | (#16084081)

Sorry to bust your bubble, but Wikipedia, as worthy as it is, won't help you get laid.
 

Re:MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (3, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | about 8 years ago | (#16084107)

Then someone needs to write a Wikipedia entry on just that topic -- what are you waiting for?

Re:MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (1)

NerdyJock (1001797) | about 8 years ago | (#16084243)

If you can't get laid by your own merits, myspace isn't gonna help much! UNLESS, you learn cheesy pick up lines at myspace :)

Re:MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (1)

russ1337 (938915) | about 8 years ago | (#16084451)

i dunno.. "any hot girlz wanna pm me?" always worked for me....

Re:MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (1)

atarione (601740) | about 8 years ago | (#16084620)

for that matter hanging out on Slashdot will not get you laid either...

Re:MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (1)

thedogcow (694111) | about 8 years ago | (#16085276)

Why would you want to get laid by a myspace user? Chances are you'll probably get an STD and someone who is in the service sector.

Re:MySpace, FaceBook, studpid (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | about 8 years ago | (#16092892)

I have gotten my career started (graduated college 1 year ago) by making contacts on MySpace.

It isn't completely useless.

A preponderance of knowledge (2, Interesting)

Shanoyu (975) | about 8 years ago | (#16083969)

I have to wonder whether or not social networking sites will continue to be hot two or three years down the line. I guess i'm being a bit old-fogeyish since after all we're talking about the 18-24 demographic. It's kind of old hat for me; for someone who is 18 years old I guess it's sort of new though. Either way, after about 2 or 3 years of that I found that the more I used them the less I liked using them, simply because as a particular networking tool becomes more prevalent among your friends (and those unfortunate acquaintances) you find yourself willing to disclose less information about yourself or commit to as many activities via the site.

Re:A preponderance of knowledge (3, Insightful)

Krater76 (810350) | about 8 years ago | (#16084191)

This isn't an EBay or a Google, it's just entertainment and no one is more fickle than the 18-24 demographic. Besides, it's just a matter of time. Kids grow up, trends change. Think about one of the hottest fads that were around when you were 18 and think about how much they affect you now.

I honestly can't think of any fads at all. Maybe that's because 18-24 was college and college was a pretty good time on it's own :)

Re:A preponderance of knowledge (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 8 years ago | (#16084664)

The fads around when you were 18 may no longer affect you now, but that doesn't mean they're not a factor in the lives of current 18 year olds. Advertisers and corporations don't care that you grew out of those fads. They only care that the current batch of teenagers is into it and kids will get into it when they get a little older.

Re:A preponderance of knowledge (1)

Krater76 (810350) | about 8 years ago | (#16085802)

Advertisers and corporations don't care that you grew out of those fads.

Oh, they care. You are correct that advertisers will move on, however, Myspace can't. If they lose their user base because they were a fad it's just as bad as losing their user base to competition. Without eyeballs on the ads no one is going to pay them very much to advertise on their site. Without money there is no business.

Like I said, Myspace isn't Google. Maybe it's just me but they look like a 1-trick pony with nothing to fall back on. Can you see them doing anything that will keep their poularity up or expand their user base other than word of mouth and hype? They are doing things that aren't really that novel and aren't trends - they're fads. That's a good way to make money in the short run but long term I think they are in trouble.

They only care that the current batch of teenagers is into it and kids will get into it when they get a little older.

But that's the problem with fads, there is no tomorrow. They are gone and no one even remembers. The kids who would get into it have moved on to a different fad and we can have the same conversation about that one. Think about music, which is a very fad-driven industry. Grunge, boy-bands, latin music, even swing was popular for a while. Sure those genres are still there but are they even a fraction of what they were? The difference is that business model is sustained on fads much like the fashion industry.

Don't misread what I am saying though. Social networking is not the fad - Myspace is the fad. Social networking will eventually find a new leader and people will move on.

Re:A preponderance of knowledge (1)

kthejoker (931838) | about 8 years ago | (#16087918)

You're thinking too specificially! Social networking is not a fad, it's a new *paradigm* in which fads can exist, and one that did not exist to any appreciable degree 10 years ago. Fads may die, but paradigms (and even the sub-paradigms in which fads thrive and die) do not.

Britney Spears? A fad. Teenybopper music? NOT a fad. Music as status symbol? A paradigm.

Pimp My Ride? A fad. Shows aimed at embracing youth lifestyles? NOT a fad. Shows for people about people? A paradigm.

iPod? Yes, a fad. Portable content technology? NOT a fad. Technology as tool of convenience? A paradigm.

MySpace? Sure, probably a fad. Social Networking? Well ... you can probably guess. The Internet as social construct? A paradigm.

That's what we're talking about. Sure, the specific "fads" of your 18-24 years are gone. And even some of the paradigms have gone away (letter writing shifted to email, tailored suits shifted to sweatshop silk screens, etc) but you're on the wrong level when you discuss social networking as a fad. I mean, just think of those words devoid of context.

Social.

Networking.

Those concepts are as old as civilization itself.

NOT a fad.

Re:A preponderance of knowledge (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 8 years ago | (#16093409)

Actually all those things are fads, they just aren't played out yet.

Re:A preponderance of knowledge (1)

fithmo (854772) | about 8 years ago | (#16085679)

"(and those unfortunate acquaintances)"

This is the #1 deterrent for me (other than, say, supporting News Corp). I vehemently dislike the difficulty posed in getting away from some people who think that "friends list" means "personal validation".

I have been trashed talked/commented by acquaintances in my friends blogs when I've blocked said acquaintances from reading or posting comments in mine. Sometimes I have information I want to share with a select few, but too many people take it to heart when they aren't in the group selected.

This is an old gripe though, as I too have found social networking sites old hat for a couple years now. Now I actually consider having never signed up for MySpace as one of the greatest achievements of my life (my complaints stem from LiveJournal).

population (1, Troll)

venicebeach (702856) | about 8 years ago | (#16083991)

About 36% of MySpace users are people aged 35-54, as are 30% of Facebook users.
Just curious: What percentage of people are aged 35-54?

Re:population (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | about 8 years ago | (#16084156)

According to the 2000 US Census, 29.4% of the population is between the ages of 35 and 54. This is a total of 82,826,479 people.

Re:population (2, Insightful)

dumbfounder (770681) | about 8 years ago | (#16084499)

Wow there is no way that statistic is actually what it sounds like. If the numbers are correct, which I highly doubt they are, then a user aged "35-54" means some old person that heard a kid talking about myspace and was like "wtf is this that" and then went to the homepage and clicked around and thought "this is stupid" and left never to return. If an advertiser used that stat to target their ads I am sure they wouldn't get a very good return. They need to base that stat on pageviews for it to make sense in this context. Based on pageviews I bet the percentage drops to less than 1%.

A marketing wet dream (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 8 years ago | (#16084058)

Your customers tell you all about themselves, voluntarily and for free.

Contrary to most geek's ideas, marketing is bloody difficult. It's actually very expensive, very hard work. You're essentially trying to model human society. That's why they'll pay you to answer questions.

 

Re:A marketing wet dream (1)

russ1337 (938915) | about 8 years ago | (#16084524)

Contrary to most geek's ideas, marketing is bloody difficult. It's actually very expensive, very hard work.
What are you talking about, its easy and free: Buy more cheese [cheese.com] There - an ad for cheese.

that was: 1 easy, 2 free, 3 not hard work.

perhaps you mean 'advertise well'....

Re:A marketing wet dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084819)

Mmmm, cheese.

I'll take 10 lbs.

Re:A marketing wet dream (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 8 years ago | (#16087356)

Ah, I see that you have no idea what marketing is. What you did was advertising, not marketing.

Re:A marketing wet dream (1)

russ1337 (938915) | about 8 years ago | (#16088874)

I was waiting for your reply...
From Wikipedia:
Marketing is the ongoing process of moving people closer to making a decision to purchase, use, follow...or conform to someone else's products, services or values. Simply, if it doesn't facilitate a "sale" then it's not marketing."
Next time you buy cheese instead of making your own, think of me.

Re:A marketing wet dream (1)

asuffield (111848) | about 8 years ago | (#16087477)

Contrary to most geek's ideas, marketing is bloody difficult.


I was not aware that (m)any people think marketing is easy.

What is widely thought (amoung the minority of people in the world who are literate) is that marketing is evil, at least in the forms it is commonly practiced.

GeoCities 2.0 (1)

Coco Lopez (886067) | about 8 years ago | (#16084095)

Same $#it, different brand.

Kind of a no-brainer (1)

Riding Spinners (994836) | about 8 years ago | (#16084126)

Advertisers have a hard time trying to advertise to the right demographics. Anyone who's worked in any business that has an advertising budget (pretty much any business) knows that setting up advertising campaigns is like throwing a dart in the dark at a dartboard a mile away.

With social networking sites, everybody will give you their information – with that kind of information disclosure, there's almost no need for research teams!

Of course, there's the whole pedophile stalking issue, but without them we would never have those entertaining Dateline NBC series. As long as people aren't stealing identities and slapping their watermark on them [ebaumsworldsucks.com] , we should be fine.

Yep, it sure is hard to find those pedophiles! (1)

StandardDeviant (122674) | about 8 years ago | (#16084133)

(from the article): "About 36% of MySpace users are people aged 35-54, as are 30% of Facebook users."

;)

Or, as Matthew McConnahguguadgwrhwrhwrhweugh's character (wooderson) said in Dazed and Confused "That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age."

All these sites are the walking dead. (1)

dominion (3153) | about 8 years ago | (#16084309)

who has amassed more than 120,000 'friends' that opt (for rewards) to associate themselves with his profile."

What kind of a social network has to buy it's friends?

I really kind of marvel at the way social networking has evolved on the web. Corporations have sunk their teeth into it, but the fit hasn't been very good, has it?

Part of that is that social networking needs to stop being centered around isolated websites that function as islands, seperated from each other. Instead, social networks need to function like the internet themselves: Interoperable, decentralized, and based on open standards.

Think of how much email would suck if I had to be the same server as you to send you one? Why do I have to be on Myspace.com to add someone as a friend? There is no single, technical reason why I couldn't be on Friendster.com and add a MySpace user as a friend.

What's preventing that kind of functionality is social, not technical.

As a side note, I think the best thing to happen to social networking is if it stops being "cool." If it stops being something you talk about in that hip, 1996 Wired Magazine kinda way, and starts being just something that is.

answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16086516)

"What kind of a social network has to buy it's friends?"

I can think of several, the largest is governments, that use the carrot and stick of extremely strange and convulted tax structures to reward (buy through wealth transference) friends and punish (fines, fees, incarceration) enemies

then churches (pay us such and such and you'll get such and such, plus camarderie and some vague ethereal promises)

then political parties (you get to hamg out with clones of yourself and sit around and complain it is all the liberalconservative's fault, wile listening to your favorite cloned talk radio ranter who says the same thing-all the while donating cash plus buying the radio ranters junk like ghost written books)

then professional sports team (you get to be a physical macho man simultaneously while being a lardass girly man by your team "winning" and "killing" the other team, and you get to sit next to others who are exactly the same)

online gaming (should be beyond self explanatory there)

and some more. Basically any large group of people with similar interests has a cost and benefit angle to it if you really look at it. In some ways you have to be bought in, in other ways you pay to be "in". Slashdot is an example. FOSS community is another.

Facebook ages (1)

mevans (791269) | about 8 years ago | (#16084323)

30% of Facebook users are 35 or older? I thought that it was invented for college students. I mean, the extensions to high school students makes the population younger, and my impression of the corporate networks has been something targeted at recent alums. Something smells fishy here - I think that social networking and its related revenues (advertising) remains the domain of the young, with too much time on their hands.

Re:Facebook ages (2, Informative)

Shag (3737) | about 8 years ago | (#16085872)

30% of Facebook users are 35 or older? I thought that it was invented for college students.

Pretty much so... but the criteria used to determine college affiliation was possession of a .edu address. That tended to set a lower bound on age (relatively few people below 16-17 are affiliated with colleges or universities in ways that get them addresses) but didn't set an upper bound at all, when you factor in things like:

a) People "going back to school" - my wife "mommy-tracked" for 8 years, then picked up a second degree at 33.
b) Grad students, who are typically about 23-28 instead of 17-23
c) Postdocs, who are typically about 28-33
d) Alumni, who can be any age
d) Staff, who can also be any age - I'm staff, 35, and on Facebook because a lot of the grads and postdocs I work with are on there. (And for the free music from Apple.)
e) Faculty, who are likely to be even older than staff. ;)

Suddenly that skewed age figure is a lot more attainable.

Re:Facebook ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16086221)

Facebook is also open to thousands of employees of various corporations (check the "companies" list, right next to schools.)

Re:Facebook ages (1)

datawhore (161997) | about 8 years ago | (#16087421)

while these hypotheticals may account for 1-2% of the total 35+ college demographic, it almost certainly doesn't account for 30%. I think I must invoke the 'you are on slashdot, therefore you are automatically the exception' rule :)

The #s are based on comScore Media Metrix's demographics, which I discovered are quite faulty (and thanks to businessweek, not reality checked!). I did lots of research in this area and ran many comScore reports to verify the accuracy of these #s. comScore demographics are based on the owner of the computer that is running comScore software (e.g. often, say about 30% of the time, this is the parents computer).

Go on facebook and search for profiles of users 35-54. In the San Francisco network (a pretty hip and with it place to be i hear) you'll find less than 100 profiles, out of the many many thousands in the region 35. Queries like that are where you find the true numbers.

Hope that helps!

Quality vs. quantity (1)

vsquad (863713) | about 8 years ago | (#16084327)

Some social networks depend on a large number of mostly meaningless "friends" that make a social circle. Others, like http://www.personio.com/ [personio.com] do a much more thorough job at predicting compatibility.

Ask Slashdot: Monitization of Social Web? (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | about 8 years ago | (#16084530)

This article seems a bit lame, so I'll propose a rather pertinent question to the /.ers that decided to hang around for discussion: what forms of monetization of social networks do you think are a good idea? Are there any that won't piss off users while still making good returns? Are here any you are surprised no one is doing yet? Yes, there's advertising, but there has to be so much more there just waiting to be realized.

Re:Ask Slashdot: Monitization of Social Web? (1)

MaelstromX (739241) | about 8 years ago | (#16085794)

I think paid subscriptions will drive the next successful social networking site.

There's a reason that Myspace is considered the cesspool of the internet; it has a reputation as being full of either naive teenage girls or sex predators. And quite rightfully so, as its current setup caters to the first and so by extension, the second, by making the process of posting a personal profile as simple as a few clicks.

Personally I do not have an account on there even though most of my friends do, for several reasons but the above being one of them. If I am going to get involved in an online community, including having personal information publicly displayed, it would be more reassuring me to know that not every nutjob who wants to can come across it. This is why I do use and enjoy Facebook, as you must either be friends with a person or be a member of their network (by school or employer) to view their complete profile. I don't know everybody at my school but I tend to trust that few of my classmates are dangerous threats to my personal safety, so no harm done really.

So Facebook has that screening process, but its downside is that I can then only browse the profiles of people I go to school with. What if I want to meet people I have common interests with who I would be compatible with (as acquaintances, as mates, and everything in between), yet I still want there to be some sort of screening or filtering mechanism so that I'm not wading through scum [myspace.com] ? I could conceive of a service where you pay for some sort of an initial background check (nothing too severe in most cases, maybe a check to see where you work/go to school, criminal background, and you fill out a questionnaire) and if you are accepted, a monthly subscription to remain a member of the network.

There could be different levels of subscription (the higher ones being able to view the profiles of the lower ones, but not the other way around) and varying depths of background checks (the higher ones requiring references). Hell, there could be a free level of service with no check, and maybe a minimal one above it that just checks to see that you aren't a registered sex offender or have been convicted of a felony in the lsat 12 months. From there you could keep making it more and more restrictive, eventually not just weeding out criminals or potential criminals but also people who simply aren't as interesting, successful, and/or accomplished, and to belong to the higher, elite "levels" would carry a much higher subscription fee (which doubly assures you that the random weirdos and creeps will generally not be able to see you).

The only roadblock, as with all sites of this nature, would be getting it started. If I were running it I would cater first to professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and executives, and if I could establish that base then the lower "levels" would fill themselves quickly as the site built its name recognition.

Re:Ask Slashdot: Monitization of Social Web? (1)

human_err (934003) | about 8 years ago | (#16087564)

How about going the opposite direction? Since corporations are having so much trouble capitalizing off this growing phenomenon, we should take advantage of their unpreparedness and interject a non-monetary goal before it's too late and a potentially Good Thing becomes commodified trash like almost everything else the machine grinds up and spits out.

What social networks represent to me is people reaching out and sharing values without a middleman. On the popular social networks, they're sharing their values in arts, entertainment, and ego ornamentation. On employment networks, they're sharing their industrial values. On care2.com [care2.com] , they're sharing their values in human dignity and bettering society.

Money is a symbolic unit of value, i.e. it's supposed to represent the things we value. Now that we can share values without mediation, can't we gradually phase out money by communicating our values and wishes on these networks? Imagine craigslist.org [craigslist.org] or freecycle.org [freecycle.org] but with the accountability of eBay/Amazon feedback, Myspace testimonials/comments, and listing of mutual friends to use as references. Goods, services, knowledge, and other things of value can be offered as free gifts on your profile page. Givers screen solicitors by looking at their profile, friends, comments, etc. Wishes can also be posted.

On Global Ideas Bank, I've heard of this gift social network working successfully in a poor neighborhood in NY using computers available to the public. A form of social networking also worked in Katrina, hooking up the flood victims with people offering temporary housing. Let's expand this to the national scale and maybe the global scale when it's ready. I also recently found givegetnation.net [givegetnation.net] , exactly the idea I was looking for, but it's in such a primitive state right now, so I contacted the founder volunteering to help develop. C'mon, let's change the world. Who's with me?

nonzero(at)gmail

10 years ago (1)

hkgroove (791170) | about 8 years ago | (#16084554)

Myspace was called Geocities and you only had to put a link to their webpage to claim you were friends with the other person.

Some people are forgetting about the age group... (1)

SatanClauz (741416) | about 8 years ago | (#16084719)

kids aged xx - xx are so fickle and will move on blah blah..

well guess what? There will ALWAYS be people in that age group!!

what does it matter that the current crop will get bored of it? NULL

I missed out again. (1)

elgee (308600) | about 8 years ago | (#16084736)

geekspace.com and nerdspace.com are taken.

Too Much! (3, Interesting)

PineHall (206441) | about 8 years ago | (#16084753)

Is it me, or has the amount of advertising reached an all time high? Everywhere I look I see "Buy! BUY! Buy!" No wonder the national saving rate is currently negative. We are digging ourselves way into debt. I think this is not good in the long term. I wonder how long can this last and if there will be a backlash.

Advertising on social networking sites looks like a good idea, but I wonder when people will say no more and avoid these advertisement websites. I think people will eventually look for web communities where advertising is a minimum. And many people will pay for advertising-free websites.

That's interesting. (2, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about 8 years ago | (#16084830)

Burger King, an international chain of restaurants which has been in business for over 50 years, designs a new mascot and gets 127,220 [myspace.com] MySpace friends.

Christine Dolce, an unemployed twenty-something cosmetologist who may well have been conceived in the parking lot of a Burger King, bleached her hair and took off her shirt to get 1,022,716 [myspace.com] friends.

I think the jury is in on just what the Internet is used for.

Socnet sites are honey pots for morons two ways (1)

haggie (957598) | about 8 years ago | (#16085069)

a.) If you think that a collection of "friends" that you don't know, you've never spoken to, and have no real-world connection makes you cool, you are exactly the type of guillible, low-IQ, idiot that advertisers love. b.) If you buy or invest in a company that claims it can make millions from getting morons to visit a website where a collection of "friends" that they don't know, they've never spoken to, and have no real-world connection makes them cool, you are exactly the type of guillible, low-IQ, idiot that start-up CEOs love.

USAF (1)

TAiNiUM (66843) | about 8 years ago | (#16085831)

The U.S. Air Force recently announced [af.mil] their own myspace site [myspace.com] . They have been promoting it in base newspapers and with a companion site [dosomethingamazing.com] . It officially launches on 18Sep.

Re:USAF (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | about 8 years ago | (#16086213)

And, of course, if you're not a friend of the Air Force, then you're not a Patriot!

Summary is too long. (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 8 years ago | (#16086626)

These marketing drives are aimed at younger consumers, but (from the article): "About 36% of MySpace users are people [...]"
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