Something to think about... / blog
Linkin, Facebook, Hi5, Friendster, Orkut, Bebo etc
I am "sometimes" asked if I have a profile on MySpace, Facebook, Linkin etc... and I get a couple emails every month from varies people inviting me to be added to their profile as a "friend". So, I thought I would clarify why I rarely answer or take action to any of those requests.
I do have a profile with almost any social network on the internet (I know of 118 different ones) - including all the big ones. The main reason why I signed up is not to use them, but to see what it is all about. It is the same with Second Life, where I have an "avatar", just to figure what that was about.
But, I do not use any social networks as part of my daily work. I already got the biggest profiles of all right here on Baekdal.com. It is extremely flexible, I can do whatever I want with it - and more importantly I am fully in control of my personal information.
So, in short - my "social profile" is located here on my site...
There are 5 reasons why I don't use social networks:
- Lack of trust and control. I simply do not trust the social networks and the people within them to protect my digital identity. I know how important it is to protect a digital identity and more so the value of protecting and targeting your personal brand.
- There are close friends and then there is somebody that just knows me. The second problem is that while I am perfectly comfortable with telling my close friends and family about all the wacky things that I do, it is not something I want everyone else to be able to see. The current social networks do not differentiate between close friends and anyone else (all of them is called friends). I am not a teenager anymore, I might want to tell my friends if I am looking for a date, but I am sure not going to publish that all over the internet (I am not that desperate :o)).
- Crap. Let's face it, 90% of all the things going on in social networks is just crap. Facebook is the worst I have experience so far - my front page is filled with junk.
- I am already online. A lot of people use social networks to store and manage contacts, photos, things to remember, things to do or just to be online so people can find you. But I already got this site, and I have a special area (not public and password protected) of this site that is synchronized with certain offline content (contacts, to-do's, ideas etc.). There is really no advantage for me to move all that information to a system that I do not fully control (or trust).
- Most of my friends are not "social networkers". They are not people who live on the internet (like me). They are physiotherapist, artists, school "teacher" (in a sense), electricians, marketing professional, authors etc. 98% of them do not know what Facebook is (or rather, they know what it is, but they have never visited the site - and frankly are not likely to ever do so). But, a few of them use Twitter and many of them use Flickr - but like me, Facebook and MySpace seems too much like a site for adults pretending to be teenagers.
The only sites that I do use myself are Flickr, YouTube and I do have a secret Twitter account which I update on rare occasions.
Note: I am seriously considering switching from YouTube to Blip.tv because of the much improved quality and more flexible and usable feature set.