More and more I have the idea that the movements of social networks can be compared to the weather. They change due to some constant changing forces.. The three main forces that, I believe, change social networks are: size, feeling of community and relevance. These forces are constantly moving. For example MySpace: its is so big that people feel lost again and miss the community/family feeling resulting in less relevance. Youth are the first to leave. YouTube/Flickr? Same thing happens. They start to be so big that I am starting to get lost.. Feeling that I am missing out on the good stuff(real stuff). From a technological and marketing point of view working with tags should help me guide right? NOT! Also the provision of other content with the same tag around your selected photo/clip doesn’t work. It gives me the feeling that I always need to search.. The focus is on the search not on the experience. I am never satisfied in my true need: feeling connected share experiences and be entertained. You know as around a campfire. I am not satisfied with leaving just a comment.
Next to that these big social sophisticated smart databases are to clinical in the end to really entertain me. Where is the Ben & Jerry’s in these networks. The human aspect? Surprise me sometimes. Simple things like Google does during special days(christmas, Halloween). Without a ‘human’ face it will be hard to build a brand and loyalty.
It is such a difficult balance between size(enough relevant content), community feeling( feeling connected) and relevance(understanding the TRUE needs).
Only way to have lasting social networks I believe is that Instant Messaging and Social Media merge. Giving you the objects to share and the people to share it with..