Social Networking has spread like the plague…and that’s sort of the point.

They are addictive, viral beasts, these websites. I was recently roped into FaceBook. I’m also on Friendster, MySpace, LinkedIn, and countless similar websites I can’t even remember. I’ll ignore them until someone adds me as a friend or sends me a message. Then I wake up and realize I’ve been browsing around for longer then I’d like to admit and remember I could actually do something like go outside during my free time. Seriously, the non-work time I have to myself is limited, why would I spend a second of it on MySpace?

Well, I actually have reconnected with old friends, some friends do have amusing profiles or even put up useful info like events, etc…. I get it. I’ve been sucked in like all the rest.

MySpace especially drives me crazy, though. I understand that it is fun to have the control to create something of your own with relative ease. But given the opportunity, countless seem to go for anything that blinks, clashes, or is visually painful in some way. It’s back to personal websites ca. 1997 or so.

I mean, come on! (The one above belongs to a woman claiming to be 35 years old, it’s not even a teenager’s.)

Ok, each to their own. I realize I’m saying this while I blog away on a Hello Kitty site. Who am I to talk?

What I really find interesting is the amazing marketing bonanza. The profile above has buttons for T.G.I. Fridays, eBay, and Wal-mart, among others. These are not ads but images the user herself has added. Thousands of start-ups these days are trying to think up more ways to exploit this potential, and I say go for it.

Millions of people use MySpace, advertisers love it. There are banner ads on every profile, or Google AdWords tied into – as far as I can tell – terms/phrases used on the profile you’re logged into. This is seriously brilliant. That’s not even including the ads on the homepage. Its background even sports the latest movie releases.

FaceBook is a little more subtle, one ad per page. I’m sure they make plenty of dough off that, especially since they opened things up to the general public. Friendster has an average of 2 ads a page, as does LinkedIn. But this is not shocking, the whole web is like that, we understand it and are used to it, just like network tv.

Hey, as I wrote above, go for it. I mind the ads less than what people willingly put on their pages. And I kind of can’t wait to see what they’ll try next.

Hm, what can I put on my MyFriendsterBookSpace profile next?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.