Why Niche Social Networks Encourage More Meaningful Interaction

From the blog:

Why Niche Social Networks Encourage More Meaningful Interaction [OPINION]

On Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, it’s all about the feed. Tidbits of information, usually about current happenings, move down the screen at a stock ticker’s pace, giving off an infectious energy. It’s an energy that not only keeps us returning to these sites, clamoring for more, but one that also dictates what we share and with whom we choose to share it.

These massive social sites are today’s fast-paced, online cities. Inside their walls we are compelled to create large networks of connections. We watch as updates move through our feed, and we add to the communal stream of consciousness, knowing that what we share has a shelf life of mere minutes. Then it’s buried, and our social feeds continue to churn and deliver the next batch of evermore recent updates.

So where’s my online country retreat, where calm inspires reflection? Where the pace is slowed and I can mingle with a smaller, more intimate group? We learn so much from each other when we share and connect. But, when we are connected to a broad group, we tend to share things that are easily digested by a broad audience. The insider details are lost.

The big three social networks — Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+ — all encourage maximum connections. They also prioritize only the most recently shared information. As a result, we seem to share similarly across all three. These sites encourage a certain breed of information sharing, but this one breed, popular though it is, is not the end-all, be-all of online social interactions — it’s just a singular mode of expression.

There is room for more …

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~ by WPA Staff on September 8, 2011.

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