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A social networking study – What went wrong

September 6th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Social Networking

A recent study by Synovate states that “58% of people don’t know what social networking is” and goes further to show survey results that one third of people are losing interest in social networking. You can also find this study discussed discussed here.

It looks like this study while making an attempt to look at the basics has completely overlooked the most basic question that should have been the foundation of the study itself.
“Define Social Networking ?”

The opening survey question of asking people “do you know what online social networking is?” makes the fatal assumption that those who say no in fact do not participate in social networking. This brings us back to my initial point. “Define what is social networking?”

  • Is social networking the online version of SMS provided by Twitter?
  • Is it a wealth of application sharing on Facebook and Orkut?
  • Is it professional networking like Linkedin ?
  • Is it simply posting a comment on someones blog ?

I would say yes to all of the above and more.

Social networking is in fact a broad term which is perhaps best defined as mediums of online interaction and exchange of ideas.
As a matter of fact by placing this post I am participating in a form of social networking. However I would not necessary call my blog a social network would it ?

Most experts in human behavioral psychology would confirm that humans are social creatures. As long as people continue to be human it is inevitable that we will continue to interact with each other.  Social networking means online interaction and exchange of ideas between both individuals and groups. It does not necessarily mean mean “are you a member of site XYZ”. The mediums will evolve over time but the activity will remain.

Therefore it would seem from my point of view that this “Global Survey” has completely missed the point.

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