Social Networking, communication, and the way we share.

I’ve been hearing about social networks for the last few years. Things like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Digg. Now, the point of these sites originally was to give people a place they could post their interests, thoughts, and generally get in contact with those they share common cause. I’ve spent some time the last few days pondering the technical merits of Twitter while I sighed up, integrated it with dhampirdreams.com and general added folk to watch. This all started when I decided that I wanted to finally play around with the microblogging plasmoid in KDE 4.x. Thankfully all I had to do was enter the website address and my login information for Twitter. As you can see from the screenshot it just keep the current tweets and such plastered there. I’m hoping to find more people to follow over time.

One of the things I insisted on finding was a way to make it work with this blog so that I can at least have some integration. there is a sidebar just under the last.fm radio that shows all my tweets for you guys to look at. I THINK I also set it so that it will take posts like this one and make a short tweet for them as well. We’ll see how that works out I suppose. Hopefully it will simply do something like a short snippet of the actual post then link to the main one. Not sure how that will work, this will be the first one of them.

But I will say this started me thinking about social networking in general. Over the last decade or so we’ve spent a good portion of time finding ways of sharing what we like and what we think with people around the world. This has led to blogs like this with no real purpose, as well as blogs that have provided some of the most interesting thoughts and reports on real world events. During the aftermath of the Elections in Iran earlier this year, blogs and sites of that nature were the only way to keep updated. The regular news organizations tried, however unless you have access to something like CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News through cable/sat then you are stuck with the locals. Of course one could make the argument that if you can’t get cable, or afford it, then you really only ned to keep your world view in the local area.

Thing is that there are a ton of sites like this, a ton of blogs, and a ton of social networks out on the net that try to do the same thing. obviously the most recognized get picked up and get a lot of people watching them. you have folk like me who stick with the websites they started, like Darkscribes.org and Dhampirdreams.com. of course some people seem to have an account EVERYWHERE. Makes you wonder how to find the social network that actually works for you. Almost like in years past when you had all the rival instant messengers, and before something like Pigin, Kopete, Trillian, and like minded software you ended up having around 4 programs installed just to talk to people.

I do have to wonder what will come next. If we’ve gone from blogging full on stories and accounts of events like this, to small lines of no more then 140 characters, then what is next? Cell Phone Text Messages on the net? short texts of random information for everyone. Maybe I might tweet about making my coffee in the morning. Whatever happens, let us hope that those who would do little more then dump a shit load of words with no purpose are drown out by those using the concepts for more interesting things. I sure hope I do at least.