Blogging was where we began, and how we built our company so we have preserved this archive to show how our thinking developed over a decade of developing the use of social technology inside organisations

Weblogs more social than social networks

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Two people whose perspectives I always value gave some positive feedback on yesterday’s article about Orkut (which is back by the way ;-). Then both went on to write pieces about weblogs vs online social networks that made excellent points
Dina Mehta wrote that “My blog is my social software.  It is also my social network:”“It has my profile and much more – it has my identity fleshed out, through my posts.

  • A profile with history that allows you to know so much about me – i started blogging in March 2003 – and already readers people have seen me add new professional interests and take my qualitative research skills into new areas, some know i love music and Floyd, others have been with me to my cottage in the hills, read about my holiday and meetings with some wonderful bloggers on my trip, seen me change home, celebrated with me when i got a project due to my blog, and even wondered where i am when i’ve gone silent on my blog for a few days.
  • A profile that tells you much more than any homepage i have on Ecademy or Ryze or Tribe or LinkedIn could.
  • A profile that changes, grows, flows – not a cold resume or ‘about me’ page filled with past achievements and accolades – but is touchy-feely and one that says more about me through my thoughts, interests, preoccupations, rants, rambles and angst – that makes me more than just a consultant or a qualitative researcher – or a demographic statistic, ‘female blogger from India’.
  • A profile that is salient too – it gets me high up on Google in many areas of search – so i do get noticed.
  • A profile that is my online identity – yet one that has led me to many face-to-face meetings, some that have resulted in new friends, others that i am pursuing professional interests with. And some that are a wonderful combination of the two.”
Lilia Efimova also pointed out some differences between Weblogs and social networking sites
1. Weblogs are “fuzzy and emotional” vs. “clear and square” YASNs
2. “Learning about someone from a weblog takes time. Personality appears in a context and through time to read many lines of weblog posts and to participate in conversations,” whereas “at YASNs, finding about someone’s profile and network doesn’t take much time (only invitation or access rights :).”3. Weblogs are about building relations, not just browsing them
Thanks to both for some useful insights.

2 Responses to Weblogs more social than social networks

  1. By liam on February 8, 2004 at 5:06 am

    Both are interesting perspectives of social software. I share Dinah’s views and, up until now, I thought I was missing something. I’m glad to see I’m not alone or totally not getting it.
    To me, blogs are conversations, while YASNs are business cards. And I think Lilia captures the true spirit of what a YASN really is: a way to network and make connections – clear and square. LinkedIn, etc work well for establishing your online identity. Orkut seems to be trying to create an online community as well as being a social/business connector – will the mix work? Personally I find that more interesting than having another Friendster on the block.
    However, I’m still debating whether or not to accept the invitation lying in my Inbox.

  2. By liam on February 8, 2004 at 5:13 am

    Apologies to Dina for spelling her name wrong! Don’t know why I added that ‘h’. I hate when people spell my name wrong. Sorry.
    liam