Monday, March 26, 2007

Media / Trends: The Long Tail of online social networks

brandchannel features an interesting article from the hand of Stuart Hogue, strategic director at frog design, about social networks. Exisiting social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are getting too expansive to offer their members a truly meaningful community interaction, Hogue sais.

In order to truly give people the opportunity to embrace their individualism online, social networks will have to start acting more like offline social circles, that is, to be exclusive. Whether through invitation systems, approval processes, or narrowly defined content, these sites will not only have to care about who is using them, but also who is not. Smaller, more specialized groups are the online networking tools of tomorrow.

The Long Tail
Hogue applies Chris Anderson's theory of 'The Long Tail' to online social networks. The next wave in social networking may be to move people away from the "short head" of community accessibility (mega-networks like MySpace) toward the "long tail" of human individuality, the traits that we share with the few, rather than the many. Social networks, Hogue states, should rethink their approach to creating value.

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