It is everywhere and nowhere. It is being Twittered, blogged and tumbld. It’s Myspace, your space and everywhere in between. Every day a new social network appears (or disappears) … and we drag our addled brains towards each new invention — just to try. We beg and cajole and weasel out exclusive invitations to like it provides us with a valuable form of social-network-currency.
But where does it land us? What happens to all those "accounts", "profiles" or "homes" when we forget to update them? Do they end up in the same place as odd socks? Is there a way to MAINTAIN these sites, profiles and communities? Are they communities at all or just copies of the same communities you interact with elsewhere?
Now I love something new and shiny — perhaps this is the one thing that I share with Paris Hilton — but there comes a point where you need to re-assess. There are only so many hours a day that can be devoted to actively caring for a social network … so where does it end? This is exactly the question that Valeria Maltoni asks. What is it that has value and how do you determine where to invest your time and effort?
A good way of understanding where the value of social networks lie is this chart borrowed from Mike Press by David Armano. If our experience of a social network does not sustain us or provide us with a degree of pleasure or allow us to resolve some need, then we can quickly move from commitment to disengagement. The challenge for these social networks is to constantly work to uncover unrealised need states within and around the community base … and then continue to drive this cycle forward — into a new life context and cycle of commitment.