(Crosspost) So, about this "social networking" thing...

[ I posted this over at Book Place also but thought I'd post it here as well. ]

I came to Book Place by way of Crimespace which was the first "social network" that I decided to join. With Crimespace I saw the point, I'm an editor of an online e-zine of crime fiction. Ditto with Book Place as I'm a hopeless collector of books.

I've spent a lot of time adding new "friends" as the requests come in. I try to check out each member page as I go to get some idea of who each person is. I've customized my pages on both sites a little bit and added a few personal touches. I've posted a few comments on forums and blogs and added some "chatter". All in all I like Crimespace and Book Place more than the other social networking sites I've looked at.

But now I'm left wondering what the big deal is all about. My personal Blog posts, like this one, seem to never show up anywhere else. Likely no one else will read this once I've posted it unless they happen across my personal page. When I display the list of Friend requests there seems to be no way to link to their full webpage, all you get is a brief profile. I'd rather look at the full page with their bio and all. As a result I have to go to my email program to find the email that was sent with the friend request which, for some reason, has the full web link. If I add chatter to one person's webpage it doesn't record or show up on my own so I have to remember, some how, to go back to that page to see if the person responded. Otherwise you have to add chatter responses to both your own chatterwall and the other person's chatterwall or they may never know that you even responded. Oh, and the unfortunate way in which my web browser pauses until the Google ads are displayed, that's a lot of fun.

Everything seems to be in distinct silos of information on each person's own webpage with the only interaction happening in the forum. So fine, maybe I missed the finer points of using the site. And maybe I'm not geeky enough. But is that all that this "social networking" is about?

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Comment by Robert K. Foster on May 23, 2007 at 7:32am
Pepper, yes it is handy to have that display of friends to easily check on how things are going with them.

Hopefully the technology will advance over time. :)
Comment by Pepper Smith on May 23, 2007 at 7:17am
Yeah, it does have it's drawbacks--I, too, would rather be able to check out a friend request's page without having to go to the email to access it. And I also do check out pages to get an idea of who people are.

At least once you've friended someone, you have a neat little icon in your friends list that lets you go directly to their page and see if they've added anything lately. (Speaking of, I need to update mine. )

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