Friends as a feature

16 Mar 2004|Christoper Ireland

Denise’s blog on SNAM reminded me of the reaction I had when first exposed to networking sites. With Friendster, it was simple curiousity that motivated me to join. I stopped paying attention when I suddenly had 34,000 friends…. But as the networking invitations increased, including LinkedIn, Spoke and Orkut, I became more intentional. I only have so much bandwidth for this type of experimentation, so I needed to choose.

I looked at the services, the software features and the interface. In some cases, the choice was easy. Orkut is clearly positioning itself to young singles–that’s not me. With LinkedIn and Spoke, the decision was tougher. I actually preferred Spokes’ approach. The privacy factor scored high with me and it seems to have a more deliberate business focus. But in the end, it was my friends that won out. When I compared who I knew in Spoke with who I knew at LinkedIn, i noticed that my “party list” was better represented at LinkedIn. Since for me, networking is all about friends, I chose LinkedIn, despite its shortcomings. This could get interesting…

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