Are online social networks here to stay?

Submitted by Phillip Williams on Sun, 06/18/2006 - 11:45.

I just came across a recent article on C/Net's website (click here) about the possibility that online social networks are not what we might think they are. They state that they are a fad, something that will begone as quickly as it started.

  • The main problem?
  • People just don't get it? No
  • People are not participating? No
  • There is not enough content to keep people there? No

It all comes down to the following... Money and the “It's MINE syndrome”. It is always about what is in it for ME ME ME.

Ok, so it is obvious that I don't like that way of thinking. Please do not misunderstand me either, I have a family and need to keeps the lights on too. I just do not like to see everyone so concerned about making money as the first and only goal.

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We sure know about that kinda thinking around NEO

The "be mine" and "be about money" things don't work with together in current social networking dynamics at all - especially as technology and applications evolve and globalization really kicks in. Regarding technology, we're moving ubiquitous and that means open and personal - read RFID chips in your skin and every device you own monitoring everything in your life and providing you instant feedback - regarding aps... we're pushing the integration of identity management with rich content, artificial intelligence and cognitive science so what we have now ain't nothing yet. Add globalization and realize none of the "players" today will be players tomorrow. That said, we will always find ways to use technology to socialize, which is the crux of social computing, and we will find ways to do it without being owned by anyone else. The main problems with the evolution of great social computing are governments obsessed with capitalism and communism - China is completely corrupt and America isn't much better, and is getting worse daily - those are two major offenders acting in the name of issolationism, which is antisocial. Where social networking will evolve most freely is in the most free and socialist places on Earth - where those will be in the future I don't know... get Bush and his ilk out of US government and social computing could well be a strength in America - I'm betting on Europe in general, but am watching Canada and hope for breakthroughs in Africa - wherever it is, I'll be there, as I'm a socialist.

But Yahoo, MySpace, Facebook et al are at the root of all evil

I got so interested by your posting, Phillip, I didn't read the link until after I gave my answer, which holds true. But, regarding MySpace, Facebook, Tribe, Friendster, eHarmony and all that commercial shrinkwrap, it is all Ivy League forking of open source software gone corporate, AKA sellout. They each took basic open technology and found a hook that got them good traffic, etc. That allowed them to raise VC (and they have raised VC like crazy) and buy more features, making their tech more unique, but its all downright primative. And none of them - google included - have the resources to compete with open source, so they are all bit players in the global future of social computing... Ubuntu is more important to the future of all humanity than Yahoo is to anything, and that is from an African entrepreneur who started a non-profit for society. No comparison. I look forward to seeing MySpace blow up when all the fools up there realize they are owned by and working for News Corp., as evil an enterprise as exists. All the kids will grow up and learn how to compute and communicate in the big open world and want to own themselves - there's a big open source world for that, and it will keep blowing our minds for as long as the Earth sustains people and technology...

Why are artists seen as sellouts if they make a dollar

"Why are artists seen as sellouts if they make a dollar and nonprofits aren't?"

Just a question.

Sincerely,

Alex P. Michaels

Prelude2Cinema
    A Branded Entertainment Company

http://prelude2cinema.pbwiki.com

PS. I'm on My space. For me, it's just a way to market my "art" and since its free and I don't have tons of VC money or non-profit funds, I have to do what I can.
http://myspace.com/welcome2darkness

My son's an artist and he needs to make money

I don't know anyone who thinks artists are sellouts for wanting to make money - I'd like to see graffiti artists make money (and I'd like some of their art), and I buy art whenever I can afford. Who do you know that think artists shouldn't make money? We should talk to them about that, as they are nuts. I majored in art in college and my parents were totally against it - said I couldn't make a living - I now know they were wrong... once an artist always an artist, which means I can knock out a hot website or make my pad cool - I get paid for my art in all sorts of ways... sometimes financial and sometimes emotional. You can make a living at anything you like - it may not be your parents living, but who wants that. My older son is an artist and I not only support that but think it is a very smart carreer choice. As the world goes down the toilet, art is one of the only things that keeps life worthwhile and that will be true to the last day - it sure ain't lawyers and accountants making the world special (although my lawyer is a filmmaker). There will always be tons of money available to artists - whether they find it is another matter. In NEO, all the non-profit folks are talking about teaching artists business and at the CIA they have the awful slogan "Making Art Work" and all that is wrong... if art is work then we need a new name for artists, bacuase they just were made workers. Artists are ultracreative people who have a unique dedication to unique personal communication - in some cases very few other people even grasp what an artist may be about - can you see in the mind of Jackson Pollack? Carl Andre? Andy Warhol? Pure genius. Worth a fortune. Totally sick.

Art and Money

Well, to speak in diplomatic terms, I consider myself an artisit and I told someone I had to take time away from "talking" to make some money to create my art. Well, my God you would have thought I spoke blasphemy. It was as if that didn't make sense.

"In NEO, all the non-profit folks are talking about teaching artists business"

I don't think artists should look at it exactly as a business, but they can benefit from some business techniques. Especially when it comes to getting cash. I know non-profits get cash. I think the artists should as well.  Whatever art it is, it takes funds to create.

I use to work in the corporate world. I didn't like it and thank God, I don't have to be a slave to it anymore.  Still, you pretty much knew where they stood. They were out to make a dollar, pure and simple. Should they have had loftier goals? Sure, but they didn't and you knew that.  In the corporate world, for the most part, making a dollar is the bottom line and only agenda.

I have grown disillussioned with non-porfits at this stage. There are tons of them here and they seems to have different agendas. While I have no problem with people getting paid for whatever they do, I wonder why they are all concerned with talking to artists nowadays. Is it to benefit the artist?

I like to make money with my art. I have in the past. I plan to do so in the future. I could probably make more money if I "watered" down my art and did what others want me to do. But that would be too much like work. 

Sincerely,

Alex P. Michaels

Prelude2Cinema
    A Branded Entertainment Company

http://prelude2cinema.pbwiki.com

Beautifully said, and easily solved

You are right about everything in this posting. Artists are entrepreneurs and I know that world as well as anyone alive. You live in a horrible place for entrepreneurs. The community is very unsophisticated and sprawled so that the possible funding sources are spread thin and attacked on all fronts all the time. The non-profits you speak of are diverse - some are good for some things and many are absolute disgraces. In every sector in this small economy there are core non-profits that suck huge funding and attention away from action - I see it more in environmentalism, er, sustainability, but I see it in the arts as well. Now the fact you are an artist in this unsophisticated sprawled region means you are likely to go unappreciate no matter what - I'd say the better the artist you are the more likely you are to be underappreciated by "the masses"... just look on the office and home walls around you at the crap people surround themselves with and you know this is a poor market for art... imagine if every one here actually bought local art, versus shoppingmall fluff - what if people designed their own spaces instead of hiring supposed interior designers. Now, I know you are a go getter - so, what do you - we - do? Be bold with your art and presentation of your art and yourself as an artist. I remember at a design symposium at the CIA last year, Robynne Raye and her partners of design firm Modern Dog Design of Seattle came up with all sorts of very creative ways to promote themselves and they anded up getting huge accounts. Rather than doing things like everyone else, they were unique. That is the competitive advantage artists have, that they can be more creative and communicate more uniquely than most people, so they can get more attention. Ultimately, even if underappreciated by the masses, good art rises above the crap and smart people see it and appreciate it - be bold, even if late at night, while making money as a janitor. Also, knowing how lame it is here, you need to go global - and again being an artist is a competitive advantage as there's lots of crap in cyberspace so it is possible to stand out. Locally, I support artists working more in cooperation. Forget OneCleveland and IdeaStream and the Film Commission and think the "Idea Factory" and the "Cleveland School" and the "May Show" - those were all artist driven phenomenons that changed the arts scene in Cleveland for generations... what is this generation going to do to match those creative dynamics, when all were killed by failure of the establishment here... take over and let's make something big happen here again. We're now in a cool building for an arts incubator and I have developers coming to me to help them get artists into their communities... they don't even know what the arts are or what they want but they know art is core to the economy... forget about all the foundations and non-profits here and find lots of artists to collaborate in new ways... many new ways - I'm working on finding others - combine the networks and you have critical mass and I can show you plenty of ways to not only make money but take over a large segment of the economy that is lagging but is always core... it just needs more better leaders who are actually artists instead of administrators...

go west young man

I have some contacts outside of here that I may consider spending sometime with after I wrap up a few things this Summer. I have a few bold ideas left.

I'd like to say I'll be back, but if things are better elsewhere then ...

Sincerely,

Alex P. Michaels

Prelude2Cinema
    A Branded Entertainment Company

http://prelude2cinema.pbwiki.com

Been there, done that - grow your network and connections

I can dig it - I've had to move my entrepreneurship all over the country depending on what I am doing and who I need to do it with or what I need to learn. No arguements with leaving. But it is always sad to feel and be homeless if you want to be somewhere else - I like to be in Cleveland (although the pollution and many other things really get me down). I see the only competitive advantage here is to take advantage of the lower costs of doing many things, and the ability to be a big fish in some small ponds, if that applies. But then, that often makes you an innovator or even freak in a very conservative and resource-poor place. I find San Francisco the easiest place in the world to do my type of business - bleeding edge information technology, which is the original subject of this posting, as a matter of fact - because people there work in my world really well, and that makes it easy to connect and find collaborators, and there are lots of people into the bleeding edge of everything. I think a young filmmaker there would find the same there - I know plenty of very edgy artists in SF-area and with hussle they make a living doing what they love with people they love. I can't say the same for LA, although that may be a necessary evil for filmmakers... I don't know. BTW - just because you leave doesn't mean you are disconnected from NEO - sometimes you have a bigger impact from afar looking and doing in - you teach the community back home what you learn elsewhere - this can be valuable for everyone. The last time I moved my enterprise I analyzed 50 cities before choosing Oakland/SF. Where else are you considering?

back to social online

I do have some ideas on "technology" and filmmaking that I need to implement, but perhaps not here. I find there is an appeal at being a "big fish" in a little pond, yet I feel while I have achieved some things, I have wasted some time here. 

While I plan my "escape," the Internet does allow me to reach out across the globe.

I think things like social online networks will evolve into other things, but for now, they are fun and they do give people the sense of being creative.

I think people grativate toward such things because they allow them the "15 minutes of fame," we were all "promised." Yet, fame can sometimes not yield fortune or not funds for sustainability.

Actually here, conversation yeilds funds while creativity is seen as "non-profitable."

Even so the people that create these online networks did not really plan for a way to make revenue. It is nice to say you have 50-70 million users, but no user pays one penny to use My Space. Give something away for free and you will always have a ton of people.

Sincerely,

Alex P. Michaels

Prelude2Cinema
    A Branded Entertainment Company

http://prelude2cinema.pbwiki.com

It's all about context - be a superstar

I totally relate. One of my technology advisors (in California, of course) once wrote that social networking technology is maturing - what is missing is context (the circumstances and conditions which "surround" it). That is what I set out to address by creating REALNEO - using the best social networking technology in the world within the context of optimizing "Regional Economics Action Links for North East Ohio" - REALNEO. After a year and a half I still find most of the same people who don't get you don't get me, or REALNEO, but that is their problem. Now there are 1,000s of postings and 1,000s of comments by a diverse open population and that draws 1,000,000s of visits, all set in the context of REALNEO. So how is your context - I'll be glad to help with the technology. Send me a message and we'll plan to get together at the incubator - I'd like you to check it out from a filmmaker's perspective... it's huge.

Huge is Good

I'd like to check out the Incubator.

Sincerely,

Alex P. Michaels

Prelude2Cinema
    A Branded Entertainment Company

http://prelude2cinema.pbwiki.com