I just committed Myspace suicide!
I have been active in the community since summer 2006 and have until just recently experienced the massive development of this community. From the beginning I was conscious about the fact that I wouldn’t make this a self-promotion project, where summer/party pictures of family and friends, a special designed layout, and a constantly urge for changing tracks, would be a dominating part of my space. Instead, I would use my membership to investigate a social community that for me equalized unknown territory. However – to be honest – it turned out rapidly that when you’re part of a social community, you automatically get dragged into the community sphere, where “profile-pimping” and exhibition of your self is the main objective with being alive in a community. Networking is not for the sake of the networking, but instead to showcase your self! The reasoning behind my suicide came from an experienced lacking value – number of posted comments decreased steadily and my network stopped expanding. Maybe this can be attributed to my own decreasing activity level, or by the fact that I have a limited number of friends or a small network in general. Or maybe I´m just too old-school – not taking this membership seriously and using the necessary amount of time?But, I achieved my goal of getting insight into the Myspace community and gained a better understanding of the personal motives behind community memberships. One key insight I will pinpoint about communities in general is that messaging is not the bearing – when considering the amount of time people use on the community. Rather, it´s about getting curiousness stimulated, and digging into people’s personal lives. I´m just wondering – what did people do before they joined an online community in order to be stimulated? Watching porn, lurking neighbors or reading tabloids in a massive scale? Or is this phenomenon unequalled… I guess!However, I haven´t quit my online community project completely. Facebook is my new secret lover that gives me the opportunity to dig into people´s lives. Finally, I got to the honest point showing my real use of social communities. At the moment 1,6 % of the Danish population have a registered profile on Facebook. From my point of view Facebook is more embracing across ages, more networking related, less self-promotion focused, more sober and more sterile. Besides, a key function, which differentiates it from Myspace, is that it´s only your friends that can see your profile, compared to Myspace, where this is a selective function, and everybody (because users don’t use the function) thus are able to see your personal profile. Another important aspect regarding Facebook is that more people are aware of this community, and more people are ready to join a more sober version of Myspace. Myspace targets a more selective crowd – the younger segment – that limits the scope and thus the potential. And Myspace came too early into people´s lives, compared to Facebook. One can say that Myspace was the pioneer that educated people about the use of social community. Facebook reaches Danish users at the finest time – people are simply ready to dig into the world of social communities – and benefits therefore from Myspace´s spadework. What am I trying to say: I´m predicting that social communities will rapidly die, and new will rise. In general, online communities will have a short lifetime. Social communities will suffer from people´s constantly aspiration for experiencing new communities simply because the establishment of a profile is the crucial and exciting part from the member’s point of view. It´s all about getting a whole bunch of friends and creating the foundation for how you want to be positioned. The development and creation of a profile is the key success indicator driving members! This, however, isn´t a never-ending process, and at a time, this gets boring and the interest will fade out, and therefore the user will search for a new community, where this need can be fulfilled again.
In order for an online community to survive the online communities need to develop at the same speed as the users – always on the search for new features and partnerships that will deliver added value to the users. Again, a crucial point is linked to the fact that Super-connectors, the ones being ahead of all the other users and the ones always on the search for “the newest new” will drive the creation of a community, due to their broad network, and their star-like status in their respective network. So, it´s decisive to appeal and communicate to the Super-connectors, which is a difficult job, when considering how Facebook is exploding at the moment gaining 1600 new users every day here in Denmark. The massive popularity is obvious and will it result in Facebook suicides from the Super-connectors moving to new communities such as twitter.com, virb.com or wayn.com?
I´m passing the ball….