The Real Life Social Network
The picture above sums up one of the issues of online social networks today: We have multiple social circles in our offline (read: real) lives, yet when we join a large social networking platform like Facebook, all those circles become one large circle. As wonderfully cute and adorable as my kids are, I know that only a small subset of my Facebook friends really care to see the photos and videos I post.
In the case study above, Debbie had no idea that the comments she posted on photos posted by her college friends who own a gay bar were viewable by the 10-year-old kids in her swimming class.
Another great analogy is the wedding reception. For any of you who’ve gone through the pain of coming up with a seating arrangement for a wedding reception, you’ll understand. Why is it painful? All of your disparate social circles will be in the same room. How do you group them? That situation, to a degree, is what a large social networking platform is: all of your friends from all circles in your life in a large room milling about with you on a pedestal using a bullhorn to make announcements about what is going on in your life.
If you have a moment, I highly suggest checking out this study that was done by the fine folks at Google on social networking. It approaches social networking from a user experience design perspective, but I think the points that are brought to light are beneficial to any user of an online social networking platform.
Nice find, Emilio!
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