As an Internet research i.e. someone who researches the use of the Internet, I spend a lot of time playing about with Social Networking sites. These are ones where you slap up a profile, get some mutual friends to interlink, and communicate. Features vary, but they usually combine primitive blogging and messaging with some kind of photo or video feature i.e. the ability to upload pictures. The key leverage is community - growing one organically around your own shared interests, and seeing how they intermesh with other communities.
As ever, these things are better understood by trying them out.
MySpace I don't like, mainly aesthetically. I can see the point of it, especially if you are a band or heavily into a media-based culture which can be digitally shared, such as music. But most MySpace accounts look vile. The default settings are awful, and configuring it makes it worse. Also the navigation and functionality are not intuitive (well, to me, anyway). Worse of all is that I don't like going to any web page and immediately being hit by pounding music, forcing me to find the off button.
But Facebook ... ah. It clicks. It looks refined and aesthetically pleasing. People of my vague generation (25 to 50) seem to prefer it, so the level of conversation is understandable and not shoutey or sweary. There's also various people from the Outer Hebrides on there - was invited through one of them. Also, through looking at the friends of other friends, have discovered several ex-work colleagues and can pick 'n' choose who to add on to my friends. If that makes sense.
This is my profile:
...or search for John Kirriemuir. Or if you are a regular Island blogging blogger and not a nutter / stalker :-) and want an invite on, then get in touch (www.silversprite.com)
(This is an archived Island Blogging post, which is/was originally here.)