WordPress could replace “Growing Disenchantment with Social Networking”

In my prior article I wrote briefly about how I believed social networking, as we currently know it via MySpace, Facebook, et. al., is breaking down - and quickly.

Now, Anne Zelinka of megablog GigaOM reports on Chris Messina’s efforts to use WordPress as a platform to enable blogs to share their own contact lists - much like a ‘friends’ network that you might find on some proprietary system. Then, especially if other major blogging platforms emulate this idea, you’ll be able to have your own friends network on your own branded website or blog. Which is as it should be.

Favorite quotes on this issue:

“For me, there’s really no appeal in spending a lot of time creating ‘user-generated’ content via a social networking application. That’s like remodeling the kitchen in a house you rent.” - CopyBlogger Brian Clark as reported by Anne Zelinka in her article.

“I had a brand of my own on and on my own property on my blog… I now have a brand on someone else’s property…” - Darren Rowse of ProBlogger paraphrasing the haunting words of an ex-blogger who shut down his own blog to spend time playing in the world of social networks.

Bottom Line

Get your own blog, if you don’t have one yet, and make that your priority. It’s okay to have social networks, but use them to drive traffic to your blog. Don’t waste time generating content that doesn’t have the ultimate purpose of pulling folks to your own brand. It might be hard to believe, but some of the many, many social networks out there will eventually (gasp!) shut down - taking all your content with them. Yahoo shut down their own attempt at a social network (Yahoo 360). And they have money. And power. Think about it. Where do you want your writing to be one day - in archive.org?

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Great article! I’ve been participating in some social networks, but all the time I’m asking myself, ‘Why am I doing this?’

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