The two types of social networks: Are you just spraying people or actually connecting with them?
When you hear the term “social network,” I imagine that the first things that come to mind are Facebook and Google+. Now think of your actual social network, the people you interact with in real life. It likely doesn’t look much like Facebook and Google+, which have opened the doors to friends of friends, casual acquaintances, and people you’ve met maybe once or twice (or not at all!).
Social networks like Glassboard, and now Path and Pair, are usually mentioned with a qualifier like “small” or “simple.” Why? Being social implies interaction, right? If so, we’re more social than the big guys because we’re a better reflection of reality. If I stand on a street corner screaming about what I had for lunch, is that social? (I had a delicious homemade andouille shrimp cake btw) So why is it considered social if I do it on Facebook?
Since there is obviously a dramatic difference in the reach of all these social networks, we can classify each of them as one of two different kinds: The Broadcasters and The Interacters. There is a litmus test I’ve come up with to discover what kind of social network you’re on. If you post something, can you identify everyone who will see it by name and how you know them?
1. The Broadcasters
Twitter is the best example of a broadcasting network. But anymore Facebook and Google+ are a forum for spraying people with pictures and information. If you answer the above question with, “Uhhhhmm….” then you’re on a Broadcaster!
- One giant group of businesses and individuals
- Ad-supported business model
- Both your grandma and some dude you met through your college roommate all see the same stuff
- Disconnected from reality
- Driven by narcissm
- Tons of privacy options that require due diligence in maintaining
2. The Interacters (Glassboard, Pair, FamilyLeaf, and Path)
- Small, select groups with 2-way communication
- Business model: Not sure about the other guys, but ours is explained here
- You can actually see the individuals who will see what you post
- Closer reflection to reality, since it’s people you know in real life
- Driven by desire to interact and collaborate in meaningful ways
- Private by default
Since there are so many social networks cropping up, I hope this helps you make a distinction. We want you to choose Glassboard because you value interaction over broadcasting.
Posted by Jenny Blumberg
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