Everyone is talking about Facebook during the last two
weeks. Social networks are becoming commodities just like web-based email
accounts such as Hotmail or Gmail. This game isn't about the next upcoming
killer features or cool widgets. The value of any social networks are based on:
1/ the extent and intensity of the networks (the
interconnections between members)
2/ the collective identities that the networks reflect
3/ the activities involved or relating to.
The "Social Network" brand will emerge more like
badge. Much like in the early days of Apple McIntosh where there was a sense of
gratification counting the number of icons I have at the bottom of the screen
during start-up that indicates how many plug-ins I've. What does it mean for
someone to be on MySpace or Facebook? In other words, what are those badges
saying about you, who you are in the world of clubs?
Consumer behavior has been studied as instrumental in the
construction of consumer identities or self-concepts, what I refer to as the
consuming subject. Consumption is often framed as identity construction. Much
in the same way that a consumer's use of products influence others'
perceptions, the same products can help determine his or her own self-concept
and social identity. Social network is in fact a form of consumption. It will
play a large role (and share with other product brands) in construction of
one's social identify.
You can find some good insights from this article "Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and
MySpace" that has been resonating throughout the blogosphere. Social
network is about associating one with brands and their affinity groups. Social
network is a new form of identity construction and is still evolving. I will
talk more on this subject next week. May be I will share my social network
brandspace mapping with you. For now, I need to get back to my day job.