The internet has spawned news ways to socialize with people, friends, family, strangers.
First, it was email, the forums and blogs with comments. Then it was MySpace and Facebook membership. Now Twitter and BrightKite and many others. Do you socialize using your Mac and the internet?
To some extent, Mac360 readers socialize within the Mac community by way of commenting and forums posts on web sites about Macs, or Apple, or software.
The internet has helped reduce the size of the world to a very large and diverse village of many communities. People socialize within those communities.
Wikipedia defines a social network service as software that builds online networks for communities of people who share interests and activities of others. Are Mac users a sort of social network?
After all, Mac users congregate at various Mac-oriented web sites, exchange information with other members on the site, and interact in a variety of ways. I’ve never thought of Mac360 as a social network, but at a rough, basic level, it probably is.
The number and variety of online social network services is astounding and growing. MySpace and Facebook claims tens of millions of members, most of whom set up their own space, join various online communities, and share information with one another in relative anonymity.
BrightKite claims to be a location-based social network and features extensive iPhone support. Elsewhere in the world there’s Google’s Orkut, the popular LinkedIn for professional networkers, Friendster, and many more.
On most of the social network sites, there is no Mac or Windows, except within specific communities, everything is accessed through a web browser. Everything? Not quite.
Twitter has become enormously popular as both a social network and a micro-blogging service. Members send updates or messages, known as tweets to their Twitter web site.
What’s the world coming to? It used to be that we Mac users had our own special corner of the world, anti-Windows, anti-Microsoft, a pleasant utopia of understanding of all things Mac.
As the Mac grows ever more popular, our community has grown, spread, and become more diverse, more fragmented. What will become of the once proud minority of Mac users as more social networks take the world stage?
Do you belong to one or more of the so-called social networks? Why? Which ones? What are the benefits? What are the dangers? Is this newer form of socializing beneficial for effective communication and lasting relationships, or purely superficial?