Orkut, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn
and recently, Google+. That is the order in which I have joined online social networks. I am not counting the various online forums I am a member of - my Xbox Live and Steam accounts (for video games) and such others. So far, I have actually quit only one social network - MySpace.
Of course, media baron Rupert Murdoch also recently quit MySpace, selling the website in a massive writedown for just $35 million after having bought it in 2006 for $580 million. But MySpace is a different case altogether.
Meanwhile, the market appetite for social networks has not slowed down; professional networking site LinkedIn went public earlier in May and has a market capitalisation of close to $9.5 billion. Globally, it has 100 million members and recently announced that it had crossed 10 million members in India. But that gives, to borrow a term from the Indian telecom arena, a per subscriber (user in this case) valuation of $95 (Rs 4,275), which means my sketchy profile there is worth good money. I wonder what would happen if Indian telecom companies got that sort of valuation today.
But let us get back to the main point. The death of MySpace, the Google+ versus Facebook battle and Twitter's problems in figuring out a business model are what dominate headlines today. But how many social networks can a person manage? I follow most of my Facebook friends on Twitter, and all of them are connected to me on LinkedIn.
Almost everybody who has added me to a Google+ circle follows me on Twitter already. Yes, one can argue that each network is different. I tried to keep my Facebook friends' list compact and added only friends and family but now frankly, it is filled with acquaintances. When I am not filing for BT, I am shuffling between social networks. Which is tiresome and irritating, but as a self-proclaimed digital maven, what else can I do?
Yes, we are becoming a gadget-obsessed society, spending a large portion of our day staring at screens of various sizes. And we have become digital voyeurs as well, peering into the lives of people we do not really care about, or stalking them digitally.
I am not arguing about the morals and ethics of the digital age. I am just saying, maybe Google+ is just about enough. But that is not going to stop anybody, right? In a supreme piece of irony let me end this article by saying, you can follow me at www.twitter.com/kushanmitra or add me to your Google+ circle.The author has an account with all major networking platforms