Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Is Yahoo! Poised to Put an End to the Social Networking Questions?

In my never ending struggle to figure out whether social networking sites are useful at all, I’ve run across a good quote. I read it this morning in an article from WashingtonPost.com titled “Want to Join My Click?”, which is actually little more than a commentary on a Wired News article I also read, called “Are Socialites Still Networking?”. Anyhow, here’s the big quote from the WashingtonPost.com article:

In order to maximize our chances of making more friends and trying to consummate everything from relationships to deals, we’d have to join as many networks as possible.

It’s a great point, and one I’ve never really considered before. But one of the big problems with the deluge of social networking sites is that there’s no industry standard. I recently noticed this when I got invites from two different kinds of keep-up-with-people’s-contact-information social networking sites. Within days, I had received invites from two different services that do the same thing and whose sites actually looked the same. How and why should I choose one to ask all my friends to sign up for? It’s a question that will need to be answered.

I expect that Yahoo! may put an end to these questions with it’s new Yahoo! 360 services. Yahoo!’s new blog/social networking site may crush it’s competitors due to sheer size. Yahoo! already has so many users, it’s easy to imagine everyone moving their social networking over there because it’s easy. Also, now that Yahoo! has bought Flickr, it could be a really cool and innovative service. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

One last quote before I finish. This one is from the Wired article “Are Socialites Still Networking?”

Social networking sites are getting heavily involved in marketing themselves. To draw new members, they’re finding it helps to present themselves as the virtual equivalent of belonging to the “in” crowd.

March 21, 2005