Getting Dragged into Social Networks

July 15th, 2007 by Fweeb

…kicking and screaming, well sort of. A few months back, Hand Turkey gained a presence on MySpace. We were fighting a losing battle against social networks and we ultimately caved to the “go where the people are” rule. Each studio member got an account and the studio itself got a page. At this point, I can’t really tell if it’s done much to help our business… outside of expanding our proliferation on the web. We do get tied into and informed on a greater number of industry events and I have actually gotten in touch with some pretty cool creative people. That said, the site itself is an eyesore and has made my soul bleed from incredibly poor design (both on some users’ pages and on the overall design and implementation of MySpace’s backend software). And don’t even get me started on spambots.

Of course, it’s a growing spiral. I’ve also managed to be contacted by all kinds of people I’d never expected to hear from: people from places I used to live, old friends, and former classmates. And, of course, by being involved with one network, there’s the natural tendency to get pulled into other ones. At the invitation of others, I’ve also found myself a part of a few more of these:

  • FilmRunner.net – A community site for people involved with all the facets of independent film and television production. This site is still young, but it’s quite a good idea. It networks those of us in production and it also provides a small non-exclusive distribution channel.
  • LinkedIn – A site for professional networking. I haven’t really explored this one all that extensively, but I could definitely see the benefits it might bring in… especially from a business perspective.
  • Facebook – The site most-compared with MySpace. It started as something with registration limited to just students but has since opened its doors to other users. Particularly of interest (to me at least) is that they’ve made their API available so other people could write Facebook applications. Imagine a ‘Lie of the Day’ application. Whoo!
  • Mugshot – My recent interactions with Red Hat folks has introduced me to this interesting little concept. Think of it as an aggregator of social networks. With the understandable exception of FilmRunner.net (because it’s still fairly young), all of the major social networking sites are here. You can pull feeds and data from all of them. I need to play with it more, but it seems neat.

So yeah.. there’s a good chance I’ll post more about some of these sites in the future. I’m still not particularly fond of social networking sites in general… especially for hosting content like sounds, images, and video. I have personal and company websites for that where I can control the quality and distribution of the content a lot better. That said, I’m kind of warming up to the people-interaction aspects that they have.

I mean, in a way, I’ve been parts of social networks for years. In many ways, these sites aren’t much more than a message board on crack. I’ve been a on Blender Artists (formerly Elysiun) for 5+ years, part of TIC for longer than that, and on an uncountable number of more niche (and short-lived) forums, mailing lists, newsgroups and bulletin boards since I first got on the interwebbernet. So in some ways, I suppose that this is a natural progression.

We’ll hafta see…

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