I saw yesterday that Google had finally released its take on social networking with their Buzz service that integrates into Gmail accounts. I think it’s pretty cool, even if I don’t have much use for it. I’ve been with Google Apps since day one and they haven’t released Buzz for Google Apps yet and it looks like it’ll be a premium feature. I could have REALLY used that for my family’s domain. Would have made a fair number of things much easier for use, especially the media sharing potential it has. I guess I’ll have to come up with my own private social site for my family and our friends or something.
Social networking sites are something I never really saw coming, at least not in the form they came in. My first foray into the internet was on AOL in 1995, if you can really call AOL the internet. At least in the early days it was pretty cool, I have no idea how it is now. Never really did the BBS thing or any of that but as far as I can figure AOL was the social networking service of its time. Tons of chat rooms, places to go for every interest. Eventually the started providing instant messaging. I’m not sure if they were the first or not but I know at one point ICQ and AIM were the only messaging clients out there.
That’s what I saw social networking as. AOL-esque chat rooms, forums and messaging. The whole status and comment thing that Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and others do just never appealed to me as much as the AOL chat rooms did. Would rather talk to people over the phone or instant messages and e-mail or even in chat rooms then what I consider to be a regression back to the old BBS’s of the 80’s and 90’s. That’s really what it boils down to, giant bulletin boards with our lives posted on them for all to see in bite size pieces.
They aren’t exactly the same but the idea is pretty similar. Instead of the longer posts of the old bulletin boards, we now make more, smaller posts that are more about what’s going on or what’s on our minds at that point in time. Certainly you can meet new people that way. Just doesn’t seem the same to me.