The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 06:51:00 PM on Monday, May 12th, 2008
A recent search against my blog prompted me to actually define the profile of a social networker with  VGS (click to view the entire series) With the complexity of the affliction, who rightfully falls under the category "Social Networker" ?

Could you point them out in a crowd?  Are they required to wear little widgets on their clothes showing their affiliation with specific sites?  Would a t-shirt with the words  
help the process of identification?

Let's explore some.

An immediate warning sign of an overindulger might be one of the following as the Person in Question does the following:
  • has accounts on most major social network sites
  • has accounts on most unknown social network sites
  • must get access to all beta programs on social network sites
  • runs social networking standalone apps (such as Twihrl and Facebook chat clients)
  • has added numerous plug-ins to browsers to make accessing social network sites in mass easier
  • loaded an application like Flock to attempt bringing sites into one interface

Any of the above alone might make you think you have strongly identified a social networker.  But, that really doesn't define a profile of one now does it?  It describes behavior and attempt through actions instead.

A true profile is:
  •  a person with an underlying need to be part of a larger community, either through virtualization or in real life
    • Some go so far as to bring the two together by meeting with the virtual community in places such as conferences or gatherings at local bars and Panera's Bread locations
    • This person finds themselves knowing more about strangers than family, even with some of the information being falsely presented
    • The profile allows some variance for those that actual Google another person to gather as much information to verify what is being told.  Others take the word of referrers as a voucher for someone they want as part of their community
    • This person finds a fixed set of tools that must be running at all times, even on mobile devices

    Another part of the profile is:
    •  the unwillingness to not be online to keep up with the never ending flow of information presented
    • This person will spend hours each day going back through the history of sites to catch up where they went to bed the night or even days before

    An advanced profile shows:
    •  those with higher than average technical skills able to create RSS feeds and Yahoo pipes to stream the information in a cleansed format.
    • the ability to bring interaction into web, chat and widgets
    • any attempt to find a single tool that not only allows blacklisting of specific information (such as Facebook birthdays), but postings on when someone drinks coffee

    As you can see, this is only the beginning of a true serial profile creation process.  As the social networker role emerges, we will be able to fully define and point these people out in a crowd.  Shirt or no shirt

  • 1) Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Profile of a Social Networker
    Created by isle at 05/12/2008 7:48:41 PM email | website

    I think shirts will help. Somebody CafePress a few VGS shirts, add a "my name is" red sticker, with space to sharpy one's @twitter handle, I'll buy one. I don't really need one, the tweeting Treo and binging Twhirl on the laptop gives me away, but hey. I can stump more locals with the "What the heck is Twitter" thing.

    @isle (just ' know.)

  • 2) re: Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Profile of a Social Networker
    Created by Chris Miller at 05/12/2008 7:55:59 PM email | website

    I shall CafePress away..

  • 3) Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS) - Profile of a Social Networker
    Created by Corvida at 05/12/2008 9:09:31 PM email | website

    Don't forget to add "DiigoMyPownceFaceTwit" shirt too :D

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