Facebook has already shown what is possible with social networking. They have unquestionably changed the world. The question is, where does social networking go from there? A lot of the new websites this year are focussed on jumping on the social bandwagon and trying their best at getting you involved. Social is the new black. We now have GetGlue, Miso, Foursquare, Gowalla etc. etc. You can track your likes, earn stickers and check-in everywhere you go – great! Or is it?
Ever thought that by only going to restaurants you can check into on Foursquare, you’re not listening to real recommendations, just going to where the ads tell you to go? And what if you forget to update where you’ve been today, or haven’t added every movie you’ve ever watched to your GetGlue page? Do you spend hours updating your profile? How social is it to be constantly looking at your iPhone?
My thoughts are not unique. Everywhere I read about these sites online, the comments are flooded by scepticism. Some of my favorite quotes:
• ‘Hey look! Look at me! Look what I’m watching! Look over here! Validate me! Give me a thumbs up or a smily face! Can I get an “LOL”? Look at me!’
• I didn’t understand what this app would be good for until the part about the apps “partners”- all media companies.
• How about an app called “Who cares?”
Now, I acknowledge these are one sided quotes and there are users for all of the sites listed above. But I just don’t get it. At YourNextRead, we wanted to build a site where you don’t have to spend all day building up your likes, collecting badges and checking in before you can find a good recommendation. You just go on YourNextRead, see the summary of everyone’s opinions, and find great books to read. Is this the wrong way to go about it?
As founders of the website, everywhere we look is telling us to become more social. It wasn’t our plan, but is this what you want? Let us know in the comments below.