Obviously one of the great things about the internet is the ability to connect to people you would otherwise never come into contact with. Yet this has always been played off against the scaremongering fear that people can pretend to be someone that they’re not. This comes with its own fairly clear set of dangers. However, it hasn’t seemed to deter generations of people jumping on board social networking bohemoths, like Facebook and MySpace. Of course, social networking doesn’t even come close to stopping there…
I’ve been a relative late-comer to the Twitter fad, and can’t say i’m seeing much benefit from getting involved. Although, i’m more than willing to jump on any bandwagon, so i’ve used RickGS‘s excellent WordPress widget for feeding my last Twitter update into the header of this page. Along with that, i’ve also popped in Rick’s equally awesome last.fm widget to show my last few scrobbled tracks. For me, last.fm was my first foray into social websites and is still probably my favourite. The wealth of real knowledge on there continues to stun me, and basing friendships on music has always been something i’ve done in real life, so why not on the web too?
Finally, whilst I raise the point of real life versus the world within the internet, I have stumbled across a relatively new take on the social networking theme, in eRepublik. I have been pottering around there for a few days now and have to say, as a concept, it’s quite impressive. Imagine a cross between World of Warcraft and Facebook and you’re part way there. The world of eRepublik reflects the real world: signing up to the site, I am now a citizen of eAustralia. However, with players in the game being elected to represent their country, it gets a little more interesting (if not confusing). From what i’ve seen, players try to weigh-in on policy decisions that will affect themselves and their interests within the game. It’s certainly not for everyone, but is definitely another fascinating model for where the social networking phenomenon within the internet could be heading.