Lynne d Johnson



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05.17.07 02:22 AM

Time for Summer Break and Thoughts on Social Networking

As the regulars know, I don't post her much anymore. Mainly it's because I'm posting and writing other places, and overall it's hard to have a full time gig that involves writing and editing and web strategizing (and sometimes teaching on the side) and try to keep up that same level of work with your own projects. Besides, I'm trying to hook up with j. to bring blackthoughtware back in a meaningful way. And well yes, those overdue books need to be written. Well, at least their proposals need to be followed up with the folks who've expressed interest over the years.

So it seems about time to stop trying to kid myself that I can commit to this thing here while I'm trying to do all of that. I know I keep teasing with posts here and there, but it's been a long time that this blog/diary, whatever you call it, has been really interesting. I'm not saying you should unsubscribe or unbookmark, because you never know when I might pop back in with a full surge of energy.

But if for some reason you're interested in anything I have to say on a regular basis, just be sure to always check in over at techPresident for my blog there, which I have to try and at least commit to once a week. But there's always the FC Now Staff Blog, where I'm regularly covering conferences, talking about web 2.0, advertising/marketing, the entertainment biz, innovation, and the hype of going green.

Whew! Now that I've posted this, I don't have to feel bad about not keeping my posts up-to-speed.

The next time I post, I'll share a list of some of the blogs and sites I'm enjoying, along with descriptions and reviews. I'm reading a lot more than those 10 I listed at toptensources a while back. (Scroll down the page to see the list and feed.)

In the meantime, I'm curious, what do you think makes a successful community site. At one time was thought of as a successful community site, as YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Friendster, Habbo Hotel, and Facebook have all been thought of as successful. But seriously, what makes a social network a fun place to hang out? What makes it sticky and a must visit? What makes it work for you?

Does your community site have to be loaded with professional editorial content, or does it just need to focus on the community because you can get your read on elsewhere? I'm just curious, especially since in the African-American space, no one has truly attempted to compete with, and yet that site is no longer relevant to a lot of people.

With that in mind, I'm also wondering about the need for portals. Yeah, there's AOL, Yahoo, MSN, et al, and many, many portals for men. What is it that makes a portal work? And should a portal keep it's full on community separate from it's editorial and video, or should it mesh it all together? What makes more sense? And why aren't we seeing any real true innovation in this space?

What I mean by real true innovation is, other than Facebook or perhaps, it seems that many social networks launch a bunch of features at first, get you hooked, and then the technology doesn't seem to grow or expand. All of the sudden, things no longer work, and it appears to be a garden untended.

Anyway, let me stop rambling. But I'm just curious what social networking sites that people are actively using and why.

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