CILIP Communities is also not high on my radar - I don't make a habit of checking it daily although I do appreciate the weekly updates from CILIP which includes a summary of latest news from the CILIP Communities blogs.
I am however signed up a few government online networks including Civil Pages, which is a private social media network for civil servants. Likewise, I am signed up to the Communities of Practice for public service which is the hosting forum for a number of online groups in connection with my day to day work such as the Dotgov workspace for those inolved in webpublishing on the Businesslink, Directgov and NHS Direct websites and other government groups such as a consultations forum.
Room for new online networks?
Despite my scepticism of Google+, who am I to predict the future?
For what's its worth, I do think it is interesting to remember social networks like Friends Reunited which were really popular a few years back but which have lost their way slightly with the rise of new upstarts. (ps does anyone really still use Friends Reunited? Answers on a postcard please...!) I am sure that as long as there is money to be made from online social networks, as long as people feel disenchanted with existing tools and companies (eg Facebooks use of our data) and as long as somebody comes up with new software or a a new business plan, there will be an ongoing stream of new social media tools.
Some basic questions I have about social media are:
- how do you keep people constantly interested in new aspects of an online network?
- how do you keep realtionships personal if you have more and more followers and friends?
- how do you bring on board those who express no interest in digital networks?
- how do we keep productive with the allure of online networks to distract and occupy our minds?
- how will it continue to develop via mobile applications?
- how will it continue to map onto existing connections in the real world?
I think it will be interesting to keep informed about the ongoing debate and also to look back at previous viewpoints. For instance, keeping tabs on other bloggers thoughts about the future media in 2011. If you want to know some good places to keep tabs on current trends, I'd recommend keeping an eye on discussions on the TED network or taking note of the Social Media Today online community. For those who are interested in what we used to say a few years back about social media take a look at a Guardian panel discussion which took place in 2009 and caught my eye - called 'After social networks, what next?'
Two final thoughts
Charles Darwin once said "It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change".
Finally I came across this cartoon (taken from Where's My Jetpack - via theduffyagency) in which, Future Man explains social media and also provides some food for thought for the future: