Educate your VP or President with this Business Week’s primer on social networking websites

December 2nd, 2005 Karine Joly No Comments

I’ve already posted about the online social networking phenomenon that has taken such a big place in our students’ life.

However, an article published by the good old mainstream media will probably have more resonance with your boss and your stakeholder.

If you want to educate your director, VP or president about this topic, Business Week has just made your life a bit easier with its next cover story (December 12 issue): “The MySpace Generation” already available online.

If you’ve already heard a bit about social networking sites such as MySpace, Xanga or FaceBook, you won’t probably learn a lot from this piece.

But, some points made in the first part of the article should get your VP’s attention:

“As the first cohort to grow up fully wired and technologically fluent, today’s teens and twentysomethings are flocking to Web sites like Buzz-Oven as a way to establish their social identities. Here you can get a fast pass to the hip music scene, which carries a hefty amount of social currency offline. It’s where you go when you need a friend to nurse you through a breakup, a mentor to tutor you on your calculus homework, an address for the party everyone is going to. [...]

Although networks are still in their infancy, experts think they’re already creating new forms of social behavior that blur the distinctions between online and real-world interactions. In fact, today’s young generation largely ignores the difference. Most adults see the Web as a supplement to their daily lives. They tap into information, buy books or send flowers, exchange apartments, or link up with others who share passions for dogs, say, or opera. But for the most part, their social lives remain rooted in the traditional phone call and face-to-face interaction.

The MySpace generation, by contrast, lives comfortably in both worlds at once. Increasingly, America’s middle- and upper-class youth use social networks as virtual community centers, a place to go and sit for a while (sometimes hours). While older folks come and go for a task, Adams and her social circle are just as likely to socialize online as off.”

The second part of the article focuses on the business side and how companies try to use the online social networking phenomenon.