Oct 26 2008

Universal McCann: Social Networking for Making New Friends, Blogging for Socializing with Friends

In my earlier post on the recently published Universal McCann study, I had written about how we use different communication channels to stay in touch with our contacts.

Perhaps the most important insight in the Universal McCaan study is that we use the internet for expanding our network of contacts but use the mobile phone to maintain our current network.

Here’s another interesting insight from the Universal McCann report: we use social networks for making new friends and personal blogs for socializing with friends —

Universal McCann Social Media Study

In the previous post, we found that Brazilians and the Indians are amongst the most social online whereas the Americans are amongst the least social. The same trend can be seen here.

While differences in culture partly explain this significant difference in online social behavior, self-selection is also part of the explanation. Given the low penetration of the internet in Brazil and India, social media usage in these countries suffers from a serious early adopter bias.

But, let’s return to the idea that we use social networks for making new friends and personal blogs for socializing with friends. The idea presumes that our social network profile is more public than our personal blog, and I think that it’s indeed the case for most of us. I’m sure that many active social network users who have hundreds of friends on Facebook or Orkut have personal blogs that are rarely updated and read only by a few close friends and family members.

However, many of us have built substantial readerships for our blogs and use them as much for broadcasting as for socializing. For us, the opposite is likely to hold true. We meet new readers through the blog, interact with them via the comment section, e-mail or internet messenger, become friends with them, and then add them as a friend on Facebook or Orkut. I think that Twitter and FriendFeed are more similar to blogs than social networks on the broadcasting/ socializing continuum, in the sense that they are also hybrids, used both for broadcasting and socializing.

What’s the directionality for you? Do you make new social network friends via your blog or do your social network friends become readers for your blog? Do share your experiences in the comments section.

One response so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Brazil,BRIC,China,Gaurav Mishra,India,Russia,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Universal McCann: Social Networking for Making New Friends, Blogging for Socializing with Friends”

  1. Paul on 26 Oct 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Social Network “friends” should be first termed as social media “colleagues” .Most of the user base is used as a commodity to drive traffic to a particular article or website.Even meet ups like twitter meetups and other meetups are at a very impersonal level.I reckon only 5% of those interactions really become friends due to the values and barriers of the social media users.Most ‘friendships’ made on a network do not last past they network or do not stand the test of time.

    It is extremely difficult to study social networks and what the Universal McCaan study did was consolidate the data from the users profile. This data was then interpreted in the other articles as to why those users joined the network . All social networks have different user behavior and would need to be interpreted differently .

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.