BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » Looking through the wrong end of the wire
Useful post here by Buzzmachine’s Jeff Jarvis on the value of networks. He argues, quite simply and a bit obviously, that we each put different values on our social networks. There is no point trying to place some corporate value on it. You can’t because affinities that people feel to different niches at any given time are inherently human and intangible in nature.
Network providers used to try to measure the value we put on networks negatively, in terms of switching costs. That was what AOL counted on for too damned long as they thought it would cost us too much hassle to switch off our AOL email addresses. Ha! But we each value a network positively on what it brings us. That is different for each of us and each of our connections. For example, I see no value, personally, in LinkedIn; it has never done a thing for me but attract a new form of spam, inconvenience, and embarrassment when I don’t link to someone. But for others I know, LinkedIn provides jobs, business, income, reputation; it is damned near invaluable. Similarly, I see little value in MySpace; for middle-aged me, it is merely a curiosity.
He also makes a point about A list bloggers which I have been banging on about for some time.
one should value a network as the sum of its networks. We see the internet that way. We also should see the blogosphere that way. This is why I continue to think it is adsurd and wrongheaded to analyze the blogosphere on its supposed A list. he vast majority of people who read blogs never read any of the blogs on that A-for-alleged list. They read and interact with the ones that are meaningful to them.
Quite. We are only just at the start of realising what the mass of niches means for us and our “media”. But too many people are too concerned with making their fortunes and building up their egos to think about this carefully enough anymore.