The buzz on the nets these days is all about social networking. Your site NEEDS a social networking component to survive, the experts say. Leaving aside, for a moment, that a lot of these same experts were extolling the virtues of trends like push a while back and have made some pretty grave pronouncements about the future of newspapers, they might have a point.
We've experimented with commenting here at TDP, giving people the ability create profile pages (MINE
) and catalog their comments on stories. It hasn't exactly taken off. People who visit TDP want to gather and exchange thoughts here, on this message board, instead.
Message boards have gotten a bad name, I think, and are clearly social networks when allowed to develop properly. Our own TDPF beat out bakotopia.com -- a site held up as the shining example of how newspapers ought to be operating -- in an online community contest this year.
So the question for all of you who have messed around with Facebook and MySpace and others, and also for those of you who are avoiding them like the plague: Is TDPF a social network? Why or why not?