Ozymandias and Orkut

There’s a good article in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle about social networking fatigue. This one’s locally written and, remarkably, begins on page one (slow news day, I guess, other than bs politics).

The story speaks for itself, and I don’t think it means “Social networking is dead” or anything close to it. Most of the people interviewed have no plans to shut down entirely; they’re just getting a bit less enthusiastic and finding a need to balance online and offline life. That is, I believe, a good thing.

My post title raises a point I found interesting, particularly given the sense some commentators have offered that anything Google does must necessarily succeed and dominate. It’s another “dog that didn’t bark” story, to wit:

The term Orkut does not appear anywhere in this lengthy story.

Friendster gets a tiny mention, but Orkut–which, after all, is the Google social network and therefore invincible–is nowhere to be seen. (I may still have an Orkut account. I wouldn’t know; I neither know nor want to know my account name or password.)

And before overinterpretation sets in:

  • I’m not opposed to social networks.
  • I was an Orkut member (and may still be, for all I know).
  • I am a LinkedIn member, albeit not a terribly active one.
  • I’m not in a library, but if I was, I’d assume social networks should be handled the same as any other legal websites.
  • If libraries have had success in having their own spaces in social networks, more power to them.

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