I really wanted to like Jonathan Abrams’ talk at SXSW. I was trying to put down my frustrations and listen. But he broke me. Not with the anecdotes, but the horrible misunderstanding of social networks.
He started off the talk saying that he wanted to clarify what people meant by social networks. Midway through, he spoke about how his friend from Ryze was creating a tool for professional networking. He thought that this was great but that it would be cool to make this available for social life too. Thus, he made up the term social networking to discuss what he was doing. And he finds it really strange that everyone else is using that term to talk about their sites and even ::gasp:: offline behavior.
He disregards all predecessors (other than Ryze) because they didn’t influence him. He disregards academics, points out that his site is the only one who made it a reality, etc. Erg. I can’t even reiterate all of the things that i disagreed with.
There were a few interesting anecdotes. But more than anything, i successfully remembered why i’m a much bigger fan of the people who breathed life into Friendster than i am its creator.
[Btw: does anyone have that talk on tape? There are way too many perfect quotes for my essay on configuring the users.]