Has Social Networking Gone Too Far?

The headlong rush to embrace and leverage SNS catches up to a(new) old media outlet: USA Today.  Of course, they broke ground in teh 1980s trying to be a use-friendly national  newspaper (with 4 colors and factoids!).

 Has Social Networking Gone Too Far? – Yahoo! News
Over the weekend, USA Today unveiled a Web site redesign that reimagines the online newspaper as the center of a social media community.

The things is, people want authentic communities, both on-line and off, and at the intersection between the two.    The article goes on:

 Whether the newspaper’s readers want a more social media experience is another question entirely, assuming you’re willing to overlook the 92% negative reaction to the redesign noted by Don Dodge, director of business development for Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team, in his assessment of 130 online comment postings.

Ooops.  The lesson they missed reminds me of Barry Wellman’s work on community and technology: people adapt technology to their needs, not the other way around.  FOr example, there is this article: “How Does the Internet Affect Social Capital?”

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