7 reasons why Social Networking is the “Thing of the Year”

1. Facebook crosses 350 million.
That’s more accounts than email market leader Yahoo. If Facebook was a separate country, then we’d all live in virtual utopia full of lovey dovey friends and groups, no enemies, virtual gifts, quizzes that predict the future, virtual farms, water worlds, nice Tarot sessions and fortune cookies… And yeah, in numbers, that’s next only to the population of China and India.

2. US actor Ashton Kutcher gets 4 million “Followers” on Twitter.
How many did Jesus Christ have in his lifetime? What was the population of the kingdom at that time anyway? Will Kutcher state in a Lennonisque fashion: “I am more popular than…”?

3. The Most Powerful Man in the World is on LinkedIn.
And Twitter (Trailing Kutcher with close to 3 million Followers). And Facebook. (A cool 7 million supporters).
Is that why he beat Senator McCain? Great power in the online world as a launching pad? (Even if Obama doesn’t actually post the updates himself, it’s still a Huge Leap Forward for Cybermankind)

4. The high and mighty are all getting Socially Networked.
Raymond T. Odierno, the Commanding General, Multi-National Force—Iraq is on Facebook! And he’s joined by Pakistan’s former General Pervez Musharraf! Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is on Twitter? Need I say more? I could go on and on… but you get the general picture!

5. Controversies! Controversies! Controversies!
When anything enters into multiple controversies, then you know it’s time has come.
Republican Joe Wilson raised his finger to Obama and said, “You lie!” and before he knew it, a storm was unleashed on Twitter. The Internet assures an immediate and widespread backlash nowadays. (Incidentally, Wilson is also on Twitter!)
Religious leaders slammed Facebook and there was a surfeit of crimes related to these networking sites
In humble India too, where the Internet penetration is so low, there was the Shashi Tharoor Twittergate controversy, where the minister almost lost his job and the hilarious trending topic #chetanblocks related to writer Chetan Bhagat blocking a Follower.

6. Reel life and fiction.
A Twitter mention in the climax of the latest Robert Langdon adventure? Facebook in a Bollywood movie? Social Networking gained a lot of traction in 2009 and it is inspiring a lot of fiction for 2010 and beyond. Look out for Kevin Spacey produced The Social Network about the founding of Facebook. (Directed by none other than David Fincher)

7. The Uber Cyber Ego.
The new age Ego Search was the Google Search. But now here’s something even better…
How are you feeling? What are you eating? Do you have a headache? Are you stuck in a traffic jam?
Is anyone interested? Well even if they are not, then you can make sure a few thousand people at least know about it. If you’re a celebrity, make that millions—all without a newspaper, TV channel or a personal website. A handful of social networking accounts will do the trick.

© Sunil Rajguru

3 thoughts on “7 reasons why Social Networking is the “Thing of the Year”

  1. Sunil…I agree with you and the news on the movie is new to me. However, I find that scores of people are still untouched by it. I find it awkward when I’ve to explain the concept to anyone or see how differing our lives in the same city can be–I guess another generation down the road would be more homogenous. Then again, would that be good?

    cheers, Jyoti

  2. Sunil, I hope you will make it to Satara on De.c 24-27,2009.
    Lovely articles too good to digest.
    I will take some time to understand them.

  3. Jyoti: That’s especially true in India. The computer/internet penetration is so low. But still, more than half a billion people in the planet are in some form of social networking, so it is BIG. Is it good? Well, I guess, we are going down a path which has its pluses and minuses, we have to embrace it all the same.
    Satish: Thanks!

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