Tagged myspace

LinkedIn.com: Just a giant back-patting circle?

The new thing in career ‘connections’ is LinkedIn.com, the website that allows you to add colleagues and former classmates to your own personal network, for the purpose of furthering your career and opening new avenues through the people you already know. On the face of it, LinkedIn seems kind of neat–you can list all the people you work with as ‘Connections,’ create a network of people you ‘trust’ as business contacts, and even track down old classmates to see if you have a better job than they do. There’s also one other thing: you can write recommendations for your connections, which will appear in their profile after they approve them. In other words, people can comment on the quality of your work, and you can then choose whether or not to let that appear in your profile. Not surprisingly, there are quite a few glowing recommendations out there, and little to no criticism.

This raises the question in my mind as to whether or not LinkedIn truly goes beyond the level of mere facebook-style messaging and casual communication to become a vehicle for business, and not just social, networking. Admittedly, it is fun to see how many people consider you their colleague, not to mention how many people are willing to scratch your back with a positive recommendation, fully aware that the favor could be quickly and easily returned, and if the product is unsatisfactory, blocked from public view. However, I can’t imagine that prospective employers or anyone that doesn’t know the individual personally would take any useful information from this site, as it’s so heavily slanted in favor of member control over reviews and recommendations.

linkedin, social networking, facebook, myspace, business, connection, colleague, review, profile

Eons.com: Web 2.0 for the aged and elderly only

A couple of nights ago, I saw an ad for the website eons.com on TV. The site markets itself as an internet Mecca for the over-50 crowd, and the ad was so utterly terrible that I just had to check it out myself. First off, when you arrive at Eons for the first time, you are required to enter your date of birth, gender, and zip code. If you fail the age test (which seems 32 years too stringent) you don’t qualify. The internet being what it is, I am now 65 years of age and prepared to embark upon my eon-venture.

Okay, what you’ll notice about the front page of this site is something straight out of the Sesame Street game “One of these things is not like the others:” the navigation bar.

Eons.com’s main site navigation bar, promising love, entertainment, and one’s inevitable demise.

That’s right, folks! Alongside movie times and social networking, you can read and write about your friends’ and loved ones’ demises. But enough of the gallows humor. Let’s take a little constitutional through the less morbid parts of the site.

At Eons, you can create your own profile, complete with bio and pictures. At first, one would think the ‘People’ page would take more of a bridge-club socialite approach to interaction, but a quick glance reveals the same myspace-quality photographic sleaze for which parents are constantly reprimanding their children, albeit with a couple of extra wrinkles.

Under the heading of ‘LifeDreams’ we find a rather interesting to-do list wherein you can enter your life’s goals, then have a search engine compare them against other people’s dreams in order to try and pigeon-hole you into a more standardized life dream. For example, when I typed ‘To not die.’ into the form as a search, Eons suggested that my dream might actually be:

# to die happy
# Die peacefully in my sleep
# to live and die a good person.

In its defense, the response does also include a drop-down to list your wish as truly unique, although you must then categorize it under a heading such as ‘Travel and Leisure.’

All right, enough negativity. There are a couple of nice aspects to this site. One, it allows people who were probably afraid of surfing the web to have a site they can visit that is designed and marketed specifically to them, as opposed to the 20-something crowd that constitutes the usual target of internet advertising. Secondly, the site was clearly designed with non-savvy users in mind. Navigation is simple, and each page includes features like an option to increase and decrease text size for the visually impaired. The use of pop-ups and rollovers is limited and classy, providing navigation tips without becoming obtrusive.

I highly recommend everyone check out this site. It’s definitely a unique example of a new trend in the internet. I only wish the TV commercial I had seen hadn’t been one of the worst I’ve ever seen: narrated by a clearly under-50 spokesperson, the commercial drags on for what seems like 3-4 minutes, as the narrator highlights all of the sub-sections headed by the nav bar, pausing from his detached monologue occasionally to scream “Boom! Boom! Boom!” unconvincingly into the camera. The condescension this man feels toward the crowd he is trying to entice onto the internet is palpable, and his lack of acting talent is patently obvious. Oh well, he’s not selling to me, so maybe I just don’t get it. Would any Eons.com members like to chime in on this one?

aarp, elderly, eons, eons tv commercial, eons.com, eons.com tv commercial, internet, internet marketing, myspace, obit, obituary, over 50, social networking, TV commercial, web 2.0, website marketing

mySpace (not yourSpace, so STFU)

So, there’s been this huge brouhaha regarding the dangers of mySpace for poor, innocent little teenagers who are so ready to become the victims of online predation. Mostly, the sides are divided along the typical Christian right boundaries–some argue that the blasphemous tool of Satan is corrupting our young, who must therefore be prevented from accessing it, at the risk of their very souls. Others say that mySpace isn’t all that dangerous, and that the whole issue is a result of freaked-out, ignorant parents who themselves don’t understand mySpace, the World Wide Web, or even how to send an e-mail. But here’s the post (on a Wired.com forum) that sums it up the best:

This has turned into a moral panic. There is nothing unique regarding myspace, and its “risks” to teens, that hasn’t existed prior to myspace’s existence. The site does not have any ideological, or corrupting influence. The real thing that upsets parents is that teens have a private life online – and guess what – your kids aren’t the little angels you thought they were.

Bless this anonymous poster, for his wisdom far exceeds that of most parents in this day and age, and his memory apparently is capable of recalling his own younger, more reckless years. Most importantly, he notes that mySpace is nothing new–and it’s not–and that it shouldn’t be considered any more or less dangerous than an e-mail address or an AIM account.