Sunday, March 7, 2010

Looking towards the future

Now that it has been established that Facebook officially dominates the Web, what’s next? Will Facebook last forever until everyone is connected to each other? In a college world, not having Facebook seems unbearable because without online social networking, the dynamics of the college social life would drastically change. The trend seems to be that all social networking sites eventually run it course. Perhaps this is the reason for rumors of Google taking over everything; Buzz is just the beginning of what is to come.

Sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Buzz, orkut, bebo, flicker, dig, MySpace – all these (some new, some unoriginal) provide people with alternatives. Considering that Facebook has doubled in size in the past few years, and that the biggest age demographic for Facebook right now is people over 50, it’s unlikely that Facebook is loosing users – just loosing its cool factor. "By definition, it's like bar hopping," says Kurt Cagle, an editor for O'Reilly Media, which publishes technology books. "You want to go to ones before they're popular. You don't want to go to ones that are too crowded. . . . No social media will have huge staying power."

Judging by the increasing number of users, people are not getting bored with Facebook, despite their search for new social networking sites. Whatever comes next, it must be innovative and will most likely not be developed by social media companies, but teenage boys. “By the time there really is a new big thing, we won't realize it until we've all joined up, too.

(Monica Hesse

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