Twice today I was asked by people who are infrequent or non users of social networking solutions (and blogs) – how do you avoid leaving the non users out? Or, when you are looking at a restaurant recommendation ot a wine recommendation – how valuable is the recommendation, given it is only based on information supplied by social network users, who may or may not be the best judge of the specific appeal of a restaurant or a bottle of wine for me?
If there are large groups of people who do not participate in social networking what is the impact for me, as a social networker and for them as non users? Is a new elite being formed? Even if people arecurrently joining networks such as facebook in their millions, what about all of those users who cease to use the application some time after their initial registration?
Perhaps it’s a little (more than a little) like people choosing not to use a phone or not to use a mobile phone. They are being left out, but may feel that overall quality of life is improved (or at least maintained) by not participating in a technology enabled, driven, environment. And that environment is worse off for their non participation.
I tend to believe that social networking (when enabled by technologies/ standards such as SIOC) will prove to be a medium of communication and/or collaboration that people, for the most part, will need to join. As the networks begin to work together and integrate the case fo participation will become greater.
It’s not all positive on the social networking side – lots of poor quality communication/ idea sharing/ workload sharing. But grow it will – and opting out will gradually become less of an option for our citizens.