Muschamp Rd

Social Networking

July 28th, 2006
Social Media Icons

As always I’ve written about this before, but seeing as how I just got invited to be ‘friends’ with my sister at Hi5 I thought I’d write more. I don’t know how I got invited to be in Hi5 it was either someone in my football/hockey pool or one of my MBA classmates. Heidi was the last person to contact me through Hi5 before my sister. I was surprised when Heidi contacted me, all things considered.

Hi5 seems to be less popular than Friendster, both have been eclipsed by MySpace now. I suppose I should tell my sister to join MySpace rather than waste time on Hi5 or Friendster. I guess if you have your friends already invited on one it is a pain to invite them to join another, this is called a switching cost. The only site I actively recruited people to join was LinkedIn.

I’ve written how there are people in my LinkedIn network I wouldn’t care to aid any further, having gone out of my way enough for them only to treated abysmally. My Hi5 network is minimal, my profile wasn’t even complete, but I think they have added a lot of new features. You can now customize the look of your Hi5 profile with HTML, this has lead to some hideous web design over at MySpace and a whole cottage industry of tools and plugins.

Also at Hi5, you can have your own URL just like at MySpace and LinkedIn. I haven’t been to Friendster in a long time I guess for the sake of this posting I should check that site out right now. The person who insisted I join Friendster, as they were on some sort of mission to beat their cousin in number of friends, Glichelle hasn’t deemed it necessary to keep in touch once she left Japan even after we were both living Vancouver again. Her Friendster page crashed my Opera browser too. What is it with people who guilt you into doing something only to completely abandon you a short time later? Charese found me on MySpace, it is nice for someone to actually want to be associated with me for a change.

I added a photo to my Hi5 profile as well as some links to my website, it is noticeably barer than my MySpace profile. Friendster has added blogging and Google text ads as well. Google text ads fund a lot of internet sites including blogs and social networks. I have no advertisements on perhaps one day I will.

So now in addition to I have the following ‘home pages‘:

I might have more but this is already too many. Eventually these networks will have to interconnect or there will be losers in the social networking arena, if there aren’t already. I read somewhere that Walmart is going to make a MySpace killer, Wallmart!

Based on the number of real people and rough estimates of internet traffic MySpace is the clear leader, with Friendster second and Hi5 third of the ones I’m most familiar with. LinkedIn is the most useful of the social networks I belond to, but doesn’t go after the teen crowd. It also doesn’t have a picture on your profile, something OpenBC, and Tianji both do. I was invited to join those two professional online social networking sites by MBA classmates while at Tsinghua but I didn’t have the energy and didn’t see it as a necessity to invite people to join those so I have minimal contacts and profiles there.

LinkedIn is the one I helped the Sauder MBA program adopt and it is the Valley’s choice. OpenBC is from Europe and is supposedly big in Germany, a German classmate invited me to connect through that, though mostly I get invites from the Beijing OpenBC group which I joined while living there. Tianji is a Chinese language online networking site, which I struggled to join and even updated my profile recently but unless you can read and write Chinese it isn’t for you. They have portions of it in English mixed with Chinese.

One social networking site I’ve yet to mention or be invited to join is Orkut. It was started by a Google Engineer and is apparently big in Brazil, or so I’ve read. Who will win in this newest of internet battles is of great speculation and a lot money is being thrown at it. Perhaps someone will throw some at me.

One of the reasons for MySpace’s success was they opened up their site to the search engine spiders. People can make their profile private but most probably are not. So when you search Google or especially some blog search engine you find a lot of MySpace pages, this is user created content which MySpace then sells ads on. I’ve heard some sites are going to have some sort of revenue sharing agreement with the people who create the content. Perhaps Flickr should do something like this. I know iStockPhoto lets you monetize your photos through micro payments.

Besides the sheer amount of work involved in blogging, I’m always a little unnerved by how closely some people follow this blog. It seems like as soon as I post something, I have one less story to tell in real life or even in emails. I guess it is the RSS feed, hopefully anyone who reads this site regularly is smart enough to sign up to the RSS feed.

And The Winner Is?

Now it is about thirteen years later and when people talk about social networking they think Facebook, Twitter, even Instagram. Other websites that were not mentioned by me originally that I use include: Pinterest,, YouTube, and WeChat. I still haven’t joined WhatsApp or Line. If you have thoughts on how social networking has changed in the last decade or you have bold predictions for the future you can leave them below.


  • Muskie says:

    There is too much content here on Muskblog. Some I obviously don’t remember writing in detail. Note the complete lack of a mention of Facebook, this is because at the time only US college students could join Facebook which worked as a barrier to entry, but it wasn’t until they started letting people who weren’t in university join that they achieved critical mass and overtook MySpace and all these other online social networks for first place.

    I still think LinkedIn is the most useful, but I’ve also pruned every Sauder MBA classmate from every social network I’m still a member of. I shut down my Hi5 and Friendster accounts, still have a MySpace account as some bands I like still use it.

  • Muskie says:

    Sadness remains, along with fear, doubt, despair, even in LinkedIn. I wrote another email, even added a comment to my blog. Not that it matters. The only person with any hope left may be Lanre, she is a good person, a rarity in today’s world.


    Why can’t I hope less?


    Why can’t I help less?


    Why can’t I care less?

    I wasn’t aware it was a crime to care.

    Why Mar?

  • Muskie says:

    Though I wasn’t really trying, I don’t really network of late, I’ve become something of a shut in. I did manage to acquire my 99th and 100th LinkedIn connection in the last two days, hence this comment.

    What can I say, I know people, people who still answer my emails…

    I also got a big message from one of my MBA classmates which encouraged people to stay in touch, or get back in touch. It mentioned LinkedIn among other things. I found it a bit hypocritical since the very same person has noteably not answered my emails. I even coincidently just added a LinkedIn connection in Vienna Austria…

    I’m not saying anymore right now, I’m really disappointed, beyond disappointed, with the way things still are.

  • Muskie says:

    I am indeed connected to Mary Mei in Hi5. I even gave her a five, perhaps the first I’d ever given out. I remember being drawn to to approve a five from my sister and before that to admit I know Heidi Tran. I gave her a five too. They both were classmates of mine while I was an MBA student at Sauder. Mary was my teammate for the first big core project. She also was something of a voice of reason among the Chinese student population.

    Reason doesn’t prevail in the Sauder MBA program.

    Besides general dissatisfaction with the way things are, the reason for this second comment, is in Hi5 you can see who has been viewing your profile in the last few days. Several mystery blond women viewed my meager profile. It is not like that in MySpace, I’ve possibly used Friendster even less than Hi5 so I can’t be too sure about whether this ‘feature’ exists on that site. But if you are repeatedly viewing someone’s profile in Hi5 they could potentially find that out. Luckily for me, that isn’t my style, though of course not everyone believes what I have to say.

    There has got to have been more than a few lawsuits centered around these websites and there will probably be a few more. Why can’t people just try to talk out their differences? A little communication and honesty could have prevented a lot of problems…

  • Muskie says:

    It appears I am a member of another online social network. This one is called I don’t remember joining. I haven’t added information to my profile. I wasn’t even aware I was a member until today when I received my update.

    I suspect one of my MBA classmates or someone I met in China entered me into the system. When I clicked on the link today it made me enter my high school and graduating year before I could go any further. There were a few fellow Cowichan Senior Secondary graduates that I hadn’t seen or heard from in years but I can’t contact them unless I pay them money or give them 24 email addresses.

    I did neither. I’ve basically stopped inviting people to join these networks, not that I ever went crazy doing that. According to namesdatabase I have no friends so I don’t know exactly who invited me but the following people are in my extended address book, which means they possibly gave my email address to this site:

    • Anand Deb
    • Anni Cao
    • Ashwin Sakpal
    • Atul Toky
    • Brenda Yu
    • Chengxi Li
    • Clara Wong
    • Connie Liu
    • Dan Li
    • Dennis Lei
    • Doriana Nedkova
    • Eric Zheng
    • Feng Xie
    • Francis Si
    • Fred Juang
    • Fred Huang
    • Gary Wang
    • Geoffrey B Ratliff
    • Hoon Lee
    • Jack Chang
    • Jackie Zhang
    • Jason Schulz
    • Jay Kunurmodjaja
    • Jennifer Ngan
    • John Chen
    • Jw Light
    • Li Jie
    • Li Ning
    • Ling Tian
    • Liu Shixiong
    • Marja Harmer (Makinen)
    • Mary Mei
    • Michael Young Tran
    • Ming Liu
    • Norman Pan
    • Olanrewaju Arikenbi
    • Pallavi Jain
    • Parm Bu
    • Ranping Song
    • Roy Alejandro Leon Azmitia
    • Sabrina Wong
    • Sandeep Shah
    • Sandra Edwards (Somerville)
    • Thomas Guan
    • Tracy Yang
    • Wei Liu
    • Winnie Wang
    • Yuanbo Tao
    • Zhao Lan
    • Zhou Li Yuan
    • Zou Ning

    This list contains several Sauder MBA classmates and even some Sauder staff. What is even odder is that I have not heard from these people in a long time and some of them have not answered email I sent them, yet entered my email address in an online social networking site. Marja in particular gave me a strange look while I was waiting outside a building recently…

    There a lot of Chinese names on this list, some of these people may be Tsinghua students or someone who I exchanged business cards with while I was at Tsinghua. But I don’t think I know all these people, I certainly don’t know them well. Am I ‘friends’ with any of these people?

    One reason I have so many people in my extended address book is there is an option of putting your entire Yahoo mail or other online mail account address book easily into namesdatabase. I suspect several people have done this. They might have done it to get promoted to a higher membership level. I hope some people appreciate I never gave this website a single email address.

    There are too many of these sites. I’m connected to Mary Mei through LinkedIn but also through one of the other sites possibly Hi5. I don’t predict good things for this site. It is affiliated with somehow but the information they provide is legalese. I don’t like how they are so greedy for email addresses. I also can’t help feel I was tricked into verrifying my email address, though I don’t even remember doing it. They also seem to be trying to be all things to all people, classmates, business contacts, friends, dating… There are too many social network sites, some are going to die or get bought and merged.

    I also noticed a distinct lack of Lau’s in the list of names. Why are things so fucked up? Why can’t they be better? I’m still LinkedIn to both Marlene and Gary Lau but neither has updated their profile in a long while. They seem to be even less enthusiastic than me about social networking of late.

  • Muskie says:

    I thought I would tack this on here, as I had just posted something about MySpace and didn’t want another posting about them today. This isn’t a blog about MySpace, what it is about even I don’t know, I just write what is on my mind and what I find interesting or suspect my readership will be interested in. Though I have to resist doing the latter…

    Anyway over at they mention how advertisers are using particularly popular MySpace profiles as advertising platforms. Apparently if you have 900,000 ‘friends’ Unilever wants to advertise on your webpage.

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