Thursday, December 6, 2007

Social Networking ...

Might this lead to another round of writings about the problems with social networking? There was the orkut connection to the murder of a teenager in Mumbai, there was the orkut connection to terrorist bombings, and now, there are the Facebook, MySpace, and Youtube connections to the murder of the young British student in Italy. ToI has written an article about this.

The important point to note here, however, would be that we cant blame the tool for its usage. It would be folly to think the concept of social networking is all bad. We need to understand that the concept is an immature concept yet, and there are points in social networks which are prone to misuse. This definitely doesnt mean the tool itself is to be blamed.

On the contrary ...

The media have latched on to the trend. A Youtube video of Finnish schoolboy Pekka-Eric Auvinen showed him brandishing guns before he shot nine people in November. In the Perugia case, images and information taken from these sites has filled the void of verifiable facts.

What this points out to is that we need to watch out for trends in the things which are happening on social networking site. The idea here is somewhat similar to searching for opinions. Today, most of the search is geared towards words or numbers, but not much which is geared towards searching for patterns, whether those be patterns in data, or whether that be patterns in opinions (a la blogosphere). Some of this could be a reliable indicator of things to come?

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