The Real Life Social Network v2

I was wandering aimlessly across the internet, as you do, when I came across an interesting SlideShare Presentation The Real Life Social Network from Paul Adams (@padday) who works as the user research lead for social on the User Experience (UX) team at Google. He works on projects like Buzz and YouTube (and maybe even Google Me).

The [SlideShare is well worth going through in its entirety](http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2) as it brings forth some issues that all of us who are keen to maximise our use of social networks in our work and play. Although aimed at an audience of institutions and companies that are looking to exploit people’s social networks in their offerings and services, it has some clear messages about the mismatch how people actually think about their social networks and how the social network providers and exploiters actually behave.
The presentation is divided into six parts:
– it starts by discussing how the **social web** is changing the world-wide web;
– goes on to discuss the **connections** that people have with other and how these change our on-line behavior;
– illustrates what people’s **relationships** really look like and how they compare (badly) to the relationships possible in social networks possible on line;
– examines the **influence** we have with our peers and how this can override any influence we might want to impose, say as a service provider, from the outside;
– **identity** and our need to project different identities to different audiences; and
– **privacy** or how to keep your private life separate from your professional life.

Paul has clearly thought deeply about these issues and it is interesting to know that Google are researching it so thoroughly. It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes there will be if and when Google releases its new social network offering.
I shall certainly be thinking through some of these issues.

Author: cpjobling

Senior lecturer, College of Engineering, Swansea University