What Comes After Facebook?

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I came across a Facebook look-alike the other day and it reminded me of that era of constant clone creation, where every other site that was submitted for review seemed to be a carbon copy of MySpace, Facebook or Twitter. We don’t see such clones very often anymore, namely because there’s little purpose in creating a standalone destination site. It’s cheaper, faster and more efficient to build an application that runs on the platform of a larger, already established social network, such as Facebook.

In fact, Facebook has really set the standards for the integrated social network platform, as it enables developers to leverage users’ social graphs for gaining new users, creating interactive applications, and building brand recognition. You know, the true nature of viral online activity within the realm of absolute social networking.

So will we ever see a return to standalone social networking destination sites? The application route via integrated platforms has already proven itself as a business model. We all held our breath to see how developers, users and investors would respond to Facebook’s platform, and once applications started to receive funding and become acquisition targets, we had our proof of concept. From then on, we’ve seen the steady growth of other platforms created for advertising and monetizing applications within these integrated platforms, some of which are cross-network or network-agnostic. The current outcropping of virtual goods monetization only spurs the revenue-generating potential of integrated social network platforms, with Facebook still at the center of it all.
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The Cure for Social Media Fatigue

I’ve been covering the social media news as a blogger for over four years now, most of that as a full-time blogger. Actually, most of that was more than full-time. Blogging takes up more than enough hours in my day. And I get tired. Sometimes I can’t think of many good things to say about social media. Consider it social media fatigue.

I take that as my cue to treat myself to a welcome distraction. A good friend of mine once told me that distractions help you focus. It didn’t make sense a the time, but I’ve since learned that the statement rings true. Let loose once in a while, and when it’s time to get back to work you’ll be better able to focus. It’s a mini mind vacation.

What I find truly helpful however is taking the time during my mini mind vacations to branch out and expand my mind. Do something different and take the opportunity to learn something new. It actually helps me do my job better, because it allows me to gain perspective on various topics.
Doing something simple like watching an educational (or veg-out) program on television, or going to a new museum exhibit can enable you to tap into a piece of culture that you may have otherwise missed. And believe me, it can actually allow you to understand your own work better.

Change is good for the brain and the soul, and can aide you in making new neural connections that improve your functionality in work and play. So regardless of what your career is, take time to learn a few new things during your mini mind vacation. It will help you out at work, your next cocktail party, and it will help keep you sane.

Image credit: SlashSeconds

Are You Excited about Xbox Integration with Facebook and Twitter?

Xbox Live announced its upcoming support of Twitter sign-in and Facebook Connect this week, which just reminds us all of the power of social networking and its impact on so many aspects of media–traditional or otherwise.

I’m a believer in the ability of social networks to make an impact. So I’m quite interested to see how Microsoft will be leveraging Facebook, one of its investments, for promoting its services and adding value to its end users. From marketing to better competing with casual gaming, Microsoft is taking steps towards effectively leveraging existing social networks.

Nick has a great post about Xbox’s Facebook Connect integration on AllFacebook, and I expounded on my above points on a Bublicious post. Let me know your thoughts on Xbox’s announcement!