Battle of the social sites begins

July 7, 2011
By

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

social_network

A few years ago, the internet was all about email, chatrooms and pornography sites, but as the younger generation infiltrates the web, that focus has moved to social networking.

 The question has to be asked: does this mean being on Facebook is the technological equivalent of getting a dose of the pox? What with all the friending, unfriending and poking going on, it’s a wonder we aren’t all in need of a course of antibiotics.

But I digress, this isn’t going to be a personal health and hygiene lesson. This is about how to spread it around even more.

I gave in to temptation a while back and joined Twitter, but I still find it a tad disjointed and unsatisfying with its “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” attitude, so I’m still more inclined to use Facebook as my main form of online social mingling.

Google is dipping its digital toe in the cesspit of social networking with Google+, a service it reckons will tie together all its online properties, “laying the foundation for a fully fledged social network”.

Google+ works in a similar way to Facebook, using newsfeeds and profile images as the central content, but friends and contacts are grouped in circles that can interconnect.

I’m guessing Google+ will have a bit of a battle on its hands to try to get numbers that will stack up against Facebook, but there might just be enough  Facebook users feeling disgruntled over the constant battle to protect their privacy for Google+ to get a foothold.

A limited rollout of the service was launched using the same invitation-only method of joining  as when gmail was launched, but huge demand for those invitations meant Google had to pull the pin on accepting new users after less than 48 hours.

And, of course, the spammers are already sliming their way into the system by sending emails with fake invitations that send punters to sites selling assorted drugs that promise to perk up unperky peckers.

That’s the other thing the internet is about that I forgot to mention in  my first paragraph: penis pills.

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Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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