this afternoon I created this page on my personal web site, with links to my various profiles online – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and so on. I made it for two reasons – the first, and most obvious, is so that people who are seeking to contact me can do so in whatever way they care to. But I also realized that I usually can’t remember which handle I’ve used for each social networking site, and in fact I often can’t remember which social networking sites I’ve signed up for at all (for example, I realized just now that I have two Orkut profiles, neither of which I use, and I can’t even remember how to log onto one of them). I assume this list will grow as I remember old profiles I’ve used, or create new ones into the future.
what amazed me the most about this exercise is how many profiles the average Internet user posesses. I wouldn’t even call myself a “power social networker” and yet I have a whole page full of ways to contact me or figure out what I’ve been up to online. Aggregators, created to make sense of and unify the many profiles people maintain online, turn out to be yet another profile that users then need to keep track of.
another thing I find interesting is how different social networks vary in popularity depending on which part of the globe they’re used in. Facebook is the most popular social networking site here in the United States; Orkut in Brasil; while QQ (I don’t even know what that is!) in huge in China.