Bryndwr - Internet Use Project

Researcher John Stephen Veitch

Field dates 28 May, to 20 June, 2009


100 "high user" householders - Social Network Memberships

Many people assume from the news media that strong membership of online social networks is something that everyone has developed. This data shows an entirely different pattern. +50% of respondents were NOT in any online social network.

Only 14 people reported membership of more than one social network.

Social Networking is the key to making the Internet USEFUL to ordinary people, in contrast to scholars and researchers. Joining groups is a distinguishing behaviour many people have not understood. Active participation in group discussions increases your knowledge, helps to establish your own point of view, and over time increases your confidence and your ability to accept leadership roles.

Facebook is used for family connection. Not a single person mentioned any business purpose in using Facebook. Many grandparents are on Facebook in response to requests from their adult grandchildren.

Key Facebook LinkedIn Old Friends Twitter My Space Bebo  
Members 39 3 7 3 6 12  

There are 100's of these networks. Five networks that are not listed above were mentioned.

Only 20% of members reported going to their social network on a daily basis. Another 20% visited at least once a week. That leaves 60% who are not really involved at all. The Internet would quickly become more valuable to people, if more of them had the confidence and skills to engage in social networks. Whatever you need to learn, whatever problem you may have, you can always get help from people in online social networks. But if you never have the courage to join and participate, you can't access those benefits.

LinkedIn is the world's premier business focused social network with more than 40 million members. That only three people are members is for me a rather shocking statistic. None of those people are well connected, which shows in my view, a surprising lack of knowledge and understanding.

Bebo was once a network of choice for high school students. Today it's been almost entirely replaced by Facebook. Online social networks are only 7 years old. They are still in development. The future success of LinkedIn and Facebook is continually under attack by new and improved networks.

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