I've spent the better part of the week researching various blogs and social media sites. A lot of time actually. Daddy Claxton is now on a host of social networking sites including Twitter, Flickr, Bloglines, Delicious, Facebook, and I'm sure a host of others. I've looked at Blogger.com, bloggers.com, pingshot.com, and countless sites modeled with the WordPress, Blogger.com, and TypePad blogging tools and have come to the inescapable conclusion that for a series of sites where customization and personalization are all featured, the basic structure in and of itself is basically the same.
To Web pages designers, the term "Template" essentially is a four-letter word. It's a sign of a lack of creativity or ability to create. Yes, that is where all the widgets and feeders, and layout options come in so that you can add your own photos, videos, podcasts etc. but when you get right down to it, blog pages look the same. And from there, where the difference comes about is actually through content, which in turn, is a very good thing.
After looking at several dozen sites about dads, science, math, politics, PR, social networking, and the odd duck site such as FriendFeed, I wonder if the development in social media medium is going to be in how the things all are laid out. And after typing that, I know that really won't be it, because it seems by and large the average Web Joe or Jane doesn't care about the box format they're given to work in.
I read one site had done a review of the new, what did she call it? Ah yes, new term, microsocialmedia, where a site called 12 Seconds essentially allows one to load up to 12 seconds of video instead of doing like at Twitter and texting it. Instead, you show your friends that you and the guys/gals are out "having a beer" one of the sites said.
Continually I keep hearing from friends that they feel that sites like MySpace, Twitter, and even FaceBook are all "creepy." As in they give up too much information as to your whereabouts. On my iPhone, I had the same reaction when version 2.0 came out and I loaded Loopt. Many of my friends didn't like the concept of people literally being able to look on a map and determine where they were.
So where does all this social media stuff lead to? The answer? I don't know. But I'm now well immersed in it and have to admit it's been a little bit addictive. At the same time, I am seriously working to build the circulation of the Dads Center to actually get it to the point I envisioned three or four years ago.
Where does it all go? What do you think? I'd love to hear. If you don't want to respond here, just Twitter me. Or send me a note on my wall at FaceBook. You know the drill.