For the longest time I have been reading about the social revolution happening on websites such as http://www.secondlife.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/. I have also been wondering what all the fuss is about Blogs? Finally, I decided to take time out from my (rather busy) first life to find out more.
Technically speaking, you are now experiencing my first blog softwareminute.blogspot.com. It took me all of 5 minutes to register on http://www.blogger.com/ and start WABing - for the un-initiated that means I am now indulging in Work Avoidance Behaviour. In the spirit of the moment I have explored Blog aggregators such as http://www.afrigator.com/ for local Blogs. I have joined virtual networks such as http://www.mygenius.com/ for entrepreneurs. And I've been growing my business network on http://www.linkedin.com/.
Rumour has it that companies screening job candidates have started checking out the profiles of their potential employees on sites such as facebook. So watch what you say about your secret hobbies if your career means anything to you. I was a bit disappointed at how difficult it is to find and join an existing network on facebook. But it seems easy to make friends and invite people from your own address book to join your own networkssssss. Go wild! Have a dozen. Invite everyone you know or would like to know. Look up long lost friends. But be warned...you could be "poked" by someone you wish would remain lost.
You need a lot of time and patience to live a second life. As an ardent sci-fi fan, I'm not phased by the lingo. I know about "avatars" and have chosen Opin Dawes as my virtual name. But appealing as it may be to explore a whole new world peopled by 8 million other people who are responsible for 12.5 million transactions per day in this not quite virtual economy, I prefer to meet real friends for real coffee in the real world - even if it costs real money.
I guess all of these social networking mechanisms have business potential if you're willing to get creative. No doubt someone may even be willing to pay you to lead a second life in the hope of financial reward. In my view, facebook, linked in and blogger have the most immediate business potential. Meanwhile, having registered for a whole bunch of virtual networks, I am gritting my teeth in expectation while waiting for the to spam hit the fan.