The upcoming launch of new social network for individuals and charities Jumo has got Celina Ribeiro wondering if we could be approaching social networking fatigue.
The one thing I have learned about social networking and online media in general is to never pre-judge what will work. There are no silver bullets. No trodden paths. Exceptions prove the rule.
And so, I am wary of my own consternation about the announcement earlier this month of Jumo, a new social network which aims to bring together individuals and non-profit organisations via donating, campaigning and volunteering.
Are people ready to create yet another profile of themselves solely in order to connect to charities when so many giving and campaigning mechanisms are already integrated into the existing social networking behemoths? Are they interested in or able to participate in another online community populated with people they have likely never met?
Jumo says it will enable users to share information about themselves and what they care about –Facebook for the earnest.
The fact that Jumo is being founded by Facebook co-creator Chris Hughes is reason enough, to my mind, to at the very least put Jumo in the ‘watch this space’ folder. Hughes may know a thing or two about creating successful social networks.
A bash around on the site this morning ended up with me telling Jumo whether I’d prefer to visit Argentina or India, whether I’m a parent and my definition of fair and equal opportunity. I presume Jumo will use this seemingly random information to present me with ‘personalised’ recommendations for social action – be it volunteering, campaigning or donating – when it gets running in the autumn.
If I can devote fragmentary time to cultivating a musical ‘personality’ on Last.fm, in theory I don’t see why I or anyone else wouldn’t be able to devote bits and pieces of time to developing their presence on Jumo. Both niche sites allow users to represent themselves in ways not quite possible on the social networking behemoths Twitter and Facebook. At the moment, however, most people are content to have their online 'personality' housed on one of the major social networks, typically Facebook. But with the fragmentation of other online activities and businesses, such as news for example, it could well be that social networking has become mature enough to sustain its own fragmentation.
However, given the very slow birth of other do-good social media such as SeetheDifference.org, I will be watching this space with some fingers crossed.