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Techmuse: Necessity of social networking

July 15, 2011

With the advent of Google+, the social networking world is overrun with competitors- much like the blog world is and was back when they were called weblogs. Coinciding with this continued growth of sites like Facebook and twitter (and foursquare and google+ and so on) is a drive to create “online personalities” that won’t just be your Facebook account, but your Facebook account and identity allowing you to comment on blogs, newspaper sites, and any other number of fora.

This recently re-appeared on my radar due to changes to a site I regularly. The site posts 5-10 articles per day on a given topic, and allowed users to comment on each article by visiting a forum and posting in a thread about the article. Now, they have enabled Facebook social connect, which allows comments to show up below the articles on the same page, but requires you to login to Facebook to comment and use facebook’s interface- the commenting system looks exactly like Facebook.

I understand the urge of tying this site to social networks – the potential for the site to gain exposure/views is great. However, I very much question and worry about many sites reliance on Facebook. I certainly don’t want my online id being my facebook profile, and I relish separating identities between various sites. Some places allow you to post using your Facebook, or twitter, or gmail or openid id. I much prefer that system, but wonder if others feel the same way. Any thoughts on how folks want their online identities presented?

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