Andrew answers to a C|Net articles on the failure of social networking sites (Molly Wood’s Five reasons social networking doesn’t work) by suggesting that the Internet doesn’t need special social networking sites: The Internet in its world wide whole is a social networking place.
Molly Wood makes an interesting point, though, when she mentions that one thing that makes social networking sites a less than ideal place to hang out is that so many of the personal profiles in these sites are, well, not that interesting. My take is that most people who spend time creating elaborate profiles on social networking sites are trying to sell themselves (whether to get a date or a job or just to be popular). And ads get boring really fast.
There are promotional tendencies in many blogs too, but you can also find much more candid expressions of people’s individuality. There is something extraordinarily relieving and endearing in things that people write when they come back from work or from the fancy party, and in the silence of their room stop being pretty and invincible, and start talking about the way they really feel. Especially when they are smart and write well.