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Jul 15, 2009


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Travis Greene

I find the comparison to white flight stupid. Social networking isn't at all analagous to physical living locations, if only for the very obvious reason that you can (as many do) have both a MySpace and Facebook account, at a cost of exactly zero dollars.


Hmmm. This is interesting. I clicked through to the article, the NYTimes Blog, and the whitepaper that started it all.

The data looks legit and complete. The problem is demonized as white flight, and that's not without helpful connotation. Even white flight was more complex than the boogie-man reference evokes, though.

The thing is, there's no property value to a Facebook page like there is to a home.

I think the people left on MySpace just aren't tuned in enough to know they're behind the power curve. Facebook is eventually going to win everyone, but thought leaders among the uneducated just still think MySpace is pretty cool. There's nothing about Latinos signing up on MySpace that inherently drives college grads to Facebook.

So, without Travis' boldness, I think I'm agreeing. This should not terrify us.

Michael W. Kruse

I'm with both of you guys but I wanted to see how others respond. There are no barriers to anyone joining Facebook are trapping people at MySpace. What I think is possible is that people are sorting themselves along some demographic traits.

Travis Greene

There probably are demographic traits involved, since that's the whole point. Nobody wants to join a social network none of their friends are on. If all your friends have MySpace pages instead of Facebook pages, that's what you'll sign up with.

The real misunderstanding I see in the "white flight" fear is in how these things actually work. You don't join a social network to meet people and make connections. You join a social network to recreate the social network that already exists, the one made of your friends, family, and acquaintances. Any demographic split between MySpace and Facebook (which I don't doubt, just as there probably was one between various instant messaging services or chatrooms in the days of Ye Olde AOL) is merely an artifact of the already pretty segregated lives most Americans lead.

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