Social media geography

We all know how much new social media has pretty much changed the way how we view the world. Before its advent, everyone seemed so far away, so disconnected. We were all limited to our relatively small networks. “Networking” seemed to be something a privilege that only the truly personable (or those who work in Public Relations) enjoy. Ever since social networking sites (SNS) took flight, everyone was given the chance to connect with people and the best part was that it’s free.

During the early years leading to the social media boom of today, there weren’t a lot of things to do: just plain blogging and social networking per se. Nowadays you have a plethora of choices ranging from video-blogging to micro-blogging, from SNS catering to professionals to SNS catering to consenting adults (you know what I mean by this). There’s really something for everyone. Given that, competition between like web services only made the reach of social media even more vast. In effect, there’s more than one site offering the same kind of service.

The 2010 Social Networking Map

The 2010 Social Networking Map

Just like how the world today churned out superpowers like the USA and the UK, the digital realm also has website equivalents who lead the pack. But unlike the global political landscape, the number of users of a particular social media site is directly proportional to the power that it wields on society as a whole. In fact, if we were to create an alternate map of the world according to the number of users of such websites, we’d find Facebook as the most populated with Habbo and Twitter coming in second and third respectively. It’s also interesting to note that there are some sites which have somehow lost their power in maintaining their netizens within their borders (yes, exoduses do happen and is best exemplified by the emigration from Friendster and MySpace over to Facebook). We can also see from the map some sites which are slowly gaining some foothold in the global social media environment. It won’t be long when they will eventually surpass existing SNS giants. Who knows how long the golden age of Facebook will last. We, the netizens, dictate what’s hot and what’s not, after all.

It’s amazing how many people are already wired but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Not everyone has access to the internet and thus what this represents is only a fraction of the entire human population. Just imagine how much bigger these redefined continents would be should everyone pick their social media ponies. An interesting paradox, however, is that no matter how big those continents could get, the power of the internet can make it feel just the opposite.

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About Zid

My wit is legendary. View all posts by Zid

7 responses to “Social media geography

  • attackofthelines

    And just like what’s happening in the real world, Filipinos are all over the WWW and the SNSs.

    Just think how different the world would be if these SNSs are real countries where people collaborate and co-create with one another. Wouldn’t that be a peach? I think that if people could really extend this collaboration and co-creation to the offline world, planet Earth would be such a better place.

    • Zid

      It’s nice to be very idealistic but given that there are a lot of people who still do not have access to the internet, this is one future that would that only the movies can make possible in their alternate realities. Wouldn’t miss that for the world though. 🙂

  • Rhea Lorenzo

    I can almost imagine what would happen should all Filipinos get wired to the Internet. It will mean world domination!!! Well, at least in cyberspace. 😀 But really, it doesn’t always mean that when you are wired, you manage to use it to its full extent. I think the reason why Filipinos are active online is because we are naturally expressive and social beings. We like to tell the whole world what we think instead of just keeping things to ourselves. This is one Filipino attitude that organizations ought to realize because with this, they would know exactly how to engage Filipinos in co-creating content that would be useful for everyone.

  • Mina Loyola

    This map is interesting for a number of reasons. First, Habbo is a big community of players represented by small characters online. It surprises me that Habbo is second to FB, as I thought it was only for kids (my sister has a Habbo account heehee). It gives an idea, though, that online gaming is a touchpoint where we can talk to our concerned communities online, and members can talk to one another as well in that avenue. Another thing, it’s kind of funny that Google is everywhere with its information gathering outposts – spying, anyone?

    It’s saddening that Yahoo is slowly being absorbed by the Sea of Forgotten (Memes). I think it’s worth looking at how Google eventually won over Yahoo and made the Internet its territory (because when I first used the Net way back in 2003, nobody told me that there exists Google, only Yahoo and Friendster).

  • Franze

    Zid, that map is bloody amazing. I love it. Reminds me of those maps at the start of fantasy books, to give the readers a sense of ‘otherworldliness’ and to clarify locations as well. Nothing quite drives home the point “this is a different world!” like a solid representation of it.
    Anyways, I guess that map’s going to change in a few years or so. Just like how we have tectonic shifts, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and other events that shape the landscape in our real world, several ‘New Big Things’ will come out of the woodwork and reshape the Internet terrain. Of course, as comm practitioners, it’s imperative that we survive and adapt to these new forces, lest we end up in the Sea of Forgotten Memes or fall into the Abyss of the Passe.

  • shecainess

    there are indeed millions of people online and you can make a continent out of it. it has bridged the geographic gap. i wonder though how years from what social implication this would have.

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