SURVEY SAYS – Are You Plugged in With a Social Network?

April 9, 2009 ( - I've recently been experimenting with "twitter".

Editor’s Note:  Still interested in your input on our agenda for our upcoming Plan Designs conference??     Much appreciated!  REPLY to this week’s survey HERE

And, based on the uptick in followers, it looks like many of you have as well (see  IMHO: Tweet Spot ).   In fact, I’ve been on “Linked In” for awhile now, and I have found my Facebook account an invaluable tool in keeping up with my teenagers, not to mention reconnecting with old friends.  

This week I asked readers if they had an “active” social networking account (or two) – and which one(s).

Admittedly, there may be a bit of “selectivity” in the responses – after all, one might expect that those with such an account would be more likely to respond than those who don’t.   Still, it could just be that things have been changing – because the results of this year’s survey were quite a bit different than the one we did about 15 months ago (see  SURVEY SAYS: Do You Have a Social Networking Account? ).

In fact, when I last posed the question about 15 months ago, most ( 53.1% ) said they had no such account, and about 15% said that while they had an account, it was not “active.”   That left 22% who said they did have an account – and about one-in-ten who said they had more than one.

This Year’s Tally

However, among this year’s respondents, nearly 30% said they had such an account (another 5% said they had an account, but that it wasn’t active) – and 51% said they had more than one!  

Of course, if you don’t have such an account, you’re not alone – 17% did not, and the rest said they did not have an account – yet.   Still, it’s amazing to me that the results of this year’s poll are essentially a mirror image of last year’s!

There has been another change as well - where people are connecting.   

Last year, those that had an account were pretty evenly spread between the major networks, but LinkedIn enjoyed a notable numerical advantage (33% ), compared with MySpace, Facebook and Classmates, which each had about one-in-five.   

While LinkedIn remained popular among this week's responses - 56.4% said they had an account there - but among this year's respondents, Facebook dominated - with more than 72% indicating they had some real estate there (more than one answer could be provided).

Classmates drew 16.8% , while only about 11% each had an account on MySpace.   Another 16% had an account in the network that, ironically, I neglected to put on my list; Twitter!   Other networks - Friendster, LiveJournal, Meetup, and, had only 2-3% each.

Among this week's verbatims:

"I found your IMHO article about Twitter very interesting. I was the last of my core group of friends to sign up for it, about 9 months ago. I protect my updates so that only 27 of my true friends can see what I tweet (I have to accept them as a follower)--as opposed to the 128 Facebook friends that I have. I tweet perhaps a dozen times a day, but only update my Facebook status 4 or 5 times a week. Twitter is very addictive, and has allowed me an interesting window into the lives of my true friends."

"My 13 yr old has been forbidden to set up a Facebook or MySpace page (for the moment), but if he had one I would definitely set up my own - if only, like other parents, to monitor it. Besides, I am still developing his guilt gene."

"I'm part of the social networking world but I really don't keep up with it very much. Am I an outlier? A friend of mine told me she was "giving up Facebook for Lent". I, on the other hand, have to keep reminding myself to go on the networks and keep up with people (maybe the fact that I feel guilty about doing this at work and don't have the time at home when I'm running around after two kids has something to do with this). Am I the only one who is connected but not super active? Instead of saying what I'm doing every few hours my "What are you doing now" section should really say, "I'm back on here after two weeks of being away." Somehow I don't think that's how these things are designed to be used."

"In my opinion, those who spend time on social networking sites have too much time on their hands..." (editor's note:   present company excepted, of course - right?)

"My wife started a Facebook account to find an old friend who she heard had an account. It worked, but they have found that they are very different from what they were 15 years ago. She has also been "found" by high school acquaintences that are, to put it mildly, rather disturbing. I've used her page to find a few old buddies, but I also found a few that I would never like to hear from... therefore, there will be no Facebook account for me! Thanks!"

"I can't decide whether the purely social networks add or detract from my life. I think Twitter would be an unneeded imposition on my time and energy. I've avoided Facebook for the same reason despite the constant nagging of family and friends to participate. Don't people have better things to do with their time?"

"I've always thought social networking sites were ridiculous. I don't give a rat's *ss about the mundane idiotic details of someone's boring life, and I don't understand why should they care about mine. Furthermore, it's none of their business. However, more and more of my friends are not using e-mails or phones to connect any more. I may be forced to join one. However, I'll hold out for as long as I can."

"Regarding social networking via the Internet, my social networking runs more to e-mail, telephone calls, and I have even been known to (gasp!) have coffee with friends on Saturday morning. We turn the digital devices off. And yes, I'm over 30!"

But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who said that "On Facebook I learn things about my kids and extended family that I wouldn't have known. But the real reason I signed up was to play Pathwords!"

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!   And thanks to those of you who are now "following" me on Twitter!   I'll try to keep it interesting!

You can (still) follow me on Twitter at

I'm (still) on Linked In at

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