social networking galore

Yesterday, at the suggestion of a former colleague, I've opened an account on linkedin. I used to have one on Orkut, but I closed it a while ago (after months of not using it at all) just so that it would stop bothering me with mail alerts telling me someone had sent me an invitation/message/note/whatever, especially since all of these were in portugese or spanish, neither of which I speak. Anyway, linkedin's business orientation could prove useful these days where I'm looking for a job, but also it's rather well done (unlike Orkut, which Google probably bought on an impulse because it was hanging next to the cashier's desk at the Startuporama supermarket - "social network ? oooh, gotta have one of these") and quite populated. Given that this is yet another "winner-takes-all" kind of market, I think they could get the lead in this section (the non-business-oriented one going to myspace, of course).

It would be a good thing if some of all these sites could merge and turn down the redundancy, but before that happens, this blog entry from Guy Kawasaki got me thinking : do I even have the time (ok, the will) do take such extensive care of my linkedin profile ? Clearly no, and most probably so do a lot of people. Hence I'm going to risk myself at predicting the future (something I'm always very wary of) : before long, all these fun little companies which you can pay to get them build your website and generally make yourself web-visible will also offer services to create you a spiffy profile on any of those social networks. Said networks are, after all, little self-contained versions of the WWW, profiles being homepages and connections being the equivalent of hyperlinks.