As a student it was not unusual for me to spend no more than six hours a day at home. The rest of the time I was out socialising, whether helping post grads with their work or with those from my studies. As a result of this I started to pay attention to many of the social networks. It had shifted from Facebook where all my real life friends could be found to more abstract social networks such as twitter, jaiku and others.
Through these networks I saw what everyone was up to and I could take the opportunity to go out and meet them occasionally at first and then more and more frequently as time passed. By the time I left England I had the opportunity to meet with one group every Friday morning and quite a few others on a number of different occasions. As a result my social life was built around what I saw via twitter and seesmic.
In geneva that social scene is pretty small at the moment. Some people are in Geneva, some are in Lausanne and others in Zurich. The problem is they’re not centralised therefore participating is not practical. That’s one of the weaknesses of social networking that I’ve encountered over the years. I do miss that aspect of life in England and I should attempt to recreate it here.
I’m not the only one facing this problem. Corvida of Read Write Web wrote about this topic recently and it’s an interesting challenge for Gen Y and early adopters. The majority of the users of mobile social networks congregate in one specific city and rarely move outside of it. As a student facebook was great to find out about events that were going on within that circle, then twitter became great once I graduated.
Now the challenge is to find what social network will be of interest in a city like Geneva. Would it be facebook used by most people in my age group. paying services that guarantee no results or simply going out into the physical world hoping to meet people that way.
Each method requires time and I’m not sure which is the most adapted to the lake Geneva region. It’s something I’m going to explore over the coming weeks. I want to rebuild a good physical world social network once more and see which tools remain relevant now.