Public vs. Private Social Media Networks

Right now, you’re probably looking at the title of this post and thinking one of two things: “How can a social network be private?”…or…”I totally know what this post is going to be about.”

If you’re one of the former, you’ve come to the right place! And if you’re one of the latter, you should probably read this anyway because – well – have we ever steered you wrong before? After all, we at Sgrouples consider each and every Sgrouples account to be the best possible representative of “your private social network.”

Allow me to differentiate:

Public Social Media Networks

These are websites designed for you to broadcast and connect with a wide group of people. Yes, I’m talking Facebook, Twitter, Fourquare, Pinterest, Instagram, etc…

Facebook and Twitter have very clearly revolutionized the manner in which we interact with one another. Our brains are somewhat programmed now to want to send out information and personal updates through a quick status blast. Even daily world news is distributed in this way because it’s simply the fasted way to reach a crowd.

These tools are wonderful for extreme connectivity and self-promotion. Anyone can be a comedian on Facebook or Twitter! I know that, personally, some of my most fun nights this year have been spent “live-tweeting” big events. (Is that sad?) There’s something to be said for thousands of people miles away being able to simultaneously share their thoughts on a subject. Not to mention the fact that marketing your business or your talent on these sites is as easy as it gets. There are certainly huge benefits to having such accounts.

The negative lies in the fact that it becomes difficult to categorize or compartmentalize the information you blast. These sites are inherently meant to store your posts, but not assign them various values according to, say, who you want to read them or how important they are to you. There is no way to post to 300 of your friends/followers about your crazy New Years’ Eve without your mom being able to read about it as well. This way in which we’ve grown accustomed to communicating is in contrast with the purest forms of human contact.

Which brings me to the ways that these sites store your content. Unless you’re really good with privacy settings, everything you post will be accessible to the entire Online community. Not to mention, your personal information can be up for grabs, since these sites take the label “public” to the extreme.

Private Social Media Networks

Here’s the kicker: you can have the best of both worlds! Have your fun broadcasting on public networks, and turn to what we like to affectionately refer to as the “anti-social social networks” for your normal conversations. The most unadulterated example being, of course, Sgrouples.

Private social networks are all about online communication with people you truly know and not thousands of followers. Often times, these networks are specialized for different factions of your life. But Sgrouples is all about allowing you to create multiple private groups on the same site. Post to your “Family” group about your nice New Years’ Eve and save the gory details for your “College Friends” group.

These sites function like real-life conversations. If you invite people over to your house, those in the kitchen are not going to hear the talk you’re having in the living room, just as the posts you add to these sites aren’t shared amongst themselves or the rest of the Online community. And in the best of cases, your personal information is not going to be given to advertising agencies or other data mining companies. Sgrouples has a specific Privacy Bill of Rights for this purpose.

The possible negative to such accounts is the inability to broadcast. Although some will allow you to choose one or more groups to which you would like to send a post. And some allow access to Facebook and Twitter from within their site. (Both available on Sgrouples)…But overall, if you’re looking to build a following online, turn to a public network. If you’re looking to communicate in real-life manner, register with Sgrouples.


Images from: http://www.busygourmand.com/2009/12/15/calling-all-recipes/man-with-megaphone/, http://www.montereylanguages.com/blog/what-is-whisper-interpretation-1875