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Mar 7, 2008

The New Internet Roles with Social Media

Unlike mass media, users take proactive roles on the Internet. Here are the emerging roles.

Creators are entrepreneurs, writers, academics, programmers, webmasters, animators, photographers, cartoonists, videotographers, and musicians who create and use the Internet to distribute their works. Over 100 million use blogs like Blogger, FlickR, TypePad, or WordPress to post photos and writings. Huge numbers post videos on Youtube and other sites.

Most work alone. They do their own research online or offline; and post what they learned. They have hundreds of friends, but typically not the numbers of a pHub.

pHubs - personal hubs

The pHub specializes in social engagement gathering thousands of friends at social networks like MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Mixi, and LinkedIn. They are most likely to review, rate, comment, bookmark, subscribe to, forward, and post the works of favorite creators to share with friends.

Publicists, recruiters, consultants, investors, and business development personnel are most likely to become pHubs. They are the most enthusiastic from among the 300 million and growing social network users.

gHubs - global hubs

gHubs create content and engage users globally in discussion. They source information from creators, consolidate related information, publish for global view, and listen to user conversation to guide their forward publishing. Their audience can be millions.

Large technology bloggers, like Engadget, Gizmodo, ReadWriteWeb, SlashDot, TechDirt, TechCrunch, ZDNet, and others have become gHubs. Legacy publishers like Internet.com, Infoworld, and others have faded into obscurity.


Consumers rarely search to learn. They rely on pHub friends and gHubs to learn about interesting news, trends, groups, politics, games, widgets, products to buy, and other activities. They click to join, use, buy, or read more.

The average consumer calls a friend for help - rather than solving problems themselves. Social networking makes it easy to identify the friend who would know the answer, perhaps with a quick poke or wall post.


Will social networks limit search to the creator community? Has mass media been displaced by social media with millions of circles of friends?

Should legacy gHubs use services like Ning to create their own social networks? Or take anchor roles in existing networks? Will the growth of pHubs threaten gHubs?

Who are you in this new world? Who do you want to become?

(c) Dash Chang, 2008

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