Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

The five stages of social networking involvement

By Dennis D. McDonald

Stage 1 - The Joining

A meatspace friend tells you about a new service that all the cool kids are using. You join.

Stage 2 - The Expansion

You start playing around with the tool and decide you need to add more “friends” so you import your email list and send out invitations.

Stage 3 - The Reality

Your initial broadcast of invitation requests generated a few really nasty responses, but they weren’t your friends, actually. Anyway, you are starting to follow some cool people and exchange messages. You meet some people face to face at a local Starbucks. Life is good - you’re getting to know some new people!

Stage 4 - The ROI Debate

You start getting a ton of invitations to connect from people you don’t know, along with a slew of penis enlargement ads and get-rich-quick schemes. Messages start going around about how “It’s not like the old days when everyone knew each other,” and, “The A-listers are just using the group for spamming.” You begin questioning time online and start pruning your list.

Stage 5 - The Migration

A virtual friend tells you about a new service that all the cool kids are using. You join.

Copyright (c) 2008 by Dennis D. McDonald


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