New Study: Social Networks Around The World – How is Web 2.0 changing your daily life?

An De Jonghe of Belgium-based Ulysses Consulting has conducted a neat little study of the international social networking sphere in which I gladly participated.

The study doesn’t claim to be scientific, and it has a clear bias towards Belgium (nearly a third of the participants were Belgians), but there’s some pretty interesting stuff:

a whopping 89% put “professional use” as their number one reason to join an online community! 53% uses it to socialize and to stay connected with friends and a meager 16% is interested in joining a social network if it caters to his/her hobby. Keeping in mind the old predjudice (from people who are not using social networks obviously) that online communities are predominantly used by teenagers who like to chat (socialize), our survey states the opposite.

So among the participants, professional use was the dominant motivation to participate in social networking sites. (Again, maybe this is biased by the way participants were recruited: More professionals and more Belgians that representative, but let’s go with it for the time being. Nobody said this was about US teenagers, right?)

Also, the participants stated pretty clearly (by 40%) that they prefer to have their social networks in their own languages, and that they don’t participate in offline meetings (54%).

An De Jonghe’s blog has the results, which will also be part of a book she’s writing. To round things off, there’s a social networking social network, too, so to speak: A Ning network around De Jonghe’s study.



Actually, it’s very interesting to see something that DOESN’T focus on US teenagers for a change. But the preponderance of LinkedIn and the profile of the respondents do make me wonder to what extent the quantitative aspects of the survey can be taken seriously (though I’d always accept that individual testimony is invariably worthwhile on its own terms). Will definitely be exploring the results in more detail. Thanks!

Michael, good point! The study looks pretty ambitious, but it looks like there’s just such a strong bias towards Belgian users AND LinkedIn that I’ve been wondering about the mix, too. To be fair: The study doesn’t claim to be representative. But of course that’s what one sort of tends to read into it, at least once you see a neat little pie chart ;-) Maybe interviews would have been a better option?

But either way, there’s a lot of good info in there…