Friendster, Bebo, Tribe, Vox—we’ve missed you of late. As today is supposed to mark the end of the world, the virtual social worlds of years past have been much on our mind.
Where have they gone? Why did they go? Do we even care?
It’s hard to answer those questions without first marveling at what now falls under “social.” A decade ago, blogs and sites like Friends Reunited or Classmates.com were peripheral to our daily digital lives. Today online sociability is the norm: We turn to Yelp reviews when deciding about a restaurant or, when that fails, post on our Facebook walls—“Hey, where can I find good Thai in Philly?” We laugh at cat videos all day long, and we add our IMHO to a long list of responses to ire-inducing blog posts.