Why Social Networking Services are Like New Year’s Eve in NYC

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Following a surprisingly on-time graduation from Williams, like many of my classmates I moved immediately down to New York City – there to live, work and enjoy the bright lights, etc, etc. All in all, with a small horde of friends in close proximity, it was a comfortable arrangement. Particularly since I wasn’t paying any rent, but that’s an entirely different story.

From apartments in the Upper West Side (60th and Amsterdam first, then 69th and Columbus), getting together with friends uptown or downtown was generally easy and low effort. With the notable exception of New Year’s.

I have no idea if this is still the case, but the overwhelmingly popular option amongst my circle of friends on that social holiday was to attend prepaid, closed door events at bars that were invite only. The initial promise of these things – open bar for several hours – seemed too good to be true, and of course it was. The venues would generally oversell tickets by 30 or 40 percent, meaning that it could take close to an hour to get a “free” beer.

But the bigger problem was the choice. While I have yet to win a popularity context in any context, I usually had between two and four different invites for New Year’s. Different friends would pick different bars for different reasons and you’d find yourself at a bar, short a friend or three.

By the end of my tenure in the Big Apple, my general attitude towards these sorts of things was simple: I really didn’t care which venue was selected (except for Dorkian’s), I just wanted as many of my friends there as possible. I was all about consolidation.

An attitude which, surprisingly, encapsulates my current feelings towards these redundant social networks fairly well. I don’t particularly care which social network I’m on (as long as it’s not MySpace) – I just want the majority of my contacts there along with me. Because I don’t want to join another network any more than I want to head cross-town on New Year’s Eve to attend a different party.

So to my friends and colleagues, I say this: I fundamentally do not care which of Pownce, Twitter, et al you pick. I really don’t – they’re all more or less the same to me. You can have any social network you want, as long as you all pick the same one.

And if someone could let me know when you all get that sorted out, I’d appreciate it.


  1. I am so with you on this one. Pownce just hit the rounds here in the Toronto tech community, and I was just starting to use Twitter. 🙁

  2. That’s actually a dorky way to spend New Years in NYC.

    My recipe for success was always home with the closest lady, chinese delivery (Hunan Park, Spicy Chicken with Cashew Nuts), a taped version of “Charlie Rose” and sleepy-byes by 11:30.

    No one ever barfed on my Pumas.

  3. Sandy: yup. can’t really see myself signing up for Pownce.

    Bree: 450 7th Ave

    Sam: uh, i was straight out of college, what do you expect?

  4. Pownce seems like a closed-source Mugshot, but with filesharing and built on Django instead of JBoss (ugh). Also, thanks for more fodder for my “when communities go wrong” post (no ETA on that, sorry).

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