Rob Frankel: Are Social Networks Failing?

Rob Frankel, is a respected veteran of branding and all things media. He was launching marketing campaigns and things way before many of us knew what Google was.
He writes on his blog why social networking is not a sustainable business model and it got me thinking.
Other than the point of keeping in touch with your friends and organizing your hundreds of contacts, what’s the point of social media.
He writes But the problems with Social Networking far exceed their benefits. In the first place, simply gathering a bunch of dopes into one place with no specific purpose has the same effect as advertising a Giant Tractor Pull with no Giant Tractors. Sure, you’ll probably meet up with some beer-swilling fans chugging the same tall cans of Miller, but after that, what value is left?
He continues with several other valid points about why social networking doesn’t work.
In order to get the most value of social networking, it’s important to understand why you are doing it.
Many of use do it because we are invited to join a social network by someone. For me personally, however, Facebook and LinkedIn are NOT my primary vehicles of communication. Email is.
The main reason, for me, that social networking is a decent tool is that I can peer into the networks of those I know and connect with others. This though, takes work and time.
I like Twitter as I’ve found that there’s a lot of bloggers and “media” types using Twitter and when I Twitter something invariable someone finds it of interest and starts “following me” and we might even connect.
I still think that the best social networks are the human kind. Get to know the leaders of your local chamber – assuming its active and vibrant. Know who the local manager of your retail store is and let them know who you are what you do. Attend events and meetings.
Don’t just throw your card all over the place, but if you meet 20 new people in 3 months, I bet they can introduce you to key people in their network that can help your business grow in some way.
If a local reporter is attending an event – GO TO THE EVENT and meet the reporter. Don’t shower them with 500 reasons of why they should cover your business but just get to know them, learn, ask questions and be a valuable asset to them!
Sites like MySpace thrive – why? Because for entertainment purposes many younger people like to create their own digital profiles, share with their friends and linke to their friends. MySpace is great for this.
But if you’re a web designer, architect, lawyer or plumber – your use of MySpace in this way is minimal or nil.