The Economist‘s recent article on social networks is worth a read. It draws many connections between social networking and email.
If you suspect that there will be little in the article that you haven’t seen elsewhere before, you’re probably right. But an article that brings things together, makes good points, and makes them well is a pleasure to read, and may be a good introduction for people wondering what the fuss is about. Talking of making points well, here’s one about how deals such as Microsoft/Hotmail and AOL/Bebo are sometimes viewed.
The correct half is that a next big thing—web-mail then, social networking now—can indeed quickly become something that consumers expect from their favourite web portal. The non sequitur is to assume that the new service will be a revenue-generating business in its own right.