The Nielsen Company - yes, those guys - have dipped their clubbed toes into the world of social networking. The uber-TV raters recently surveyed social media sites visited by thousands of Americans and matched them against 66 distinct lifestyle and behavior segments, such as "Young Digerati" and "Heartlanders."
Their findings? Yuppies gravitate toward Facebook and Twitter; those that occupy society's lower strata tend to loiter on MySpace. Bloggers and social media users cluster around cities, while those living in more rural areas cluster around livestock.
In other words, if you hang out on Facebook you tend to be richer, smarter, and more urbanically inclined. On the other hand, you probably suck at bowling, siphoning gas, and cow tipping.
Seems like a fair trade off to us. However, the Nielsen study really doesn't go far enough. Where do you go if you attended Choate yet still receive most of your caloric intake from pork rinds and Mickey's Big Mouth? What do you do if you're an urban hipster with a disturbing fondness for sheep?
To help determine which social network you should use to
waste enormous amounts of time engage in meaningful discourse, we've created this handy self assessment. If any of these statements apply, there's a social network out there filled with people just like you.
1. My "day" job involves snakes, a 20-foot poll, and/or vast quantities of body gel.
Recommendation: MySpace. It's the one place on the Net where strippers get the respect they deserve. And you qualify for special offers if you can prove you live in a trailer.
2. I find myself utterly fascinating and I'm convinced that others do too.
3. My Mafia Family Name is Tony "Boney" Rigatoni.
Recommendation: Facebook. Because you're exactly the kind of knob that service needs more of.
4. I am a card-carrying member of the North American Man Boy Love Association.
Recommendation: Boy Scout Friends. This Ning-based social network has the 411 on everything, from tying slip knots to how to give an Indian rope burn without using your hands.
5. I used to be hip back in 1998.
6. My idea of a good time is to update my resume, followed by a rousing game of Yahtzee.
Recommendation: Linked In. Hey, boring people need love too. They just tend to fall asleep while doing it.
7. I am planning a launch party for Windows 7.
8. I am Ysane Kildorn, Lord of the Glynfforn Clan.
Recommendation: Elftown. Believe it or not, these people are even dweebier than you are.
9. I am more annoying than Gilbert Gottfried.
Recommendation: Classmates.com. Remember, your old classmates are looking for you. And if they're not careful, they might actually find you.
10. I swear, officer, she told me she was 18.
Recommendation: Bebo. All the savvy teens left when AOL bought this social network, so you're left with the easy pickings, Mr. Pedo-Stalker. And no, we won't be your prison pen pal after you're caught.
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