I am not sure why, perhaps it is just a phase or something, but it seems that basically every social place I use on the Internet seems broken right now. Broken as in there are no meaningfull conversations and debates possible, because either of spam or lack of users.
Twitter for example died for me when they started filtering out conversations of people who I followed had with people I didn't follow. Right from this day the whole concept of finding new interesting people and conversations went to shit because I wasn't able to see beyond the horizon of my followings. I started to follow more people but didn't find more conversations, only more shouts about what people are doing right now, which I wasn't really interested in.
I have to admitt that Facebook is the social network which worked for the longest time for me. I think that is because they tried to fix stuff which got out of hand after a while. They kind of banned most of the games, or at least let me mute them, which were very vocal, they let me chose to either use their algorythm for showing what they think is interesting for me or just show everything, they killed all the facebook-apps which always were just slow and bad written, etc. But sadly right now a new plague has emerged, "Like to win ..." and "Share to win ..." so my entire timeline is poluted with advertising, not because Facebook puts it there but because all my "Friends" put it there. I hope Facebook will fix this for me because otherwise I will need to stop using it.
Flickr got much better with the latest changes, even if it made it much slower too but I hope they will be able to fix it. But sadly they never put much effort into community features. It is really hard to find people with interesting photos to follow, you can only favourite pictures but not like it, I'd like to show the photographer that I like their work but that does not necessary mean that this picture is one of my favourite pictures. I quite like the Flickr iOS app but there is no good desktop app, let alone for Linux. So even if it is the service which I kind of like the most, I've been paying for a pro membership for the last six years, it isn't so much a social network as it could be.
Then there are the new kids on the block like App.net where I tried to get in but every time I log in there I am disturbed about the attitude their user have, elitarism, country club, and so on are words I associate with their user base. They seem to think that only because they pay money for the servise it makes the service superior to the other services. The truth is that the opposite is the case, it has all the negative aspects of a propriatary system like Facebook and Twitter but they also need to pay money for it. It is still just one company which controlls everything and if they don't like your nose you're out and you can't do anything about that.
And the other new kid is Tent which was what got my hopes up last october when I found out about it. But the lack of users here is what kind of puts me off. I can't recommend the platform for my friends because I know that it will take quite a lot of time before there are applications which will work with the new protocol version, if ever, and the users we had are dropping of really fast. Where we had at least 10 posts per hour in february, you now have wait about 4 hours to see a new post.
I hope this is just a phase and it will go over, untill then I am readonly on YouTube, they have in my opinion the most healthy social community right now, I assume because there are so many young people using it. And I still have hopes for Blogs as a decentralized way of communicating more mature ideas in longer posts. I kind of think losing Google Reader was the best thing which could happen to the Blog/RSS Feed community because it got quite a kick and new services are arising and people seem to blog more and more interesting stuff as before. There seems even to be a trend to cleaner design which I love and why I tried to clean up my design here too as you can see.