58% clueless about social networking

Well over half – 58% – of 13,000 people surveyed in 17 countries said they don't know what "social networking" is, Chicago-based research firm Synovate found. Respondants' ages were 16 to 65. More than a quarter of them, 26%, are actually members of social networking sites, MediaPost.com cited the study as showing. And the most socially connected country? The Netherlands at 49%, according to a ZDNET blog post about the study, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE – 46%), Canada (44%) and the US (40%). As for knowing what social networking is, the Dutch topped that list, too, at 89%, followed by the Japanese (71%), and Americans (70%). Where risks are concerned, "overall, just over half the respondents who are members of social networking sites (51%) agreed that online social networking has its dangers. Brazilians were the most nervous" at 79%, followed by Americans (69%) and Poles (62%). "Least concerned are Indians [19%]. Nervy networkers’ biggest concerns were lack of privacy (37%) closely followed by lack of security for children (32%)." ZDNET, which got the number wrong in its headline, nevertheless has a great chart showing the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-ranked social site in each of the 17 countries. I love the unpredictable diversity: Facebook is No. 1 in Canada, France, Serbia, and South Africa; MSN Spaces in Germany, Taiwan, and the UAE; and MySpace in Bulgaria and the US.

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