Can Social Networks like Facebook help erode Caribbean Culture?

That was the question in essence that I was asked by a Jamaican university student today. He was doing some research on Caribbean Social Networks. He started out with the following premise…Caribbean social networks are not very well known if at all by most Caribbean people at home and abroad as they are already being bombarded by and are active on the American social networks like Facebook, My Space and Youtube. He then asked me..do I think that Caribbean culture can be eroded because of this? Is his premise sound? Are Caribbean people too caught up in the usual Americana? Do they want to see, be themselves online ? Can Caribbean social networks help spread and even strengthen Caribbean culture?

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  • Easton

    If you think of it, even though Facebook is an international site, it is essentially a network of many different cultures(Niche), for example, the Jamaican Network, Trinidad Network and so on. So advertisers will tap in to their targeted network to advertise their goods and services, promoters promoting events etc.

    So nothing can beat Niche Marketing( Caribbean), as each culture/network have its own uniqueness…. I really dont believe that there are such thing as international social networking sites because even though their Marketing Program is international since the site is a online community you are going to have people organizing in cultures/network. Notice, we are all here talking about a Caribbean Culture/Network on Facebook.. So good Caribbean Social Networking site will prosper.

  • social networks will take brand jamaica and our caribbean culture further than we could imagine. they will also quicken our evolution – technologically, socially – all of which is inevitable. the question is, do we have a superstructure that will help us capitalize this exposure?

    i think we are late adopters, but adopt we will, because the shift away from television, newspaper and even radio has already taken place.

    as caribbean and african marketers, we are just going to have to pay closer attention to the special needs and sensibilities of our peeps and build from there.

  • donald

    The Caribbean should not fear Social Networks, They should use them to their advantage. It’s all about how many eye balls you can get to your brand.

  • Being from Zimbabwe, I would say exactly the same about our social networks, blogs and forums.

    I find it funny that most of my folks would flock to Facebook, Myspace, Beebo etc but will not join our “ethnic-biased” sites.

    At the same time, these sites cannot compete with mainstream sites, as our very own businesses and service providers still don’t buy online advertising space.

    Recently in the UK, we have seen 2 main ethnic minority newspapers fold away. They had no revenue streams.

    Most black & minority ethnic businesses in the UK, do not even own a blog or website, hence they see no need in spending on online marketing, rather depending on word of mouth for expansion.

    In short, our social networks have little income, hence no active development & maintenance so people will divert to better looking , well maintained sites.

  • Social Networks provide a great opportunity for us to strengthen Caribbean Culture. We should not fear them or be intimidated to share the ideas and heritage that are our own. More people need to be educated about using these platforms to share stories of our legacy, images of what our people are doing across the globe and just connecting with those abroad to remind them of home.