Brand name social networks ... huh?

Am I the only one who thinks that a social network about a single consumer product or a single brand is a stupid idea? Today, Mashable had an article about this topic and all I thought when skimming through the list of networks there was: “Why on earth should I just something like that???”.

I can totally see why a company would try this. Increasing brand awareness, increasing the loyalty of already existing customers, blah, blah, blah. But why would a consumer want to join something like that? Where the benefit for her? I can only imagine that all you get in such a tight “social” network would be … a load of fanboy-culture. Yeah, right what I need.

If I join a social network platform, it’s more or less my primary goal to find new or at least different opinions about various topics (finding new people can’t be bad either). If you join a brand name social network, I can only assume that it would be quite unlikely to find opinions that are against the “local brand” … It’s like the interview question “How awesome is your product?”. All you’ll get as answer will be “Soooo awesome”.

A social network should help you find real answers and not just a subset of possible answers. Sure, I guess some people like being in a Pepsi fanclub … on second thought … meh. I guess it just makes much more sense to me to be in a topic-centric community than a product-centric community. But don’t let my rambling get in the way of your 5th annual Pepsi fan meeting.

Naturally there are also exceptions where brands are much more than just a single product-line. Think for instance about the Playstation brand or Nikon/Canon. I guess I just don’t see why for instance Pepsi fits into all this.