I think it’s funny how things always come back around. Maybe it’s good karma, maybe it’s the circular beauty of life. Maybe i’m just lucky!
Today I had a great talk with an old friend Jim Lanahan. Jim was the first inspiration, visionary, motivator, helper for Erick and I to dream further than we had ever thought. He was the first person to encourage us to take things to the next level. It was nice to catch up with Jim and hear how well he was doing and to hear equally inspiring words, from someone who has been down similar paths before… almost a year later.
No man is an island.
Reading what Jyri Engstrom and Russ have to say about Object Oriented Sociality has made me think a bit too. Jyri has posted a great article about what drives people together to connect and to become friends. While Jyri uses “object” I tend to think of it more as “activity”. People love to do things together, humans are social by nature. They group together to get things done. They meet one another based on similar interests, whether that be talking, playing soccer, sharing photos, dining, working, etc. They like to do things together.
When I was interviewing people about sharing pictures back at school last year, they talked a lot about “group sharing”, but the groups were of specific purpose or activity. Some talked of making slideshows for the soccer team others talked about sharing with their burning-man friends. People oriented their groups of friends around things they like to do.
And yes, I think it’s true any site that fails to incorporate this in the model of social networking will probubly fail. I immediately think of Friendster. When my friends were all actively joining and signing up, I just didn’t really get it. If I wanted to talk to them, I would. How does it inhance our “connection”? How does it help us have fun, share something together, become better at whatever brought us together in the first place? What is it I gain?
Now that they have added blogging, I might be able to see a common interest in those who like to blog or read blogs. But those who don’t may still have little interest in the site. There is little they can do there or help them do what they want to do.
Russ’s analogy of whoever has the most friends wins, makes me think of a pad of paper I had when I was younger. Of course as a teenage girl, I LOVED to talk on the phone. Our family used to take each other’s messages on a pad that said “who ever has the most messages in the end wins”, with a man at a desk drowning in messages. I can easily see how these links to people with nothing to do with them, just pile up, eventually suffocating us.
No man is an island… but I certainly don’t want to drown in a boat load of “connections”, sans meaning, either. “Connection”, sans meaning, isn’t that an oxymoron anyways?