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August 28, 2007 / compassioninpolitics

How is new media changing our internet communication and usage?


Here’s a great post from MusicCityBloggers written by Cupajoe explaining that our internet usage is moving from e-mail to information processing/gathering. Seriously, check this post out. To me this gets to the very heart of our digital relationships in 2007 and the near future.

How can this change, such that these are more human? I think its alot about human decisions, but I think if platforms helped us filter information and form active communities better? Maybe I’m wrong…maybe forming more digital relationships on say Facebook and bringing them to an interactive community blogging community. Chris Brogan made a post about this recently…about using Twitter and Facebook to bring people in and then other social media platforms to allow conversation and interaction. I think this second discussion is important because I see what seem like social media/social networking ghost towns online and worry that the “If they build it, they will come” AND interact in a fruitful way may be assuming to much.

Is social media a sandbox or a business card or something else? And what does the word “Friend” mean in social media?

There was a recent post at Tech President about what makes a friend? I think this is an important question. Is Howard Dean befriending Michael Sifry on facebook a real friendship or just a method to get Sifry on a mailing list? In some ways, though, I don’t think this is much different than the exchange of business cards. (Scoble makes a great argument why Facebook is the 2.0 version of the business card and roledex. Scoble says its rolodex + your interests and passions. PS if you know folks who are struggling to find the business application to facebook this is about the best I’ve seen) In terms of the what makes a friend discussion, when you exchange business cards as with facebook friends, it could be just an exchange of cards, it could be an email or a phone call, it could be a business relationship, or it could be a lifelong friendship.

However, even Rex Hammock is skeptical about the Facebook playful sandbox that exists now:

Right now, for me, Facebook is just that: play. Facebook is a sandbox I’m playing in — but it has a long way to go before it can hope to be the world I live in.

This returns us back to my core point, that communication and community are still lacking in many web environments. That we are fed the word “community,” but they still fall short. I want a community that has a high degree of communal feeling, personality, and usefulness. What will it take for Facebook to get there? When will it happen? Or if Facebook isn’t the place to host this digital community conversation, then where? So is social media a sandbox or a business card or something else entirely?


Leave a Comment
  1. chrisbrogan / Aug 28 2007 2:46 am

    My take on social networks is that they’re not the endpoint: they’re just the picnic grounds where we’re having our social experience. Facebook isn’t the end-all. It’s the hotspot. I’ve lived near tourist towns for a good portion of my adult life. The only true constant is change. Restaurants change, not because the old one is bad, but because we crave “NEW.”

    So one day Facebook is Rome is London is USA. But right now, it’s pretty hot.

    The next best place will break open discussions and freedom even further. Freedom to interact in a rich-but-disaggregate way.

    Neat post. Thanks for thinking. : )

  2. compassioninpolitics / Aug 29 2007 12:05 am

    Aptly put and nice rock’n use of poetic prose. Thanks for stopping by. (sorry my reply rate was low today)

    Social online communities like Facebook like a picnic. Interesting.

    When I went to the show at Mercy Lounge last night I tried to conceptualize the pockets of conversation vs. the pockets of non-conversation (aka perhaps due to fear) to the same issue on the web.

    I really think its cool that the Web Community Forum launched recently…

    I tend to agree with Pulver….live chat is where its at. Thats why Twitter is so hot, but also why it leaves you groping for more.


  1. What is the Trajectory of Web Communication: Web Community Forum Launches « Compassion in Politics

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