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Social Networking More Manifesto Thoughts

Of all the summaries of my little attempt at a Manifesto for Social Networking I found this one from Christian Crumlish the most helpful. He took my 1437 words to just a few. I'd clip it further and focus on the mine and hub element now.

  • It's my Network

    • I own it.

    • Social networks should empower people.

    • I am my own hub.

    • Ease data exchange

    (I'd make amendment to some of these following points now. They were really part of my rationale for the above. The most important aspect of is is what we can and will do with this new connectivity as it emerges. I hope it doesn't result in spam and does lead to new consumer controlled information markets.)

  • My Blog is Better at Networking

  • Create Markets for Connectivity

  • Adopt user centric models
    Encourage Face to Face

  • Integrate with IM / VoIP

  • No to Accelerated Spam

It's incomplete without adding.
  • We understand that relationships based on trust are not always explicit and categorization is neither a requirement or necessity for participation. In fact we embrace individuality and expect it to emerge from the information we exchange.
  • We want control over our presence, our whereabouts and what we are doing. While and when norms emerge we understand they will change over time and with the audience.
  • We recognize we are each part of many different networks and conversations. We may have difficulty articulating them and yet under the right conditions new sources of unexpected value emerge.
  • We control when it is appropriate or not to share infomation about ourselves. We retain permission and determine the level and degrees of privacy we desire and will share with those that we trust
  • We share to create utility and opportunities for all of us to grow. As our networks expand they will encourage new emergent forms of sharing and discovery. Agents and Initiators are an important part of the network when linked to reputation, trust and relevance.

    I made the direct link to blogs too strongly. I should have stuck with "I am my own the hub". What was meant as a decentralized illustration for knowledge sharing takes on too large an importance. Blogs and text are not necessarily requirements for Social Networking.

    A great strategy is really central to solving the puzzle. The comment via SSW reflects my belief that accelerating learning is the real payoff. This quote sums it up.

    In this brutal competitive market that we face today, the only conversations that matter to businesses are " Where can we find and collaborate with customers and business partners in our quest for Strategy Innovation ". And the new social networking technology (weblogs and social software) is our best chance to make this vision a reality. Itīs true that is not yet good enough but I think it` will be in no time. Eric Rdz - The Social Software Weblog

    I've taken some flack for appearing too blog centric and believe we need to go farther than the comment below. While meeting people is a dynamic in social networking today this post suggests we look to other possibilities resulting from this new connectivity. I'd applaud such initiatives. For the most part the current crop of SNS are broken. They are being "loaded" and then forgotten. Social networking shouldn't be hard work.

    Henshall often implies that social networking is about the meeting new people connotation of the word "networking". There are uses of social networks beyond meeting new people. This fact is indeed recognized by the statement My social networking solution will enable me to connect and exchange with family (assuming the author doesn't want an SNS tool to meet new family members). However the paragraphs "Create Markets for Connectivity" and "Encourage Face to Face" fall back into the social software analysis pitfall of equating social networking with meeting new people.

    ... It would also be interesting and insightful to see some analysis on what kind of social network product will be popular with people that don't have the time to professionally blog nor desire to meet new people. Michael - The Social Software Weblog

    I'd like to see more discussion around static versus dynamic systems. I feel that IM, telephones (old world) are very important.... So are tools like blogrolls and touchgraph. A better dashboard would help. At the moment it requires too much inquiry, rather than just a quick visual update. I think that means we are looking for "living networks".

    .... in my 34 years of work in communities f2f and virtual, the most important variables to the effectiveness of social entities have been presence, commitment and contribution. However brilliant the structure - technical or organizational - what makes a network work is the purpose and active involvement of its members. Networks form organically or out of the selection of an initiator, and their social composition is like the quality of their fuel. Linkedin serves me as a locator and somewhat trustworthy profiler. It does not serve my conversations or information sharing. Comment Cliff

  • Comments (2)


    Thanks, Stuart. I didn't intend my summary as a substitute for your full manifesto but rather as a teaser, so I just listed the main heads as I read them.

    Glad to see the conversation continuing.

    Mr. Henshall:
    You`re absolutely right when you say that Accelerating Learning is the real payoff of Social Software.
    However, there is a huge problem remaining that needs to be solved.
    "What are the natural incentives that businesses have in order to share knowledge with business partners and vice versa"
    In my opinion, the only reason is because of the potential of new business opportunities.
    I mean, If you put together the competencies and assets of 2 different companies, new value could be generated.
    Of course, this is theory. But in real life it`s very difficult to achieve it.
    In October of 2001, I made a business proposal to the general directors of IBM, with some fresh ideas for its Business Consulting Unit. They liked it but they were totally closed and bureaucratic to me and as a result, there wasnīt any exchange of knowledge. As you can imagine you can figure it out what happened with my proposal !
    With that experience, I did some research and found that Nokia had a venturing unit with the mission to create Innovation Networks that include Research Centers,Academics, Business Partners, and Entrepreneurs with one objective in common "The Renewal of Nokia" and I thought "This is big because big companies begin to realize that they need to collaborate beyond their own boundaries"
    And this is precisely when the new technology of Social Software comes into place:
    1.- CEO`s, CFO`s, COO's and other top management positions need to have a Business Blog in order to break the BUREAUCRATIC mid-level management and start having direct conversations with their audience. The move of Jonathan Schwartz COO of Sun Microsystems is a good one but nevertheless not enough step because he doesnīt let comments about his posts. But the example of FCC Chairman Michael Powell gives the perfect model to follow. He listens people and doesnīt let the government bureaucracy to get in the way of some important issues of Public Policy.
    2.-As an example, suppose that right now the Top Management of IBM has a Blog and somehow I manage to show my business proposal that was rejected 3 years ago, and suddenly IBM accept the project. What do I do ? I need help of other business consultants because Iīm a start-up and can`t afford to hire employees. Then my best bet to solve the problem is to search in social networking Linkedin for the ideal candidate. Immediately I find 5 people that have the perfect profile I need with experience in IBM. Don`t you think this is awesome ?
    3.- Finally, I invite these 5 people to my business blog and we start to exchange knowledge and opinions about the project I have with IBM. After 5 days of work, I choose 2 business partners and that`s all. Ready to work !
    I think the future of Social Software is great. Just let`s remember the dotcom boom and bust era.
    We need to separate the Hype from Reality for our own sake !

    My Furl


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