Social Networks for Good

socialnotesRecently, I have been staying up until the wee hours of the morning reading everything I can on social networking and giving other people’s blogs and inboxes lots of love. So, this is the start of collecting those messages and adding them to my blog.

I spent some of tonight on Networked Publics. A very cool blog sponsored by The Annenberg Center for Communication at The University of Southern California. The topic was “Is MySpace a place?” There were other comments before mine. In response to those and the original topic I had to say:

I love all this talk about something I do every day, something I have grown up doing: hanging out on mySpace, facebook, AIM or a chat room.

MySpaces is a space. It is a “space” because that is the word my generation uses to refer to the concept you are debating. Remember, we look at things different. If I like a band, I can be that band’s friend, if I like Al Gore’s new movie I can be friends with it on mySpace. These things (movies, bands, political movements, people) are just ideas and concepts that we think are cool enough (in mySpace terms) to friend.

Reputation: How you fill your space tells who you are and what you care about (marketers love this); or more likely, how you would like to be seen. Who would you let hang out in your space?

I think as more and more employers do Google searches, etc of potential employees, how you fill these spaces becomes very important. This is good for me. I take it as healthy pressure to do the right thing. After all, even if I don’t post those pictures of me chugging beers and running around naked, someone else might and they will probably tag my face to my name.

What is the bad side? The fear of being watched can leading people/kids to take on secondary identities; going by an alias, or many. Generally this is not bad. People do this indirectly in the real world all the time. However, I would theorize that being void of all pressure is not a good thing. Especially for already repressed youth. What would you do if you were invisible?

I’m very interested in discussing these topics. I see so much potential for good, such as using the excitement and addiction of social networks to increased communication within teams and teach online collaboration. Creating a social classroom, if I knew my work could be seen by my peers I might want to do a better job, because even if I don’t care what my teacher thinks, I probably care what my peers think.

Any thoughts from the 20+ people that visit my blog but never comment? 🙂

6 thoughts on “Social Networks for Good”

  1. very interesting… for more reading on “social networking” i would encourage you to check out dana boyd’s site: zephoria she is extremely intelligent and way into networking sites and the ramifications that come with them. happy reading 🙂

    post script: while the fear of having a current or potential employer stumble upon an incriminating photo on certain networking pages has me dillute stuff like a pg rated movie, i feel that overall the positive impact of networking sites is astounding. my belief is that these current sites are just the beginning 🙂

  2. very interesting… for more reading on “social networking” i would encourage you to check out dana boyd's site: zephoria she is extremely intelligent and way into networking sites and the ramifications that come with them. happy reading 🙂

    post script: while the fear of having a current or potential employer stumble upon an incriminating photo on certain networking pages has me dillute stuff like a pg rated movie, i feel that overall the positive impact of networking sites is astounding. my belief is that these current sites are just the beginning 🙂

  3. John,

    Thanks for connecting with me through Zaadz. I honestly am still evaluating Zaadz. So far to me it feels chaotic. If I had a very lot of time I think i could dive in and contribute. I love the mission. I think it is extremely easy to use (setup and posting) and it has enormous potential if it brings people together to create real world projects. I feel like it can be difficult to communicate in the pods. I haven’t felt very comfortable jumping in and I see very few actual discussions of substance.

    To me that has been my challenge so far with social networking but I haven’t jumped on with MySpace yet. When I moved to Kauai 3 years ago I decided to lower my profile a bit and focus on the inner journey. My perspective on social networking comes from the idea of linking people together that have like interests and what to do something beyond themselves or their smaller community. 5 years ago I was involved with local community business building organization. I was all over the idea of networking our local business community, local non profit arts organizations, our non profit committees with technology. Very few people got what I thought was obvious. The opportunity to connect and collaborate so outweights the counter competitiveness that exists in the world.

    I really enjoyed your post! I still believe that technology will connect us but it still needs to be more transparent than it is now.

  4. John,

    Thanks for connecting with me through Zaadz. I honestly am still evaluating Zaadz. So far to me it feels chaotic. If I had a very lot of time I think i could dive in and contribute. I love the mission. I think it is extremely easy to use (setup and posting) and it has enormous potential if it brings people together to create real world projects. I feel like it can be difficult to communicate in the pods. I haven't felt very comfortable jumping in and I see very few actual discussions of substance.

    To me that has been my challenge so far with social networking but I haven't jumped on with MySpace yet. When I moved to Kauai 3 years ago I decided to lower my profile a bit and focus on the inner journey. My perspective on social networking comes from the idea of linking people together that have like interests and what to do something beyond themselves or their smaller community. 5 years ago I was involved with local community business building organization. I was all over the idea of networking our local business community, local non profit arts organizations, our non profit committees with technology. Very few people got what I thought was obvious. The opportunity to connect and collaborate so outweights the counter competitiveness that exists in the world.

    I really enjoyed your post! I still believe that technology will connect us but it still needs to be more transparent than it is now.

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