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A Couple of Articles about Social Networking

Graphic from le Monde.

I've recently read two interesting articles about social networking. In the first, from. Steve Rubel's blog talks about the coming ubiquity of social networking. He writes:

The online universe is about to grow even more complex, making it harder for some sites to maintain their dominance. Over the next several years social networking and community will become less about specific venues and more of a river that runs through the entire web. As Cisco's Dan Scheinman says, community will define not only how content is created, but also how it is consumed.

This means that although it will get harder for marketers to achieve scale, community engagement will become a much more efficient and effective way to engage an audience. This requires a shift in thinking though as community becomes like running water. The takeaway here is never bet against change - it's constant on the web.

The second is from the Institute for the Future's Blog, and discusses how "mapping" social networks can yield some surprising results:

Those maps are going to raise a lot more questions than they answer though. A key assumption among a lot of the Silicon Valley crowd is that social networks transcend geography. Yet as people like Keith Hampton at MIT have shown, there's also a tremendous amount of new local, weak social ties growing on top of the Internet. Social theorists like to call these simultaneous, diverging trends "glocalization".

It's in this latter sense that networks like this one are going to become more and more important in all our professional lives.

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