Just networkin’

Look out kid
It’s somethin’ you did
God knows when
But you’re doin’ it again

— “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan
Jeff Pulver says he’s abandoning LinkedIn for Facebook to focus all his “professional business social networking contacts” while Chris Brogan says in Lee Corso fashion, “wait, just a minute there,” LinkedIn still does some things Facebook doesn’t but just needs some help.
Steve Rubel says Facebook is a fad like well, LinkedIn and Friendster and Flickr and YouTube and iTunes and iPhone. Watch what people do with the technology, not the technology itself, he says.
Among 10 things Susan Mernit says we’ve learned from Facebook is:

Technology teaches possibility. It’s true that Facebook is a fad, as are the other hot sites of the moment–but it’s also true that the big rush onto Facebook tells us more about what users want–and about how particular behaviors, once established, seek to find a home. Create that home, power that home, and babe, you win.

Pulver’s seemingly main reason for aligning around Facebook for all contacts is the “wealth of opportunity for vibrant interaction between users and groups of users on Facebook.”
And Brogan’s in his defense laments LinkIn needs a profile picture and says it has to turn its “platform into something even more valuable.”
Rubel zeros in on how these sites change business and society. And Mernit sees it all coming together more powerfully in the cell phone.
It’s fun watching what’s happening happen. Networking and social habits are being developed now that will, as Rubel suggests, have a profound impact on how society operates in the future (not better or worst, paritcularly, but differently).
For me the idea of hyperlocal anything, much less news, being tied to a clearly definable geographic area is a limited take on what is “local” or part of community. That has some overarching implications on what products or services people will gravitate toward.
Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts

— again from, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
On Twitter, On Facebook, On LinkedIn. On Pownce On Flckr. … well, you get the picture.
Tags: | |


  1. Great summary. I have a few thoughts:
    What I love most about your post is that you accurately point towards the 3rd rail: the future. I think the app will be something else, BUT, what will happen in the next year is also of interest, because, beyond the social implications, the BUSINESS interest might be interesting to track.
    Facebook needs to let go of data. It needs RSS, needs to spit out more information, and needs to do a better job of “reputation management.”
    LinkedIN needs to lighten up, needs to open the API, needs to go mobile.
    Now, you diverge near the end (and maybe it’s in Mernit’s post, which I haven’t gone to read yet), when you start to talk about hyperlocal. There’s something MUCH bigger here, and that’s probably a whole new post for you.
    Hyperlocal will get crazy but not just geographical local. I will have hyperlocal Twitter connections via GPS/bluetooth/RFID by permission granted that suggests that if you and I are at the same bookstore, your phone will say, “Hey Jack- Chris Brogan’s in the store. Want me to ring him?”
    Hyperlocal won’t *only* cover geography. It’ll cover alignments of interest, permission networking, and the rise of Bruce Sterling’s spimes (way too much for me to add to your comments box).
    Thanks for the post. It’s neat to read.

  2. Your’re right, Chris, I probably made a leap to hyperlocal, but I agree with you SMALL is HUGE and it’s too often viewed as the physical surrounding community rather than community of friends, community of interests, community of aligned goals.
    It only has to spatial in the sense of location as a reference point; the same way flickrvision and twittervision are interesting.
    Your Grasshoppers effort would be a good example of a budding effort in building a significant community using the Facebook platform. Best of luck in that; you’re showing how it’s done.

  3. Thanks, Jack. I’m hoping Grasshoppers becomes the Fight Club of being helpful. Never a hub, always just the seeds. I’m a big fan of what Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom put forth in THE STARFISH AND THE SPIDER, which is how we did PodCamp, and now what I’m doing with Grasshoppers, if I’m lucky.
    Here’s hoping more folks chime in.

Comments are closed.