Strong Ties & What Comes After Social Networking
Posted by Julian Ranger
Last night I attended Digital Surrey at the Farnham Maltings which iBundle, my innovation hub, sponsored. Digital Surrey was initiated by the bluedoor in Farnham, a PR & marketing agency, and has grown over the last year into an excellent and informative digital event. Last night’s presentation was by Ade Oshineye from Google entitled “What Comes After Social Networking?”.
Ade’s central premise was that after social networking is the discovery of new, initially ad hoc groups of like minded/like-interested people through the use of social objects (e.g. twitter hash tags, new technology, websites such as Kickstarter and many others) which then results in new things being built, whether that is a new community, a new product, new collections/art (e.g. photo sets on Flickr) or whatever. A powerful concept that is undoubtedly true:
“We can discover strangers online who share our interests and together we can do more than just network. We can build.”
What fascinated me the most though was in the introduction to his presentation, where Ade talked about existing networks which he said were, or at least should be, for “Strong Ties”, else you get the “wedding from hell” effect where you have lots of not so close friends/strangers who you don’t really know making the whole event much more stressful. This I think is an important point: social networks such as Facebook et al into which one puts a lot of effort should be for strong ties, those people I really associate with strongly and who I really count as my family and friends; I need something else for just keeping in toucj with those I used to go to school with, work with, have a very loose association with, etc. Its the mixing of the “strong ties” and “loose ties” into one social place that I believe leads to issues of loss of privacy that I often ponder about in this blog.