Are you in my network?


I read a great article the other day. Problem is, I can’t remember where. Seriously. I read hundreds of articles a day and keep up on dozens of industries. If I del.icio.us’d (is that a verb?) every great thing I read, I still wouldn’t be able to find it. So sorry to the brilliant author of the article which I now intend to discuss.

This guy (and I’m just assuming he’s a guy. why? hmmm. a great philosophical, sociological discussion for another day). Anyway, this guy wrote that Social Network is a misnomer. We all have a social networks. Mine includes you (thank you) and my Facebook group and LinkedIn group and Flickr and my online colleagues and my clients (since we communicate almost 100% via the Internet) and my family (hi, Amy!) and even my secret Vox site readers. Oh and my nonprofit cohorts. In reality, there are many, many more I’d add to that.

Is there anyone who only communicates to people in one company’s network? Not the teenagers. They’re on Facebook, IM, Myspace, text… have you ever seen those kids multitask? It puts me to shame. And that’s something.

So that’s what I’ve been thinking about all day. What can we start calling the Social Networks that better suits? Clubs? You can be a member of lots of different clubs. Some members overlap. Some don’t. Some are close friends. Some not. Okay…this might work.

Or a stop on a circuit. Or one of many circles in a Venn Diagram. Alright, I’ve gone too far.

But really. If you really think about what you do online, there are overlaps and connections between people and functionality and it’s extremely hard to define.

We each have integrated these technologies and applications into our lives. I, for one, have experimented with lots and lots of applications and systems. I have a username…. everywhere. Trust me. If you have an account somewhere, you can bet I do.

And now I’m freaking out. I want to consolidate, get more efficient. I’ve done all my trials and have my favorites. Functions have been added to some that make others irrelevant. You know what I mean.

I don’t know how I’ll ever find the time to do it. It’s a daunting task.

I need to downsize online.

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