Friday, June 13, 2008

What's the point of online 'friends'? Web buddies are useful for feel-good social recreation but their ultimate function is underdeveloped. If the core purpose of social networking is sociality, why do we continue to interact solely behind our computer screens and not in person? Perhaps it is the convenience of communal, yet independent, correspondence. That is, we like our ability to meet new and interesting people while still feeling safe. While this approach does work for information and trend discovery, the current, web-only technique could be improved for live social discovery.

SOLUTION: Mobilize new and existing social networks so that they may develop real-world relationships in the real world. How and why? The 'how' is easy: start-ups such as and have already taken the first step. They are promoting technologies that can connect 'real' and new friends to one another via cell phones and other portable devices. Simply according to your physical location, personal network, and (common) interests, their software computes hot spots to visit, events to see, meetings to be had, etc. Not only does it ease the task of coordination amongst your existing friends but it provides the ability to meet your virtual or third party friends, as well.

Why is this critical to social networking's development? Currently social networking is just an online experience and can only reach as far as the virtual world extends. By imparting its usefulness unto the real world, social progress will blossom. And with the advent of globalization, social progress is a necessary step toward global maintenance. All in all, this new technology has mighty potential; I suggest giving it a look.


Post a Comment