Just did a little early morning browsing through twitter and I came away encouraged. It’s like wandering through a timeless party with little conversations all around. It’s wonderful to see small, appropriate signs of affection here and there.
Being the geek that I am, I’m sitting here thinking about the network I’ve been wandering. Instead of Kevin Bacon, you could say I’ve been exploring the 6 degrees of Michael Hyatt – a primary take-off point for me.
I’m fascinated that as I branch out further along the tree, the same qualities which make the tweets fun and playful continue to be repeated. I have an idea about why that would be so. Part of it may be careful selection of who to follow, but I also think in part it may be an effort to put our best face forward.
I’ve been thinking about how our cultural changes have been undermining our trust in practically everything. The internet has made it possible to do background checks on everyone and every company. Who hasn’t googled someone to see where they’re coming from? The whole social networking meme seems to be a reaction to this degree of distrust. The Cluetrain Manifesto authors pointed at the conversation, but the implications are still unfolding in ways the authors didn’t foresee. Markets aren’t only about tangible economic products, they include knowledge as well.
Last night my son and I were talking about how socially networked students are wiping out classes for certain professors – no one is signing up. I said “that’s democracy in action – total anarchy”. He didn’t understand what I meant. So I explained, when students discover that they collectively control the classes (as a mass market) then professors get dumped. There may be very good reasons why the professor is on the faculty, which requires maturity to understand, but the students, as a mass market reject the wisdom of the elders, and effectively the manner in which such decisions are made.
Don’t get me wrong – no one wants horrible professors teaching subjects that aren’t relevant, but social networks have a power that can be harnessed for good or evil.
Thankfully, I’m seeing good.