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YO-pot

yo pot... tu poti... noi poate !!!

Do we want 500 “friends”? Why?

marți, 25 noiembrie 2008

My big question – why do we spend so much time writing stuff to and for people we barely know. Maybe you are using some sort of IM software or website, or using some kind of social network website, like Facebook, hi5, MySpace, or my favorite, at the moment, microbloging like Twitter. Maybe you even go farther and build a blog and write about things.

If you do this as part of your business, to connect with your customers, to be out there, on the web, then everything is very clear. That's why I didn't mention earlier LinkedIn. That's business, not friends. It's a different kind of animal.

But what about the rest of the cases? The answer is, actually, very well known and discussed. A guy called Abraham Maslow, way back in 1943, in the dark days of no Internet (scary thought) wrote a paper called “A Theory of Human Motivation” were he presented what's now known as “Maslow's hierarchy of needs”. Great stuff. Smart stuff.


Anybody who studies economics knows this one. There are other motivation theories out there. Some say it's stupid to even try to make a hierarchy of the needs, but this is not about this. I say that you just need to think about yourself and if you identify yourself with this hierarchy then this Maslow guy was smart.

But anyway, just look at it. We go to work, and we make money and then what? We have food, a place to stay and not much time left. Physiological and Safety – checked. But wait! There's Twitter, yeeee! And we start writing, we friend people who we know in real life, and then people that we don't know and before you know it there is a bunch of people talking to YOU. Great! Love/Belonging – checked. Uuu, and look coolcat1340 said I'm funny, and johny78 said I'm cool, and I helped that guy to find a picture of a bunny with a hat. Esteem – checked. Everybody is bloging so I'll start a blog too and write about that guy in the subway. I write good, I'm smart, I got 5 comments, cool! Self-Actualization – checked.

And there you have it folks. We need to do this kind of stuff. Even more, we LOVE doing this kind of stuff. We are human, social animals, and we know it. We can do this wherever we are, write stuff all day. While at work, on the way from/to home, while shopping, in bed, on the toilet, you got the idea.

But how much of this is really a scam? You know, physically, some of the people. You don't know most of them. How many are you real “friends”? Not many. When you have 500+ and counting do you really care if mr/mrs 652 is not writing anymore? Maybe you do, for 2 days.

So is there something more lasting in the Worl Wide Web? Oh ye'. There are communities!
What's the difference? Easy – they stick together. There's something that drives a community, a common interest, an idea. If I like eating Chinese food today, I'll most likely have the same taste tomorrow and I'll still be interested in a good restaurant a week later. But this is a different story.

For now, I'll just finish this post and maybe I'll get a comment! Oh, I'm so smart!

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posted by Liviu

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