What Do You Think About Social Networking?

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I’m not able to grant all the interview requests that I receive. I always appreciate them, but I just honestly don’t have the time. If you do ask for one, please don’t expect me to answer in writing, it’s not happening. Instead, I would do a video with your answers, such as I’m doing with Dan Morrill’s questions.

  • At Gnomedex you asked the audience what they thought “human circuitry” meant, have you been able to define it better? If so, what is that definition? I asked the audience, and they came up with some excellent answers. To me, it’s all about life. I exist here, I’m real. But, I’m just as real online. We as human beings not only connect with technology, but we are reconnecting with each other thanks to that same technology. The idea of Human Circuitry is that technology is a part of us, as much as we are a part of technology.
  • How do you see social fabrics or human circuitry expanding as the internet generation becomes more embedded in business? I think that people are going to expect more out of software in the workplace. I think Enterprise applications need to suck far less than they do now. We get these great experiences on the Web. That’s what we’re going to expect when we go to the workplace. If we don’t get it there, you’ll hear about it. The bar is being raised in terms of quality. No longer is it “proper” to design something that’s difficult to use. Telecommuting is going to become the norm in the workplace, moreso than it is today.
  • What do you think is the next big thing in Human Circuitry, that was mentioned in the entry blog entry written by Forian that there would be one uber social network. Do you think that there would be one social network that the world would go to? Or do you see this as a meta social network that would tie all the other networks together like a collector like techmeme or newsvine? I don’t think there will be one network to rule them all. I think more and more one’s own identity will be your own. I would like to see the trend developing where a person gets to own more of themselves, instead of these websites. The more they lock the user into something, the more they will fail in the long run.
  • How do you think that corporate branding and marketing can keep it “real” without losing the audience when companies try to use social networking to sell/brand their stuff? This is tricky. The more you identify with your audience, and the more open you are, the better off you’ll be. That will make a relationship with your base of people. If I know a person at a company, I know that person… not the company. I have that connection. The more interpersonal communication I might have with a person on the inside, the more confident I am going to be in their company and their products.
  • Where do you see cloud computing coming into the idea of social networking, will it be platform only, or do you think this will expand as much as the personal computer has expanded, or the mobile device has expanded? Cloud computing is interesting. For the average user, it’s not going to have much impact between what they’re doing today, and what they do tomorrow. Where a website exists doesn’t matter… it only matters that it does exist.
  • How could a company approach the two way process of social networking within the definition of human circuitry? I wouldn’t say the two are mutually inclusive. Keep in mind that you’re a person, working for a company. As long as you’re not “the” company, then you’ll get along with my definition of Human Circuitry… you’re a human first, and you work for the company second. To me, that is the pinnacle of what communication can and should be.
  • How would you address the adult cynicism that pervades companies to adopt or embrace human circuitry? Get over it. That’s what I have to say to anyone like that. Go back to your rotary-dial phone, and your floppy disks. The world is growing up around you. If you’re not going to grow with it, that’s fine. But we’re not waiting for you.
  • Do you think that people, companies, and groups are going to be able to commit the time and resources needed to advance social networking or human circuitry? They have no choice. When you put your humanity first, your interests are paramount. The more someone is a ‘person’, the more open a conversation may be. Even if you feel you don’t have time to spend on the interpersonal side of things, you have to MAKE the time. That’s what it’s all about.
  • Do you think that there is going to be a bigger abandonment curve in social networking much as we have seen with blogs, wiki’s and other systems? You know, a blog is just a tool. A Wiki is a tool. A social network is just a tool. Heck, I’m just a tool to some websites. Is it going to fade? Yeah, I think the uniqueness of a social network has been diminished. Anyone can start one, just like I did. It’s certainly going to still be there in the future, but not so much as a buzzword.
  • How can we bring more people into the conversation, with only some 4% of people actually fully participating in social networking? How would you go about – or how should we go about – involving the other 96% of the population into the noise? You can’t. As soon as it’s relevant to them, they’ll join. Why aren’t they joining? Their friends aren’t there. It’s difficult. They don’t’ have time. Many things come into play, and you can’t change them. You can’t change the culture.
  • In the current DMCA environment, how do you think Laws have to change to accommodate human circuitry or social networking? What can companies do better to fix or correct non-factual information on social networking sites? They need better information. That means talking to people who are out there, doing things online, for real… not just legislators. Before laws can be passed, they need to be put through a committee, who is comprised of people “in the know”.
  • How can communities patrol themselves better to keep trolls and other miscreants out of the system while still keeping the conversation going? That’s impossible, point blank. The best you can do is ban and remove them.
  • Society will have to change to accommodate social networking, how do you see those changes coming about? Time. It will happen over time.
  • How would you use human circuitry to improve the “human condition”? I don’t know that human circuitry can be ‘used’. It’s more a condition itself of the interplay between humanity and technology. You see it happen a lot. Someone posts a link, and it’s spread everywhere. What’s that do, though? Nothing! It doesn’t help the situation at all. Until we can tie these relatively benign actions into real-world actions, it’s just going to be people yakking on and on.

Dan, I hope you got what you needed with this. If anyone cares to leave a follow-up comment to this, it would be appreciated. Let me know your thoughts on any of my answers, and what your definition of Human Circuitry is.

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