Monday, February 22, 2010

"Web 2.0 is like a pyramid scheme"

Some of the most fascinating relationships and discoveries of my professional life have come to me via social media over the last few years. If you were to talk to me in person, you'd hear me vehemently defend the real goodness out there, and the fact that I think social media's benefits far outweigh its flaws. Even just a few years into it all, I've got a closet-full of personal examples of friendships, insights, joys, opportunities, and true delights that have come my way via the internets. And the truth is, I kinda think that one of the points of life is to have meaningful relationships and make meaningful connections between them, and call me crazy, but I've found and made a good handful of those via the internet.

And yet, and yet... *whispers* sometimes, the internet, and twitter, and facebook, and goodreads and email and whatever the new social media invention-of-the-week is, and even this blog...and all the people they is all exhausting. Which is perhaps why this article, passed along by smart, thoughtful agent Holly Root, with the explanation of "why we're all more and less connected all at once" really echoed for me. I don't agree with everything in it (and if you're language-sensitive, be warned that there are some sailor-worthy swears in here), and I don't think I'm as fatalistic about it all as this article's author is, either, but there are more than a few truths here, to be sure.

Which parts rang true for you? And what do we do about it all, anyway? Lemme know your thoughts in the comments; this is bound to be an interesting conversation!


  1. I read that article the other day, and it's really got me to thinking. How are we supposed to deal with the whole internet thing and NOT be assholes, ya know? We either have to pick and choose people to respond to, hoping the others don't get offended, respond to everyone with one or two word email, twitters, or whatever--or not respond at all.

    When you think about it, it's a little scary...

  2. Yes, I can relate to this article so much. You can't possibly respond and keep up with everything, and I think it is much healthier if you just concede to that fact. I'm of the opinion that most people understand and agree with that philosophy, and are less likely to get offended or put off if you can't respond to them personally. It's just part of the whole internet relationship deal. I tend to think that social networking is not about connecting with EVERYONE; it's about putting yourself out in front of as many people as possible in order to find new, better, and more worthwhile connections.

    The beauty of this whole social networking thing is that you are exposed to so many more people. It's like going to a huge party vs. being stuck in a cubicle with the same coworkers day after day. Yeah, you get a lot more junk and superficial stuff, but all in all it's still not that difficult to find the cream of the crop – the people you can most relate to and find help from. That's why I still love social networking, despite how exhausting it can be sometimes.