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Work and play networks 30 October 2012

Posted by cooperatoby in Uncategorized.
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Quantity and quality
The big thing that my LinkedIn network map doesn’t show is the quality of the relationships. I have to admit that in the case of LinkedIn this isn’t very high with me – at the moment it is limited to taking a mild interest in what people are doing, and adding a few well-chosen comments to as discussion now and then (for instance on the rightness of British canals being given over to a charity rather than a ‘mutual’ as the government miscalls it. Of course the charity could spawn subsidiary social enterprises). Whereas with Facebook the ‘bandwidth’ is much broader – it is populated with a lot of photos and jokes and is interactive in more unpredictable ways. This is a drawback as well as an advantage, as Simon was saying on Sunday. With Facebook you get a steady or rather an erratic – flow of enjoyable surprises – it is good for stimulating unexpected thoughts. It is ludic and serendipitous, which I like. The downside to this is that you don’t know what you’re missing – FB’s relevance engine filters things and doesn’t tell you how – so for instance Truus gets my utterances but I seem not to get hers.
Whereas somehow LinkedIn is hard work – it has a serious face, it’s about “getting on” in the world. And I don’t like to divide those sides of myself up too rigidly. I like to work at what I believe in, so that work is creative and builds something, and is not a loss of time but an enrichment of time – co-operation is an expression of this. My previous post revealed that my Facebook ffriends fall into this work/play dichotomy (currently at least – I’m waiting for it to change). With LinkedIn the dichotomy is vertical – the work layer is visible and the play layer is hidden underneath.
Fragmentation or layering?
I’d been thinking that the future for FB was inevitably one of fission and fragmentation – that as the whole world joined (we are already 1/6 of the way there) then it would become less and less useful, and that ‘walled gardens’ and premium networks would come back into fashion. What is in fact happening is a sort of vertical segmentation, with the idea of ‘close friends’ and so on, pinched from Google+. This is very welcome as it will increase transparency and predictability.
I haven’t yet become comfortable with Twitter – and as I ramble on maybe that’s as it should be. But I’m capable of concision so maybe that will change too!

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