As long as I’ve had access to the technology, I’ve been online and interacting with people from around the world. Back in the late 80s, it was bulletin boards running FidoNet and WWIV. As the technology changed, so did the communities, but it has always been about the people. It’s no different now, and in fact it’s more obvious now than it ever has been, as your sites and tools naturally remind you that the nodes in your network are all individuals. Whether it’s twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, or Facebook friends, you’re dealing with people nonstop.
Even today’s video games are about the people. The most vastly successful games are massively multiplayer, and even game consoles (long the holdout of those who wanted to stay alone in their basements) are online and designed around networks of friends.
It used to be, networking was about meeting new people face to face and exchanging business cards. These days, you’re often “meeting” people for the first time (face to face) after dealing with them online for months or even years. It presents a slew of new challenges, but opens many new doors.
In the past couple months, I’ve had dinner with co-workers, carved pumpkins with geocaching enthusiasts, and enjoyed live music at a pub with fellow video gamers. In all three instances, the people I met were people I “knew” from the network, but had never met face to face. To quote Ferris Bueller, “If you have the means, I highly recommend” adding the “real life” dimension to some of your online contacts. It’s a good way to deepen your network instead of just widening it.
And, in honor of today’s topic, there are a couple changes to the site:
- You can now subscribe via email
- I’m experimenting with using delicious.com to share interesting links
- I’ve added a blogroll of EMC people you might want to follow