Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The tubes are a utility

Some folks don't quite understand online social networks:

I'm still one of those people who looks a person in the eye when I'm talking... Frankly, what I've learned over the years is that a couple of true friends can help you get through anything. It won't be easy jumping into this new world of make-believe.

The other day I sat in a focus group made up of college-bound high school students. They all had Facebook pages. But not a single one of them thought of the Internet as a "world of make believe." Their online social networks were merely tools they used to enrich real-life relationships.

Speaking of Facebook, here are three amazing things that happened to me there.

• An art director in Sweden found me on Facebook and sent me a message, asking me to recommend broadcast producers in Denver. I did.

• I learned that a woman in my office cut her hair when she updated her Facebook status with the words, "Still getting used to my new bangs." I then walked the 50 yards to her desk to see her new style.

• My Facebook friend noticed that my other Facebook friend was the stranger whose mail she had been receiving for six months. They connected and he finally got his lost mail.

I could tell similar stories about Twitter and LinkedIn. But the moral is the same. The end of value of the Internet is that it helps real connections to take place in marvelous and unexpected ways.

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