Posts Tagged social networking and relationships

What’s your social score?

Late last year, Business Week talked about an experiment at Google to rank users of social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter based on connectedness, frequency of communication and influence.  In the article, the value of influence-ranking using Google’s patent-pending technology is examined in the context of advertising, but such a system has other potential applications in business.

As I previously mentioned, maintaining a large number of healthy, diverse relationships is one way to improve the collaborative quotient of an organisation.  Companies are looking  to innovative ways to measure the effectiveness of collaboration and its impact on success.  Some companies are finding value in charting the relationships between individuals and creating maps that help to visualise the density and relative value of social ties within the sphere of business.  In a conversation at Knowledge Infusion, Jason Corsello recently talked about the potential for adding a “social index” to employees’ performance appraisals as a way to track and presumably stimulate collaborative behavior.

In Forbes this week, Joshua-Michele Ross muses on the rise of the social nervous system and gives a number of examples of how a massively connected society could improve such things as EMS, political effectiveness and virus (disease) forecasting.  All of these examples show the potential for technology to increase visibility into communication and presumably improve effectiveness, but towards the end of Ross’ article, the privacy alarm begins to sound.

As Ross puts it, “In a social nervous system there will be increasing pressure to be connected 24/7 to the hive mind that is Facebook, Twitter and so on. Those who do not connect, share and collaborate will have a hard time in business and in social life.”

We’re already seeing some employers using credit reports to evaluate potential employees.  Do you suppose that in the not too distant future companies will be calling a network reporting bureau to obtain your social score as well?

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I tweet, therefore I am

A recent article in the Economist discusses the impact of social networking applications on an individual’s circle of intimacy.  The article posits that while tools such as Facebook and Twitter might increase the number of people that active networkers interact with, the majority of these exchanges are casual in nature.  Most folks have a small core of friends with whom they feel comfortable discussing important matters, and the availability of large numbers of social contacts doesn’t seem to affect that.

Makes sense to me.  It takes hard work to maintain true friendships.  Even the most comfortable relationships, the ones that seem effortless and timeless, require maintenance by both parties to remain viable.  Online social networking tools might help us keep track of a large number of social contacts, but there’s only so much emotional investment capital available.

Still, it’s funny how people are casually sharing increasingly intimate details of their lives with a circle of contacts who are, despite being named a friend on Facebook, effectively strangers.   Social networking seems to bring out a bit of the exhibitionist in people.  In a comment about Internet voyeurism, Seth Finkelstein insightfully called Twitter “low-level celebrity for the chattering class.”

What embarrasing detail about an acquaintance do you wish you could unlearn?

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