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Posts tagged ‘life’

What is Proactive Networking?

There are two types of networks, reactive and proactive.  When we look at the field of social networking this becomes very important to understand. The difference is that of a ‘website serving you’ versus ‘you serving a website’.

The reactive network is built off the connections I have already made. It reacts to what I have already done. It helps me keep track of the relationships I have built, but it does not help me create new ones. It’s not built as a tool for me to wield , it’s built as a tool to record and observe.  I have to put all of my information in before their network starts to do any work for me. On Facebook I have to import all of my friends before I start to see any value from their product. It works for me, but only after I have done the work.

On my social network I have to import all of the people I have already met so the social network can start providing value. Before I put my relationships in there is no value offered; it’s a function of me and totally reliant on my cooperation. Once I put my relationships in I can start to mildly interact with them via photos, apps, and messaging.  Even then, the reactive social network is not really designed around the interaction. It’s designed to record what I do, but doesn’t really facilitate much action or exchange. It’s built to be a history, a timeline, not a living environment.

The bottom line is even though reactive networks work correctly according to their design, they are restrained by being reactive. There are other ways to build a network. And I think the correct way to build a network is by making it proactive, not reactive.

street two-way asphalt night yellow black

Life is a two way street. So is a proactive network.

In a proactive network we would be able to explore new and old relationships. We wouldn’t have to import our personal lives, we would find it in the network. Your friend groups, communities, and curiosities will all be there for you to freely interact with. It’s like being given a box of Legos to build with; a reactive network being more like a solid statue, fixed into being and not manipulable. A proactive network is an environment you can interact with. It’s not a reactive network because it’s built for you to use, not to use you. It ‘s not reliant on you importing your life and doing all of the work, it’s about creating your life and exploring all the possibilities.

With my proactive network I would be able to reach out to people I have never met but are in pursuit of similar interests. I would be able to learn more about the cultures and people I discover. I would be able to break out of my shell and explore everything.

Proactive networks would allow me to define what online environment I interact with instead of having it algorithmically presented to me as the reactive network does. When I get to choose my environment I’ll be able to make new relationships instead of having only the existing ones I’ve submitted. A reactive system only has the relationships I already have, whereas a proactive network will offer me all possible relationships to choose from including the ones I have.

The proactive network is a living environment where all users coexist together. It’s a free environment to explore as I like. It’s a proactive network that encourages me to collaborate and exchange with everyone.

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What Social Media Means to Individuals in a Global Community

badajoz sunset vista view Spain fortressA year ago I was sitting on a Spanish fortress with four friends. One was Italian, another Spanish, one Turkish and the last was from Florida. As we sat there, sharing a bottle of wine and watching the sun set over the Spanish frontier city of Badajoz, it occurred to me that this moment would be one that I treasured for the rest of my life.

I learned a lot from those friends. In fact, they and many of my other friends taught me a great deal about myself and the world around me. Friends, family members, teachers and co-workers have a knack for doing that. Our values, tastes in music, film, food, fashion, lifestyle and even our speech patterns largely stem from those who we most identify with. We piece our own personalities and tastes together based on things that these people share with us and, even if we don’t mean to, we tend to rub off on them as well.

A friend might play a song for us that forever alters our taste in music. We might hear someone use a phrase in that song that we appreciate and add to our vocabulary. Someone you know might post photos from an exotic destination that will give you the urge to go there. You might post a video that exposes another friend to something they may eventually pursue passionately.

The lesson in all of this is that everyone learns from and is shaped by the world around them. With the social networks that we’ve embraced so far, our circles of influence have expanded, but not nearly as much as they could.

As members of a global community we are the first generation that has the opportunity to learn from a much, much wider sphere of influence that has extended to include…well, the whole world.

We are compelled by the new and different. This is a fact of life that is and has been true for thousands of years. Evolution, whether it was the evolution of a species, a product or a cultural value, has always embodied the importance of the new. It provided us with new answers to old problems, new perspectives, new ways of life. Imagine if our world had never embraced the new. We wouldn’t have gotten very far as a species if we never took chances and tried something different.

This is the first time in the history of our planet when we can learn from and share our own passions with people on the other side of the world. We are no longer constrained by the immediate. Instead, our spheres of influence have become limitless. We now have access to every musical genre in the world. We can see photos of far away places. We can discover who we are and who we want to be.

The friends I shared wine with on that castle wall taught me so much about life, friendship, hospitality, style and personal philosophy. I can’t wait to see what I can learn from the rest of the world.

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