Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘social network’

The “Community” Approach, A Game Changing Approach

You may have heard that OurPangea.com is poised to change the world. What you probably haven’t heard is just how it can do so.

As we’ve pointed out, seemingly ad-nauseam in previous posts, current social networks are lacking in some key areas, but mostly in their ability to bring individual users together. OurPangea sees this flaw as a major one and has been built as a solution to this great flaw. The solution rests not far from the theory of the online community.

circles diagram graph overlap white black

In his article, Community vs. Social Network, written for Lithium’s Lithosphere, Michael Wu, Ph.D. explained that from the relational and social anthropological perspectives there are two major types of social media: social networks and online communities.

Dr. Wu explained that these two types of networks are quite distinct from one another, but that their main difference lies in the way they tie people together. In a social network, people are tied together by pre-existing interpersonal relationships. These relationships could be family or friend-based, but may also extend to colleagues from school, from the workplace or the neighborhood. He contends that these relationships are built one at a time and that users tend to join social networking sites to maintain old and pre-existing relationships.

Online Communities are different from social networks because they facilitate connections between users based primarily on common interests. Dr. Wu says that these interests can range anywhere from hobbies to passions, lifestyle, geographic location or professional field. While everyone has their own reasons for joining an online community, these users are united by something in common.

Even more interesting is the fact that members of online communities come from a much wider set of backgrounds than members of social networks and, other than the common interest, may have no pre-existing relationship at all. These users can be members of as many communities as they wish and some communities may even overlap.

With social networks, the user has access only to their own social network of pre-existing relationships. They may be able to search for other users to add to their networks, but connections are rarely made between people who have never met. However, online communities are inherently more equipped to bring users together to form new relationships with one another and grow an individual user’s network.

THIS is a game-changing concept. OurPangea is built on the idea that online communities give users the ability to grow their own networks organically by connecting with other users from all walks of life. Users will no longer be limited to the old and familiar, but will instead find whole new worlds at their fingertips. Such online communities can not only bring people together in their online worlds, but can also facilitate real world relationships that users may have never found otherwise.

OurPangea plans to give its users the tools to grow their worlds by building relationships through common interests and thus uniting those users in what they love. Social networks have their place, but online communities have the potential to do far more for even the most reclusive users. By finding other users who share your same interests, the potential for finding new friends, co-workers, classmates and soul-mates increases dramatically.

Is it too much to ask for a network that can help us live richer lives? OurPangea thinks not. Welcome to the OurPangea community.

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.

The Unguided Social Network III of III

sea water waves pensive personPerhaps they are unguided by choice. Perhaps they are unguided because of circumstance. But no social network can survive without a reason for being. And OurPangea chooses unity. It’ll be opt-in, because you should never feel like you need to join because everyone else is, you should choose to be a part of it because you want to get something out of it.

We, as people, as a people need purpose. We want to grow and learn. And we want to be ourselves. So when we choose our social network let’s make sure they deliver what we need.

We all want to be a part of something; it’s just a matter of choosing what you want to be a part of. The mission matters to us. So when we say we will resurrect OurPangea, when we say we will unite the world, and when we say we are Pangeans we are saying what mission we choose to be a part of. It won’t happen all at once, and we will have to wait, but now, it’s just a matter of time.

Social networks shouldn’t exist to make money alone; their core purpose cannot be selfish. A true social product is about the people it serves, not about itself. Nothing should be done for the glory of the network; it should be done for the glory and good of all. And this isn’t saying that making money is bad, and it isn’t saying corporations are bad. In fact, both of those may be necessary to achieve a mission. In the end, what’s important is the mission.

For OurPangea, we choose culture. Facebook has chosen APIs and advertising as theirs, Google doesn’t want to be evil, and OurPangea wants to unite the world.

It’s simple. It’s cut and dry. It’s the mission that matters and it’s the unguided that fail.

The Shallow Social Network II of III

stranded white boah beach waterIn some ways, the random collection of ‘friends’ I see in social networks is nice. Despite the fact these may be people I only met once or never see anymore, it can be nice to connect with them by passively reading news stories about things they read on the wall street journal. I really feel like I am getting to know them.

In some ways, the random collection of ‘friends’ I see in social networks makes me numb. Thankfully, algorithms sort my friends for me.  Computers know me best.

It’s comforting to realize my social networks produce real, meaningful relationships with my friends for me. I didn’t realize I could get to know someone I met once at a party in 2006 by seeing what games they play or what articles they read. And of course, what you do does say something about you, but is that how you develop a relationship with someone? By reading about what apps they use? Is that the real them?

Social networks are specialized in helping me collect friends and helping me get to know them based on what apps they use. It makes sense and it is a great model of reality.

You know, there’s something about it. Something’s not quite right. When I was a kid I didn’t get to know someone based on what Pokémon cards they had, I got to know them by trading cards with them. And now that I’ve grown up and moved around the country I am no longer in touch with those old friends; and that’s ok, my situation has changed. But, regardless of relevance, my social network will store them there for me, still showing me what Pokémon cards they are collecting. Still missing the point of why I collected them in the first place.

Something is a little off with social networks and I’m going to fix it. OurPangea will learn from all the things social networks do wrong, and also the things they did right. You’ll get to know me for who I am, not just what I like.

%d bloggers like this: