Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thoughts and Questions about Social Media, Communications and Networks

I want to make a series of personality profiles about people who have jobs in social media. The trick, as always, will be to look past the standard cliches and search for the meaningful story that has yet to be told.

Its the internet. I get it. Technology connects people from around the world and builds new communities based on interest and curiosity rather than region. Culture now breaks geographical boundaries. I'm actually kind of over it. The Global Village is a rehearsed concept. It's lost its charm.

I want to know about your personal village. I want to put aside technical aspects of media and look at how we communicate. Are you an especially communicative person? Where you outgoing as a child or were you relatively shy? Did you have many friends or did you tend to build few but meaningful friendships? What are the big factors?

For example, I grew up with a deaf brother. How did that shape the way I think about communication? How did that shape the way I think about language as shaping reality? Or reality as shaping language? And ultimately, how did that change my relationship to the community? These are things that I'd like to talk about in person.

If I had been raised in a different family background, I might have developed a different curiosity about the social functions of communication. Such as, if I had non-English speaking parents, seeing them as isolated from their environment and relying on me to conduct even mundane interactions, I might be inclined to see communication as building community. If I had grown up in a more intellectually stimulating environment, discussing over dinner such topics as personal preferences for either Indian or African elephans, I might see communication as expressing curiosity. If I had been raised in the old world or without mass-communication outlets, relying on verbal conversation to pass the time, I might view communication as entertainment.

Building on the foundations of communications, how have you assembled your personal social network? Do you prioritize familial relationships over friendships? Do you rely heavily on your professional networks to satisfy your personal life? Are you close to your neighbors? Or do you immerse yourself into intellectual pursuits and build friendships exclusively on interest, bridging generational gaps, overcome geographical limitations and surpassing political boundaries? More and more, these preferences are chosen rather than implied.

And finally, how does all of this change the way you engage in the business of buying selling or participate in serving humanity?

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