A couple of posts back I went on a wee rant about how frustrated I was that I couldn't scribble on my desktop (stickies being close, but not quite what I have in mind). Then I read this post by Plum founder Hans Peter. I couldn't have said it better if I'd written it myself:
I know this may be considered heresy to some in these circles, but I don't need a social network. I have a great social network already. It consists of a relatively small group of good friends and family.Of course there are the people I work too who I naturally socialize with as well. Beyond that I am not looking to connect with lots of new people all the time. Perhaps I should also point out that I test pretty far over on the "i" (for "introvert") scale on the Myers Briggs test.
What I do need and want is to connect or even socialize with knowledge, topics and information. I soak that stuff up. I may even occasionally want to converse a bit with the people behind the ideas and information I like, but that's secondary. What I want is to constantly discover new ideas, new restaurants, new places to go, new anti-oxidants... And then I want ways to remember and remix the stuff I discover and like for myself and for others too.
When we talk excitedly about social networks, I think we need to differentiate between social networks of people and social networks of ideas and information....
I have been given several invitations to LinkedIn, which strikes me as an experience akin to slathering honey all over one's body and hitting a beehive with a baseball bat. ie, not my cup of tea (with or without honey). Like Peter, I am intellectually promiscuous, but a total loner whose hatred of telephones borders on dysfunctional phobia. I also abhor heirarchy--I'm a know-where-everything-is-on-a-messy-desk type. And I want an application, finally, that stops trying to turn me into a well-socialized, folder-dwelling drone (there are the bees again!).
I think that one of the reasons we're so stuck in the mud as a society is that we build all our tools for a single, dominant personality type, much the way we build our tools for the right-handed. I'll be watching Peter's product launch eagerly, as I just want to see what kind of product someone just like me builds. And then, if it's useful to all different types. Secretly, I think it will be.
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