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Intervention by Denise Caruso Read Intervention by Denise Caruso, Executive Director of the Hybrid Vigor Silver Award Winner, 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards; Best Business Books 2007, Strategy+Business Magazine


by Denise Caruso ~ June 21, 2007.
Permalink | Filed under: Hybrid Vigor.

This morning, I was one of the two opening speakers at the Supernova 2007 conference in San Francisco. I shared the stage with Clay Shirky. We both talked about social media and social networks. I think we got blogged in lots of places, but here’s the first one I saw, on ZDNET, by Mitch Radcliffe.

My thesis was that Internet tools and culture (targeted search, blogs, social networks like MySpace etc.) make it easy for us to hook up only to the information and people we already identify with, and consequently they propagate a Us v. Them mentality.

I called it “anti-social media.”

This has proven to be quite unhelpful for solving big problems, both on the net and in society at large. And these problems could be dealbreakers for the future of innovation on the Internet.

They include what I called the ‘Hackathon’ which the Internet has become — a playground for spammers, identity thieves, search scammers, ‘gold farmers,’ etc. — as well as copyright, privacy, ‘Net Neutrality‘ and spectrum issues.

I suggested that the innovators in the audience invent some tools that bang people into information they aren‘t looking for, and foster relationships with people who aren‘t already like them.

Wouldn’t that be interesting?

3 Responses to ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA,

  1. Peter Borst

    I have used the internet continually since first learning of it in 1991. During that time I have seen its usefulness blossom and I have watched in horror as persons with various motives have parasitized it. For example, this page I am writing on has various ads in the margin, most of which have nothing to do with what we are discussing. So-called intelligent advertising as promulgated by Google, is a shame. Examples:

    “Pimp your blogger profile.” “Free celebrity quiz.”

    Usually, when I am searching for information, all the non-relevant matter is nothing more than an annoyance. So, “tools that bang people into information they aren’t looking for” simply wouldn’t interest most people. It is already frustrating to search for specific items and have to separate out the 95% negative results. An example: Once I was studying the role of nature in religion. I searched with the terms “holy nature” and ended up at a nudist web site. Amusing, but not what I was looking for. You get my point.


  2. Gabriel Harp

    …like heading to the library stacks for something specific and turning around only to discover a book or topic you never could have found had you looked for it…

    -or (thinking like a chromosome)-

    …trying to recombine highly similar genes during meiosis, only to have something else “hitchhike” along the way and drive the evolution of new functions.

  3. Bernie Walp

    “Internet tools and culture . . . make it easy for us to hook up only to the information and people we already identify with, and consequently they propagate a Us v. Them mentality.”

    So well put, such an important point. Birds of a particular feather now can more easily do what they’re programmed to do-hook up. Many credit new networking methods (faxes, BBSes, 300-baud sunction-cup modems, etc.) not only with accelerating the fall of the Berlin Wall but with the rise of Islamic terrorism. Both are “global village” phenomena, I fear.

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