|For better or worse, many of our |
social networks are now internet dependent.
As each ganglion in the brain may unite a large and unique combination of other cells, so too each of us may be able to bring together unique combinations of people and transmit unique combinations of thoughts accross the entire space of human thinking (...and, if you want to include your pets, the thinking of part of the animal kingdom as well. But that's another story.)
For example, spiritual insights from one of your networks may inform environmental concepts in your green network, and vice versa. Moneysaving tips from your hobbyfriends may be useful to your entire neighborhood.
It may be helpful to develop a personal inventory of networks. Then you can systematically share information among them.
I already do this with jokes. People think I'm more clever than I actually am, because something funny I hear from my brother I share with other networks. The only real brainpower involved is in the wise selection of appropriate jokes to pass on (...computer geeks will recognize the analogy to decentralized computing here...). Filtering is very important; no-one like a friend who consistently bombards us with fart jokes without noticing that they're not getting appreciative feedback.
But why not do it with other things? In particular, if we want our planet to be a nice place for our descendents, we have to work harder and think harder, which means sharing information among our social spaces more effectively.
For my own purpose, I can inventory my social spaces almost entirely through the internet communication technologies I use to keep them together.
It's kind of hard to precisely define what "is" a social space, but let me put down everything I can think of, and then sort and filter:
- Family & School Chums: mostly through Facebook (I used to do listserves but FB does photos & links much better)
- Neighborhood: we still mostly talk face-to-face with our neighbors, although we have an informal compilation of email addresses, and I follow the West Seattle Blog (it's really very useful!)
- Politics: Twitter #p2 tag, also Thom Hartmann's web community and a few blogfollows, e.g. ContraryBrin , Duck And Cover, and Political Carnival
- Green: I follow a few blogs, mostly those I found through Reduce Footprints and Change The World Wednesday! And I use Freecyle a whole lot. I need to get involved with Sustainable West Seattle.
- Professional profile: LinkedIn (I don't do LinkedIn communities much, but I suppose that's a potential growth area)
- Law: I maintain 4freeCLE (blog, listserve AND twitter!), Lawyers For Warriors (haven't had much time for that one though) and am active in the Washington State Bar Association's Section on World Peace Through Law. I also work on WSBA's Continuing Legal Education committee and Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee, but they don't maintain any sort of social space (...which accounts for some of their slowness in getting things done, but that's another story ...). Did I mention the Seattle Draft And Military Counseling Center?
I am prompted to do this through this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge:
"This week promote "green" in a manner other than (or in addition to) writing in an Eco-friendly blog. Some suggestions might be to post green-living tips on a public bulletin board, offer to speak to a group about recycling (perhaps at a school or library), enter your green blog into a non-green blog hop, join a non-green forum where you might have the opportunity to introduce green living tips, etc. The idea, here, is to reach people who may not already be part of the "choir". Get creative and let us know what actions you are taking ... and how they work out."The first step in responding to this challenge is the above inventory of my social spaces (which I plan to amend over time as I remember other networks).
The second step is to introduce information from one network into another. This week, I will suggest to my fellow members of the World Peace Through Law Section that we include sustainability in our peace/law studies, because resource depletion is a serious and growing threat to peace. This should get some good discussion going, although it will take some weeks or months before there may be any substantive results.