The world is still a very large place

November 26, 2013 § 4 Comments

I have never been an early adopter of social media but I am most definitely an adopter. I was not the first guy in grad school to start up with obsessive email, nor to create one of those new fangled World Wide Web Homepages. But I caught on quickly. Blogging had been going on for years before I even grasped what one was….and found my niche for reading them. And eventually writing them. I was a latecomer to Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn had been under operation for some time before I was triggered by an academic colleague to sign up.

The more recent iterations of network-based social media, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter primarily, have presented me with a fascinating question.

I am still waiting for the astonishing, out of the blue, friend-of-a-friend connections to emerge.

What I mean is that I have many circles of social media networks and connections. My family links, of course. Some based on my misguided youth- friends, classmates, etc from primary through secondary school years. Another circle based on my college years. Another one based on my graduate school social connections and yet another that is based around my current profession.

I always thought that over time, I would get some amazing coincidental networking connection. Where someone in my professional life is connected to someone from my childhood or college years in a way that has nothing to do with our shared experience (i.e., not counting people who share both profession and a prior social circle with me).

It hasn’t happened yet.

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§ 4 Responses to The world is still a very large place

  • Happened to me a few times, although only once was it purely coincidental. The neighbor from my young childhood moved to another city sometime in junior high school. There she lived across the street from another girl who ended up being a good friend of mine in college. Without Facebook, we’d never have made the connection. It was really cool for a minute. Then it was just, eh, another story nobody but those involved is interested in.

  • This doesn’t really count according to the criteria you stated, but:

    My sister (who lives in London, UK and has no scientific training) was once in a seminar about social media in publishing, which is her industry. One of my tweets was used in a PowerPoint presentation as an example of how publishers can respond to reader complaints in a timely manner.

    (The presenter was from Nature Publishing Group, and had spotted and responded to my Tweet griping about how there’s sometimes a delay between articles appearing in my RSS feed and the URL for the article actually going live).

    My sister (who doesn’t use Twitter) apparently let out an involuntary “OOOH!” at this point in the presentation, and had to explain herself to her boss later 😀

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