Sunday, June 22, 2008

Can Something Done Alone in Your P.J.'s Really Be Called Social?

... not to mention "networking."

I joined Facebook a few months ago halfheartedly after an old friend sent me an invitation to join. I didn't add a picture or a real profile or anything, not really wanting to commit to joining something I thought was for 20-somethings, hipsters, and/or singles looking for dates. Since I've joined, however, I've been contacted by a half dozen or so old friends who fit none of the above categories. (Correction: my friends are all very hip.)

I went to a conference for work a couple of weeks ago on the use of technology in the public sector and was wowed by a session called "Steal this Idea," demonstrating some of the innovative ways governments and non-profits are using the internet and other cutting edge technology to better serve their citizens. Our citizens, especially the younger, fast-growing demographic, have entirely new expectations of service that government bureaucracies full of middle-aged-middle-managers don't even understand, and certainly aren't prepared to provide. I realized that, as someone who analyzes technology investment of a large local government, I should be up on what is going on in technology today. So, I decided to embrace Facebook, and added a photo and some bio info.

Since then, I've gained glimpses into the lives, travels, and families of old high school, college, Navy, and corporate-cubicle friends. I never imagined that this was so big. Obviously, I've got some learning to do.

So, bring on the suggestions for the Next New Thing I should be investigating!


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