James Williams

The Conundrum of the Social Innovator

Tags: General

I'm sitting here in the XYZ Lounge of the W hotel in San Francisco reading Jen's post Social Media Evangelists, We Are Our Own Worst Enemies. Jen is one of the bloggers I met at BarCamp San Diego and has some cool ideas about social networking. Other than the reference to the Lit song, which I was hoping to be able to quote in some fashion (but alas no), the title pretty much indicates the gist of the article.

Do we, as permanently LinkedIn connected individuals, push so much of our lives online that someone who is not equally online regard us as aliens? Does our new dialect of natural languages make us also linguistically foreign? I would say yes and no. Yes because it does make us all of those things. We are the early adopters and it comes with the territory. I remember when I was in middle school before having a personal computer were big. I was fortunate to have my own and I remember more rural family members saying to my parents that I was "addicted to that thing." Now computers are a way of life. The world caught up to me.

It's just like when the Internet consisted of monochromatic IRC chat, craptacular websites and BBSes that eventually evolved into Twitter, AIM/other IM clients and all the sexiness that AJAX provides. The introduction of the more friendly versions didn't make the older ones obsolete but built upon the good ideas, refined them and evolved them. The original way is still there for those that seek it. For some software projects, the quickest way to get in touch with a dev is through IRC. Social networking will evolve and the world will catch up with us. By that time, we will have moved on to something more innovative.

Just as Jen said, we do need to make ourselves more approachable and out there, because we need to act as Odysessian Sirens to indice them to join our way of life....you know only without the sinking of ships and drowning of people.

On a totally unassociated note, bringing an eeepc to a conference is one way to get noticed and have people spark up convos with you.