One of the best Personal networking types I know, James Body of client Truphone pinged me yesterday on Skype about a reading something on pal and client Alec Saunders' personal blog about getting an email about Spock, a network I am deeming as Anti-Social and did so the first time I received an invite. Alec received the same reply a few other friends who I know, really know better, have received from me and posted it anonymously on his blog. Body of course had heard or read my views on just how many networks we really need and how many networks we need not join and why from me firsthand on a recent London visit.
Unless every other way we have to communicate has broken, I am not joining another Social Network. Sorry. All these do is generate more and more email.
Now Irwin Lazar of Nemeretes is singing the same tune I am making, me wonder if I should have blogged about what I already have said on Ken Radio's World Technology Roundup, made reference about at Mobile Monday Madrid or shared with trusted friends in private e-mail. It seems Alec's second post on the subject confirms my gut reaction.
Do we really need more networks, or do we need to get more from the ones we already have? As Plaxo looks more like LinkedIn, and as LinkedIn tries to keep up with the Facebooks, the whole idea of social networks, to get closer, not farther from people has really started to wane, and we may be seeing something more necessary the OPT ME OUT NOW option that would prevent the impersonal "join my network" emails that are doing nothing but creating the equal of Internet "in box pollution." In affect the value of the "network" which is really at the core of all these is being burned at the altar by a "get big fast" VC fueled management style these networks all have in common.
Here's a hint. It's not how many, it's who..that matters. Just like blogs. You don't have to have the biggest audience. It's whom is in the audience that does, questioning once again if Size Matters.
Exercising your own network, and networking not adding is the muscle these tools bring to establishing relationships. But if all the Social Networks are going to become, then we really will have nothing but a growing list of White Pages competitors......and Yellow Pages wannabees.