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Mining Your Social Web Relationships

Tools for Mining the Social WebI’ve just written a post over at Fuel Your Blogging about some tools for digging into your social networking relationships. In that post, I talk briefly about how I believe we’re in the adolescence period of the internet. We’re still focused on the “cool” factor of the tools we use, but some of the tools available now are helping us to discover deeper relationships with people.

I agree with my friend Tony Ferraro that ultimately, people have a universal need to be deeply known. The advent of the social web (think Facebook and Twitter) is the result of this need to take what was formerly referred to as the “information superhighway” and turning into a place to connect.

Social networking, as a relational tool, gets a bad wrap. There is the assumption that relationships formed on the web are naturally shallow. Granted, it’s quite possible for us to remain both anonymous and shallow from behind a computer screen. But this doesn’t negate the fact that the social web is a relational tool that is being woven more and more into the fabric of who we are and how we live each day.

I will attest that social networks have brought me closer to people, put in contact with people I would not have otherwise known, and opened up channels of communication that never existed before. Obviously you don’t form a deep relationship with anybody by “tweeting.” But… maybe a tweet is just the point of introduction to a friendship, a partnership, or something deeper?

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  • http://www.servingstrong.typepad.com Scott Couchenour

    “…people have a universal need to be deeply known.” I certainly agree with this. Social media expands the possibility even greater.

    Nice post.

  • http://mpchristianity.com Brad Harmon

    Brandon,

    As someone who only knows you through social media and blogging, I would agree that the possibility for creating genuine friendships is possible through this medium. The more adept I become with social media the more I’m convinced that it only magnifies our natural relationship skills – or lack thereof.

    The bad rap is expected given that most people don’t have really great skills to start with. I read a post by Justin Buzzard recently where he brought up some interesting points about the need for us to stop and think about how social media is changing our lives. We need to be careful that the people God put into our lives physically are still our primary focus.

    What tactics do you employ to keep this balance?

    Brad