So last night I finally finished a book I started when I joined Tellagence to work on this new product.
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives
I bought it because I am working on designing the user experience for a product that will help people visualize the structure of a social network community having conversation in the context they care about.
As I was doing research, the opening paragraph of this book is what grabbed me:
“Social networks are intricate things of beauty. They are so
elaborate and so complex—and so ubiquitous, in fact—
that one has to wonder what purpose they serve. Why are
we embedded in them? How do they form? How do they
work? How do they affect us?”
I learned a lot of interesting things from the book — pictures of network patterns that form, but also really fascinating tidbits about human behavior and influence — like if my friend’s friend’s friend gains weight, so will I. It’s worth reading. Bottom line, the message is — you can’t do it alone.. we are social creatures.
This morning, I was going through some past correspondance with a dear friend, I found a note I sent to him telling him about the different communities I am part of in real life. I also commented, on — how I am hyperconnected:
Well, three years later, I’m back up to 500 FB connections. I don’t have time to tweet much, and I barely write on this blog…
Something else stuck with me from an interview with Mr. Fowler’s. A shampoo commercial from the 1970s that shows the exponential power of social networks. That resonated because I remembered that commercial, when I was reading his book — and rippled down a high school memory path.
That’s what Facebook is good for. Remembering the 70’s. In 1980 I was in eleventh grade and was actively seeking Farrah Fawcett hair. This shampoo was 79 cents a bottle at the A&P and it smelled really good. All that pure wheat germ oil and honey made my hair really shiny too. All my friends and I swore by it.
here’s the clip: