Web 2.0 (Re?) Creating a Community

Not long after I started using Twitter I logged on for a Friday afternoon update and found a friend logged on as well. Though Twitter isn't really a "chat" tool, we did indeed start chatting about what we were doing that weekend. Going back and forth - by Saturday morning we made plans for our families to spend the day together watching football, and hanging out.

I commented to my wife that it seemed odd that we had planned an entire day without having spoken to our friends at all. "I'm not so sure how I feel about that," I said. We have used evites, and email to make plans before, but on such short notice we always, it seemed used the telephone.

Immediately, Netter told me how much she liked it. "Think about it," she said. "We both hate talking on the phone. This was perfect." (Note* we're not fond of talking on the phone no matter who we are talking to. It has everything to do with the phone, and nothing to do with the person we are talking to.)

What Annette said next completely blew me away. "I like all of this technology, this Web 2.0 stuff because it gives me a voice. With my blog, and my Facebook I feel like I am finally able to talk to people and people are able to get to know me - the real me."

I had never thought about this before. Surely people know my wife, and who she is and then again...

Netter is very much an introvert. I, of course am quite the opposite. I have no problem putting myself out there. When we go to a party, I'm usually running my mouth about something, high-fiving, hugging, being rowdy and loud. Netter - not so much.

While Annette comes along to the party, she is usually on the periphery. If not directly involved in the activities of the party, she can easily be found behind the crowds quietly observing everyone and everything. Unfortunately, sometimes - that gets misread. Netter is often asked - "What's wrong? or Are you having fun? or Is everything okay?" - and yes, it's usually me who is asking. Well it was until the aforementioned conversation. Now, I think I get it.

With Web 2.0 Netter feels connected. She's included in the conversation and she is able to be there on her own terms. Understanding this, I can leave her alone to be herself and be comfortable "just being there."

I've seen this article used a number of times in blogs recently with emphasis on different pieces.

On the whole though I think the article is about building a community. Or maybe it's about rebuilding our community.

This quote from the article says it best.

“The current generation is never unconnected. They’re never losing touch with their friends. So we’re going back to a more normal place, historically. If you look at human history, the idea that you would drift through life, going from new relation to new relation, that’s very new. It’s just the 20th century.”

I remember that time - do you?

As a final note - I want to thank all of my co-workers at CML who have happily included Annette as she comes along for the ride with the Learn & Play program. Whether via Twitter, Facebook, or through her blog please know that we both appreciate all of you and your friendship and we are very happy to be so connected.

2 comments:

WineLover said...

I have to agree with Annette too - it's great having all this technology to connect with those we thought of often but didn't get to see much.
My problem is making sure that I disconnect SOMEtimes...

Cat said...

Your writing just got me thinking that the internet is sort of retro in another way - we're all writing to one another!

Also, I like being able to connect/re-connect with people that I've lost touch with over the years. You and Netter are good examples of that. W/o the internet, we'd have continued to just nod to one another across meetings, and now we're chatting and sharing and stuff.