Connecting And Accelerating Serendipity

Go ahead and spend the next four minutes watching this video.

Wow, it’s the 21st Century’s version of Esther Williams water ballet! Don’t you think? (If you’re too young to know who Eshter Williams is, that’s why I provided a link.)

Chris Brogan says this video applies to Twitter. He describes Twitter as a serendipity engine. I like that!

A while back Steffan Antonas wrote about how blogging, social media and Twitter created a culture of encouraging randomness and accelerating serendipity. Steffan got the phrase, encouraging randomness and accelerating serendipity from Tara Hunt who wrote The Whuffie Factor.

Here’s what I wrote in July and I think it applies well to this video and Chris Brogan’s thoughts.

Ultimately, I believe we all crave community and connections. And technology, especially social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning and Twitter, has given us new ways to connect with others, no matter where they are.

It’s those connections that we crave.

I see social media akin to picking up the phone, having a meeting, or joining a community organization. It’s a touchpoint and a mechanism for conversation. People forge relationships with other people, not with a brand, a business or technology.

Contrary to popular belief, social networking sites tend to augment, rather than replace, offline interactions. One of the reasons why social media sites are so successful is their focus on supporting offline networks over online-only relationships.

How is this possible? Before, the notion of “keeping in touch” was hard work. It required one if not both parties to actively pursue contact on an at least somewhat regular basis. Communication required time and planning.

Social networking sites, on the other hand, are designed for easy, lightweight, ad hoc communication.

They’re designed to help us make those connections and maintain a healthy human network of the social economy, as Brian Solis says.

So how do you describe your online connections and relationships? Are they different from your face-to-face connections? Do you have any tips for maintaining and nurturing your connections, whether online or off? Share your thoughts.

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