Identity, Responsibility and Social Networks

John Udell has a post about Simon’s blog and local blogging rules (Simon is the editor of my book). In that post John talks about two rules that Simon has about “local blogging”; one of them, in particular, caught my attention and resonated with me very well in the context of my current work at fatdoor:

Responsibility is inversely proportional to community size

When you’re doing local stuff, you can’t stay anonymous for long. I think that has a major impact on the tone of things. The content has to be a lot more accurate because people will call you on it. Somehow the level of responsibility increases as the size of community decreases. It really changes the dynamics thoroughly.

There are two important things to note in this rule: identity and responsibility. Just think about it. When you reveal your real identity online and when you deal with real people online (that you actually know or see in real life), that does change the dynamics dramatically. That’s the same reason why the dynamics of different social networks are so different on MySpace, Facebook and Fatdoor.

When real people participate, they form a mature social networks that behave responsibly; now that makes me feel like the good old new yorker cartoon (that famously said: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”) sooo Web 1.0 🙂

What do you think?

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