Following up on my post yesterday about networks (which in part serves to fill in my “who is” page), I was reflecting a bit today on what I want to accomplish with my life and how online networks fit into that. I had a good, brief conversation with a close friend and spiritual mentor, and thought about the goals I set for myself earlier this month.
The biggest thing that hit me today is the short life of technology. Truthfully, I got thinking about that last night, when I saw someone refer to a Twitter hashtag as “the financial room.” I saw that as a clear, if possible unconscious, reference to the old AOL chat rooms. I’ve increasingly seen signs that folks are using Twitter like AOL, and we know how much that company changed the world as we know it for the better. Yes, I kid.
My friend gently pointed out that any efforts to rise to the top of an online network are somewhat futile, because the technology is changing so fast that what we master now might not even be around in a few years. He also paraphrased the old Tip O’Neill line to point out that my most meaningful activities – in general – are going to be the local ones. He recommended using the things I’m learning and talents I’m developing through networking to help the people right in front of me.
I want to help and influence people, and I want to learn from them. Being popular on Twitter, LinkedIn, GovLoop, Facebook et al may not be the best way to accomplish those goals. I’ve got to remember that.
How about you? What do you want to accomplish, and where are your online social networks fitting into that picture?