Thursday, January 24, 2008
Can online networkers 'poke' in real life?
People who don’t do MySpace, Facebook or similar sites usually moan that they prefer real life social networking, deeming avid fans losers who chat to their pretend friends in secluded dingy bedrooms.
While the rest of us are “poking” or posting on “funwalls”, they are out pressing the flesh, chewing ears, slipping business cards into wallets and no doubt harping on about people who waste their time on the Internet.
The two worlds collided this week at the meeting of big business cheeses and global leaders that is the World Economic Forum. A seminar titled: “Add a Friend: Accept or Decline” lured online community leaders out into the schmoozing open.
So the question is: Can online social networkers do it in real life?
The answer is yes. With gusto.
There was a raucuous hubbub of conversation at the seminar as key figures from business and blogosphere came face-to-face.
As far as I know there was no poking, but plenty of gentle ribbing from networking rivals -- a rather flushed Reid Hoffman, chairman of LinkedIn, absorbed a heckling as he outlined ideas for improving Internet interaction.
Plenty of actual LOL followed blogging legend Robert Scoble’s account of getting booted off Facebook for violating the site’s rules and abusing the trust of his 5,000 “friends”.
Much of the discussion focused on how social sites are miscast as work distractions and how they can in fact drive the workplace, with anecdotes of businesses tapping innovative skills beyond company boundaries through the Internet.
Given the professions of those attending the seminar, it was no surprise that some were blogging the event as it happened, cutting edge cell phones and computers glowing from every table.
But at the end of the evening, these digital pioneers abandoned their electronics and indulged in a bit old school networking – swapping business cards.
From CNN.com Digital Producer Barry Neild in Davos
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