Social Networks are no news to the world…

le 23 mai 2010 par


Who said we had invented anything?  Just go back in history and you shall realize that the world comes in true contradiction of the NIH syndrome (Not Invented Here means a refusal to use products that have not been developed internally) both in time but also in fact.  First, we have just come back full circle in time cycles to obvious transversal needs; second, we have all decided to use the newly-developed social networks, independent of the place they were invented.  On the whole, even though we have given in, one more time, to the US culture, we have come back to a necessary worldwide cohesion and hope for the best!

Today is Pentecost; this tradition starts with the Jews celebrating Moses receiving the Table of Laws in the Desert, fifty days after they crossed the Red Sea (celebrated by Passover); on this same day, Christians celebrate the Holy Spirit, the same fifty days after their « Easter » (the day following Christ’s death, which starts a « three day » celebration).  Two networking examples:

  1. Crossing the Red Sea, as this shows enslaved Jews must have had good networking tools for gathering together and walking away from the Egyptians;
  2. Receiving the Holy Spirit, as He enabled Apostles to speak in different tongues « and each one heard them speaking in his own language« , networking galore!

But is also reminds me of the story of the Church which can easily be interpreted in the same vein.  Constantine, one of the « then four » roman emperors, crosses the bridge in Vilnius, has a vision of the best network available at the time which crosses borders of the Empire’s Four Corners: the Christian Church!  He joins (converts), assembles (First Council of Nicaea) and finds a way to unite the whole Empire in a pinch… Not bad as it has the same penetration rate as FaceBook has today. So, the only thing we have done is make social networks more effective; we cannot claim to have invented them, but just to have made tools more efficient.

Was it that hard to create the tools?  If FaceBook is the most efficient today, it was created by a young student just thinking about his own networking needs and putting them into formulas.  I certainly do not mean to downsize the incredible forte that he has shown but just want to say that it was primarily a matter of believing in networking, not more!  And who believes most in it but our American friends, thus the incredible dominance of US technology today, not to mention the US language.  Yet, you could have thought that with the number of countries having tripled in the past 50 years (from 70 in the 50’s to more than 220 today), local networks would have taken over; no, human beings need to breech borders and to network globally.  No concern about the NIH syndrome, we all decide to join the most efficient for our use, whether FaceBook, LinkedIn or any other, but mostly all US, the last symbol of their cultural dominance.

We came back full circle in time and in fact, but why cannot we use these networks to truly unite like Constantine did with the Roman Empire?  Because our underlying culture does not yet call for true Unity!  Look at the network of hedge funds betting against the Euro, just for the sake of financial power; look at the network of terror fighting against civil groups in order to maintain fear; look at the network of media flushing down good news in order to focus on the sensations created by bad ones… And the first historical global network in the world is being hit hard by remnants, yes hard to forgive, of bad behaviour, just because some people cannot bear the positive dimension churches can represent.

Networking, symbol (gr. συμβάλλω, unite) of Unity, is hard hit by current winds of wrath and power; I just make the wish that these diabolic (gr. διάϐολος, separation) forces shall disappear in time and networking fully play its role.  May companies, applying relevant tools, make only good cohesion sense out of them!

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