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The Reality of Social Networking

by Dan Robles on April 6, 2011

Nothing Economic can happen until people get together and build something, period.

Social Network services are not that.  Social media gives people the impression that they are getting stuff done – but they are not.  Nothing economic is happening on Linkedin or Facebook or Twitter.  Rather, the impact of these services is derived only from what people accomplish in reality.

Yet so many social media services sell advertising.  The objective of an advertising site is to keep you in your seat where you can view more advertising.  The objective of advertising as an industry is to influence you to do something other than what you already want to do.   Each of these things impacts people’s activities, and therefore, much of the crap that people share on social network services.

Race to the bottom

This self–depreciating cycle does not actually create very much nor does it arrive at anywhere interesting or important.  The content that keep people coming back to Social Networks is produced by a relatively few number of entertainers – people who separate themselves from consumption of the medium and instead produce content for consumption by the medium – instead of “For” the medium.  Again, the objective is to keep people in their seats watching more advertising.

Did I mention that nothing economic can happen until people get together and build something?

We are in the middle of creating a different type of social network in Social Flights.  We are billing it as “The Social Network where people actually do stuff” because the objective is to get people out into their community looking for other people who can help them build something.  We’re still experimenting so please be patient if it still seems a little clunky.

The Last Mile of Social Media

The idea is to form travel communities in relatively small geographical areas and enable them to share an airplane to anywhere where there is another travel community.  We call the The Last Mile of Social Media – empowering neighborhoods not Hollywoods.

There is no advertising on social flights; however, local vendors are encouraged to place discount coupons in direct response to a community travel objective.  There is no airline schedule because the objective is for people to share an asset – the airplane. This means that the passengers tell the plane where to fly and when, not the airline.

In the end, Social Flights rewards people, venders, and aircraft operators for interacting with their communities in real life and real time – instead of their computer screens in virtual time.  Now, the social network, laptop, or mobile device becomes a real productivity tool.

Back to economics:

Most logical people will ask “where do I get the money to travel to new places with new people?  The answer is simple: “That is precisely why you need to travel to new places to meet new people”

Nothing economic can happen until people get together and build something, for real.

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