Esther Dyson has a new column up on the News.com website, Be My Friend, Only on My Turf. After reading it, I realized it is hideously similar in concept to my essay from last year, My Network My Way. Here is what I said:
The question I have is: why the F**K should I share my network of contacts with these commercial entities. They are like BlogSpot that does nothing for my brand equity and in many ways chews me out after making the network connections. Thus what I want is a “MoveableType” of social networking. Blogs took off because it was about one person – me. My social networks should be of my making for me. Lets figure out a way to cut out the middlemen.
Here is what she said:
That record would belong to me, not to LinkedIn. I don’t mean to pick on LinkedIn in particular; it’s just one that’s good enough to be worth criticizing and improving, and it’s the one I use. Using this tool, I could easily find all the introductions I had made for a particular company, the reference checks with contacts I had made on a potential new hire, and so forth. I could also use and modify such social network process templates to define my own kinds of connections (business contact, acquaintance, secret admirer).
Better language, same idea. For a pundit, she is about eight months late on the conversation, and most of us have signed off these crappy social networking services. Look at falling page views and sign-ups at Friendster and every bad social networker who has become part of my spam-rules!