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Best of 2010: We the People

There’s an old saying that I think about more and more as I study technology and its impact on behavior…technology changes, people don’t. But nowadays, I’m not so sure. I think technology is indeed changing and us along with it. Whether it’s through social networks or digital lifestyle products such as iPhones and Kindles, we are adapting and perhaps evolving as a result.

Through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, we are learning to live our lives online, revealing a bit more about ourselves with every status update, check-in, tweet and social object we publish. With the rise of iPhones, iPads, and iPods, people now march to their own soundtracks. In curious ways, we’re creating a perceived introverted nation of earbudsmen, small armies of people with heads down and white earbuds complementing every ensemble.

Indeed, technology is changing and as it does, it improves how we learn, share, discover, and communicate with one another. It’s part who we know and also who we should know that defines our online experience and the information that flows through our social streams.

In 2010 we saw the beginning of the shift from social graph to interest graph. In 2011, we will consider the power and rewards of curation and filtration to improve online experiences. Our networks will expand and contract until we find a comfortable cadence and caliber of relationships and information that falls between overload and scarcity. Our social streams will improve through the quality of our connections, not the quantity.

And if you decide not to follow or friend someone back, please don’t take it so hard when guilt, displeasure, or disappointment is fired across your bow. We are each responsible for what we share and how we interact online, creating an alternative form of currency and resulting capital. Connections are not about reciprocity, they’re about mutual value. It’s freedom of Tweet, blended with a heaping portion of judgment and intent, with a dash of digital inner monologue added for good measure. The ability to publish is a right that marks a rite of passage. And in the end, we define our persona through our actions and words and earn the relationships we deserve.

Please read and share:

The 2010 Series on You…

1. Who is the Me in Social Media

2. I Tweet There I Am

3. Once More, with Feeling: Making Sense of Social Media

4. The First Amendment of Social Media: Freedom of Tweet

5. Facebook Groups Give Rise to Social Nicheworking

6. Social Capital and the Social Economy

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook

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14 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Best of 2010: We the People”

  1. Scott Gould says:

    Brian I like the way you talk to your readers. It’s not talking down to them like most bloggers out there – many of whom are big names but also big hypocrites.

    Keep up the great work!


  2. Well said. I think about this a lot. I think much of the next decade will be about trying to find a balance between social networking and preserving personal privacy (or restoring it). I think that connections based on mutual value could be key to defining what that means.


    • briansolis says:

      You’re welcome. I think we’re entering a new era of privacy…as privacy as we knew it is gone. But, there’s much to learn…we just need to be mindful of it.

  3. Great summation, will be using this post as a base for a post of my own in my swedish social media blog. Love the term “freedom of tweet”, gives emphasis to the fact that we see social media as a places to find honest and alternative opinions.

  4. Great summation, will be using this post as a base for a post of my own in my swedish social media blog. Love the term “freedom of tweet”, gives emphasis to the fact that we see social media as a places to find honest and alternative opinions.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It might be interesting to not only search trough our interests but also about the emotional tone we put in our discurses about it, which could be facilitated trough technologies which are similar to opinion mining but more complex

  6. Fred says:

    Interesting post Brian. I also have this deep impression that technology is changing a a lot of people. Definitely those that live and breathe the web, including skeptics (that will not accept it. At least for now:)

    Happy new year man.


  7. Chef Chuck says:

    Facebook exceeds Google!!

  8. Mark lester says:

    Hi Brian,

    I think that when we say that ‘technology changes but people don’t’ we mean it in a biological sense.

    It takes roughly 30,000 years for a biological change to become stable through evolution, the argument goes therefore that the fundamental mechanisms of how we form and organize relationships remain relatively consistent but are now manifested in different ways due to technological advances. Instead of talking over the fence we may now chat on IM but research by academics such as Robin Dunbar shows that the size and shape of our networks has remained relatively consistent.

    I would argue that while technology may be shaping us to a degree it is probably more accurate to think that we are shaping technology. Social websites have been the most popular part of the internet revolution because social connection is a fundamental part of human nature, these technologies simply allow us to serve these needs better.


  9. Good share,you article very great, very usefull for us…thank you

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