Archive for November 1, 2008
By Randy White
Editor, Lawns to Gardens
So you wanna build a social network.
There are many people who ask me about what it takes to build a successful social network since I am making a living by connecting the right people together using a combination of technology and real-world social skills.
Bright Neighbor is already pairing radical sustainability teachers to students who want to learn the skills that mean employment that is beneficial for the planet.
We are still a young culture in America, especially in the cities. The college-age crowd are lit up more now than ever – and even as the financial collapse happens around the US, people are still gathering, trying to one-up one another with personal technology jewelry. Even though gasoline is lower in price right now, it is about to skyrocket through the roof after the elections, maybe even experiencing more rampant fuel shortages.
That is why Bright Neighbor is also succeeding with helping local emergency responders build resilient communications networks for disaster preparedness. But the focus is still on having fun at the same time while we create new jobs in aquaculture, alcohol fuel production, food production, alternative transportation, and better waste management.
And while we are very serious about making sure the community is better prepared in the face of economic collapse, we can’t help but notice how resilient America’s youth culture are in the face of such stark realities. They are all informed that they can be blown to bits by nukes, but feel they can’t do anything to stop it, so party on!
And the party is on. It seems anyone who is anyone knows a programmer, a graphic designer, and general technology and web nerd. Just about everyone can afford to be an inventor if they have inner creativity. It’s really cheap to take risks these days, so young people are doing it and creating the new hippie-techno culture based around real-world activities and online social utility.
And because the very soul of our beings are being recorded in planet earth’s neural network in the Internet, people can easily piece together the history of someone or generally make easy contact. Everything is recorded, archived, and able to be retrieved. Multiple social networks are joined, multiple profiles are created. People can live fantasy lives and claim to be who they want to be, and even dress the part. Truth and Lies are now intertwined, leaving jumbled messes of information for people to decide what is real or what is not – what to believe or what not to believe.
And it is an experiment in evolution to see how real useful utilities of the Internet that offer real value are being backed by a strong social networks. For instance, I created an online radio station called VODKARADIO. If you check it out, you’ll see it is backed by a social network that allows me to find others into the same music. Last FM is even better. MySpace is still functional, but it’s now viewed as passe.
So, to help you conquer the world, here are five tips I can offer you on building a successful social network:
1) Learn pro-earth skills that are trendy – like urban farming, mushroom farming, bee keeping, urban survival, permaculture, plant propagation, and food preservation. Oh – you can also team up with others and brew your own hooch to run your cars.
3) Throw the Best Parties and Learning Events – Are you a bore? Or can you help advance someone to the next level? Personally, I like to hang out with people that make things happen – and those people are social. They get together in the real world for networking, fun, food, sex*, drinking, professional meetings, you name it. That is pretty much what life is, isn’t it? Being a good person and enjoying life’s pleasures at the same time? Make your parties and events relevant to what you are trying to achieve, and hire a professional party management company like Bright Neighbor if you need help pulling off things like logistics and transportation.
(*I am married, so according to generally accepted American mores, I’m technically out of the sex market.)
4) Make sure you cover liabilities – Hey, stuff happens. Everyone is your friend until something goes wrong and blame games begin. Do your best to make sure people follow common courtesy rules and there is a system of some accountability with your community.
5) Re-read number 3. I cannot stress enough the importance of learning pro-earth skills right now. We are facing economic and ecological collapse, bringing lots of black swans with it. The days ahead are beautiful and bright, but it will not come without suffering as well. We have much work to do to fix America.
The good news is we know how to fix this place, and we will do it. All we need is our communications devices and community spirit.