(Enterprise) Relationships are Complicated

Chris Messina has been posting his thoughts on how to improve today’s "social" web to make it easer to find and communicate with our real-life network of family and friends that are increasingly accessible online. 

"Put another way, it’s not good enough to simply dismiss the trend of social networking because our primitive technological expressions don’t reflect the complexity of real human relationships, or because humans are just one of kind of “object” to be “semantified” in TBL’s “Giant Global Graph“… instead, people are connecting today, and they’re wanting to connect to people outside of their chosen “home” network and frankly the experience sucks and it’s confusing. It’s not good enough to get all prissy about it; the reality is that there are solutions out there today, and there are people working on these things, and we need smart people like Greenfield and Berners-Lee to see that solutions that enable the humanist web (however semantic it needs to be) are being prioritized and built… and that we [need] not accede to the heedless restructuring of everyday human relations on inappropriate and clumsy models derived from technical systems."

…and later…

"Human relationships are simply far too complicated to be left up to assumptions and inferences made by technologists whose affinity oftentimes lies closer to the data than to the makers of the data."

It is interesting to think about this same challenge from the perspective of the enterprise where relationships in our work oriented ‘social network’ are as complicated as any in our personal life.   Solutions for improving the ‘social web’ as outlined by Chris will need to apply across both.

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