Greetings for the New Year – and How Greetings Helped Turn Contact Management Into Social Networking   Leave a comment

I wish you the very best for 2011.
May your social networking and internet presence help you develop fulfilling acquaintances.

Here are some thoughts on this from my own experience. Thanks for any comments you may want to share.

New year greetings must have long been one of mankind’s heartwarming, feelgood rituals.
A ritual of immortality first of all – as in “Hey, I am still alive, what about you?”, and a ritual of  bonding – as in “Hi, I care about you, how do you care about me?”

Over the last couple of decades, computer-based personal contact management first, then email allowed us to manage meaningfully many hundreds of contacts – including their use for this very ritual.

This both increased the need for help in keeping context about those hundreds of contacts, and helped meet it. I believe this in turn was one of the key drivers for the birth of social networking itself.
Today, social networking is essentially the ultimate tool to grow both breadth and depth of our (virtual!) contacts network and, ultimately, become relatively well acquainted with so many people.
In terms of numbers, managed social networking can help establish meaningful relations and gradually grow acquaintance with thousands of people, if that is what you really want.

For me, keeping and building acquaintance is both a key tool of my trade – alliances – and a pleasure, if acquired somewhat later in life than for some of my friends. I have chosen relative depth over breadth, keeping hundreds of contacts at this time rather than thousands, and interacting with them relatively closely if seldom.

I find new year’s greetings invaluable for that rich, still broad contact management that grows acquaintance – social networking at its best.
It’s also a great way to start new conversations with old acquaintances.

In practice, I still exchange new year’s greetings by email and manually collect context and updates from these exchanges. I believe I will keep doing so until I find a way that I am comfortable with for basing all that context information on social networks.

How important may new year greetings be for your social networking?

How do new year greetings work in practice for you?

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Posted December 30, 2010 by Gianluca Marcellino in Social Networking

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