Nathaniel Whittemore wrote last week about the intersection of the social graph and the interest graph. He argues the two graphs are so different that businesses should craft different strategies for them. There’s a third graph; I’ll add that in a moment.
Whittemore’s four points:
- The Interest Graph is Different than the Social Graph. The social graph is the people you know, existing relationships, usually based on prior experience. The interest graph are the people who share an interest with you, whether you know them or not.
- The Interest Graph and Social Graph are good for different things. The social graph helps you cultivate your relationships. The interest graph helps you pursue your tastes, passions, and topics that matter to you.
- The portion of both your Interest Graph and Social Graph that you care about is much smaller than the whole. Sorting out who matters to you in which context is not easy at scale.
- The Interest Graph is going to reshape your Social Graph. People from your social and interest worlds cross over in both directions; some people live in both.
Talk with people in our networks can be a good thing in and of itself. It’s part of how we think aloud, but with others. It’s how we leave our mark, in a small way. It may be how we keep friends and belong and learn and make sense of our world.
You’ve been on mailing lists with a lot of talk and no action. Friends who can’t muster up the focus to grab drinks. Work groups that never arrive at a decision. Fan clubs that talk about their hero but never got their web site up. We make fun of talk’s inconsequence, like in the beautiful My Favorite Tweets song.
And then… Sometimes talk leads to action. Volunteering. Giving money. Signing up for a project at work. Doing the laundry. Inviting that cute someone to dinner.
Purpose is the third dimension. Having someplace to go and the will to go there. Purpose, goals, common cause, intent, drive. Purpose is an human attribute or attitude that turns talk of shopping into buying, flirting to dating, griping to protesting. Purpose turns talk into results.
As you explore the future of work, look at your purpose graph as the people with whom you share a purpose. Some will be people who share your interests. Others you will know and trust. The folks in your purpose graph are the people with whom you can work to accomplish your goals. Collaboration starts with intent.
People who design tools for getting things done should be looking for the indicators that people want the same things and are prepared to do something to get them. The better you match people, the sooner you give them the tools to turn their drive into action, the more active you’ll see their purpose graph.
There’s more to it, of course. What’s the next step for you?
Posting and blogging and chatting and tweeting
While both pretending we’re part of this meeting
I friended you and then you followed me
We began networking socially
Sharing and commenting, poking and liking
Even while showering, even while hiking
Having no message won’t stand in our way
We tweet to say we have nothing to say
Facebook and Flickr and YouTube and Twitter
Our productivity’s gone down the shitter
FarmVille and Fish Life and Mafia Wars
Now we’ve become social media whores!
Posting pictures… sending quizzes…
Seems it never ends
And when we both post fifty times every hour
We really piss off our friends!
Is our common purpose to have your customers collaborate compellingly? Chat with me on Skype. Call me at +1-510-316-9773, follow on twitter @SkypeJournal (just the posts) and @evanwolf (everything). Visit our Skype Journal private technologist roundtable, one of the longest running public Skype chats.
- From Social Graph to Interest Graph: Twitter Tells You Who to Follow (briansolis.com)
- Social Networking: The Future (menson.wordpress.com)
- Facebook Has It All Wrong When It Comes To Social Games (businessinsider.com)
- eBay social ties – Strong? Weak? Temporary, Contextual (skypejournal.com)
- Skypelandia: Graph Masters (skypejournal.com)
- Why Twitter Is Massively Undervalued Compared To Facebook (Naval Ravikant and Adam Rifkin)