Pointless, again

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Grant and Tom both dispute this article by Lance Ulanoff: MySpace, Second Life, and Twitter Are Doomed.

Ulanoff begins:

Don’t get too attached to MySpace. You might want to pull up stakes from Second Life, too. And you’ll probably want to stop posting inanities to Twitter. Why? All of these sites will be gone before the end of this decade.

Already, I think Lance is missing the point. I’m not posting to twitter based on some notion of payback at some future date, I’m doing it because it satisfies me right now. As Tom says,

[T]here is something deeply compelling about social-networking…not the specific software or approaches we’re seeing now, as Grant points out, but about the desire to be in contact with other people.

But Ulanoff really goes off the rails here, describing MySpace:

It’s huge, ugly, unmonitored, unrestrained, and pointless.

Yes, it’s that pointless point again. MySpace is pointless to Ulanoff so he seems to assume it’s pointless to all its participants. But clearly it’s not pointless to them or they wouldn’t be there. It’s a shame he responds to this by dismissing it, instead of asking himself: hang on, what am I missing here?

What I think he’s missing is that most of our social discourse is, on one level, trivial – but the trivia are actually the little bits of interaction around which we build relationships. I wonder if Ulanoff thinks coffee shops and pubs would do better if they banned all that pointless conversation so that people could get on with the real purpose of being there?

Tom pretty much nails it thus:

Focusing on social-networking hype is like looking at the map while driving through Yosemite: you’re so busy trying to figure out where you are that you’re missing the amazing things going on all around you.

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