Thursday, August 25, 2011

Internet 2.0 Fortune Cookies: Knee-Deep in Social Networking

Two days ago I learned I passed my French exam which means I have completed all my coursework for an MFA in playwriting from Boston University. And, as my first act as a graduated playwright, yesterday I, as an artist of the 21st century, began work on a Web site to promote my plays. (Every playwright has one.) So yesterday I started it and today went live. One thing you learn how to do in grad school is write and work fast and under pressure. And one thing you learn from working in the computer industry is how to intuitively use computer tools including development platforms that to someone else (read, non-nerdy types) resembles foreign language manuals on how to survive a nuclear meltdown.

Plus, I put together an About.Me page. Which is where I learned about Klout. Klout says that I am an Explorer, and that I actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You're exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you "get it", we predict you'll be moving up.

Klout also says, You are influential to a tightly formed network that is growing larger.

And, You do not engage with very many influencers.

Also, You have the ability to generate actions and discussions.

And, You have a small but tightly formed network that is highly engaged.

Does all this sound like something you'd find in Internet 2.0 fortune cookie?

Well, Klout sure is making me feel like Mr. Cool Hipster. Mr. Nerdy Pants. Mr.--oh, to heck with it.

Yes, anyone who follows me on this blog knows I'm a nerd who is fascinated by all this social networking Internet 2.0 or whatever it is "influencers" are calling it now. But while the influencers are coming up with names for things, people like me want to use them to engage in some serious discussion.

I know Facebook and Twitter take some serious abuse (even by me sometimes; oh, they can take it) about how shallow things can get. That's not the fault of the technology. The fault lies with the people who don't know how to a) use the tools; or b) don't see the full potential of the tools. But there's no denying: Facebook and Twitter and blogs and Web sites can be the source of some serious dialogue. You just have to know the limits of the technology, and the limits are there and very real.

They will never, I repeat, never replace face-to-face human exchanges. Skype and all that are all very cool for adding dimension to human interaction, but there's nothing that will replace feeling a warm handshake. But for giving a theater on the other side of the country a good idea of who I am and what my work is all about, Weebly did the trick.

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