The local versus global problem drives me batty. I harken back to the days of BBS’s — the original online social networks. Going global was a treat (netmail, fidonet, citidel/net and all the others) – BBS’s were mostly local.
The “knowledge pool” was limited to the local geeks, nerds and pervs. Yet everybody knew everybody else. Strangers became friends very quickly because the pool was small.
But the Internet flip flopped that.
Global is easier than local now.
There ARE local groups that are tight — myspace is a primo example of clique-y behavior where your circle of friends is the same limited circle of friends you go to school with, know at work, and family. Meeting strangers of good will? Not impossible, but unnecessarily awkward.
Social networks have a long way to go, but they’re getting there. The more interactivity (and yes, redundancy) of the networks, the better it will be. I LIKE having services like posterous or utterli where I can post the same thing to twitter, facebook, myspace, my own blog, etc. Google may drop me in the rankings for that, but it allows whatever I have to say to reach the various networks I belong to (all of whom are different groups of people, with very little overlap).
Kenneth Udut, Naples, FL
Webmaster of http://free.naplesplus.us