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How do we make social networking about being social again? The idea of bringing people back offline in the online world we live in.

What if we lived in a world where social networking actually meant that we continued the conversation offline after connecting online? The world has changed drastically over the last decade with the rapid growth of technology, in many ways for the better. Connecting with friends you haven't seen or heard from in years is accessible with the click of a button. We can now physically see our loved ones across the world through applications like Skype and Google Hangouts.

What about meeting new people though? Meetup gives people the ability to create groups around a specific hobby or idea, where they can actually go out and do something in a collaborative effort. Linkedin helps connect people together based off of their skills and network. Facebook keeps people connected online, but what if that could be taken back to the real world? Www.atthepool.com is a social discovery platform to help find people close to you that are interested in the same activities, beliefs, and passions.

What kind of things do you do to stay active in your community offline, and constantly build your network? Would you use a platform that helped make this process easier?

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  • Jun 18 2013: I think that's good to make friends online at first,then back offline in reality.We know'birds of a feather flock together'.It does take time:one or two years isn't enough,maybe fiver or ten years:).There is a chinese saying :RiJiuJianRenXin(Friendship with a long time will be seen obviously)LOL,I am not sure if you can understand my translation or not:)
  • Jun 16 2013: Technology give us power we are generally not prepared to properly value. Unfortunately, this condition--where we grew up passive and powerless but then became suddenly over-endowed makes us poor authorities when it comes to thinking about technology and policies for our children. I therefore conclude that we should be growing a new culture which takes all its technology and the potentials locked up in each other thoroughly to heart. It never seems to occur that one of the worst things about human beings is their social default to "mob" behavior. Who among us has not been put on the spot to say and do things that are popular but which we quietly differ with? I want to live to see the last remnant of "factory model" "processing" of socially neglected human cattle stomped out of the model of human development with purpose forever. "Class" itself is a mob construct. I want to see people starting early on to achieve a new kind of literacy in which the implications of technological power is interpreted culturally. Within that literacy must be new guidelines as to how technology facilitates and at which points does it become dysfunctional. Perhaps after ten years of a reformed educational model we will start having a generation that could LEAD US. We are doing a poor job of leading them. And I think the best we could do is be idealistic in our designs even though we don't demonstrate that idealism in our actions. This is yet another kick in the conventional wisdom where it has always been suspect to say "do as I say, not as I do". This may be the one time that this is actually necessary. It would not be a "do as I say, not as I do", it would be here's two models--one of ancient crawling compromise with known dysfunction and here's a radical departure to function which only you can precedent. It is not easy to find the opening on the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey but the apes are yacking and there IS a way.
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    Jun 15 2013: . .
    .
    Yes!
    Only offline meeting can meet the requirements of the ultra-high accuracy
    evolved by our ancestors 10,000 years ago.

    Wrong?
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    Jun 13 2013: People can, if they choose, take online relationships offline. Clay Shirky in one of his TED talks gives the example of his using Twitter to tell people in his network where he will be when he seeks to connect with them offline.

    In offline life, would people want to constantly build their networks, as you pose in your question, unless they were gathering customers for a business or followers for a cause? I ask this because I know I have never had such an objective. This phenomenon of people's trying to maximize the number of "friends" is primarily on online preoccupation, isn't it?
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      Jun 13 2013: In regard to the Clay Shirky talk, I think this works if you have a large following on Twitter, but it's tough if you're a regular person and don't have a lot of nearby followers.

      To your second point, I think there's a time in our life (after college, before we hit 30) where we are actively looking to engage and build our network. I think this slows down as we get into our mid-30s and 40s, and then picks up again as we get into our 50s/60s. It's not about maximizing the number of connections so much as the desire to connect on a deep level with people who "get us", IMO.
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        Jun 13 2013: I think the desire to connect at a deep level is either unrelated to, or inversely related to, the interest in ever expanding social networks. I think inversely related is the more likely.
        • Jun 13 2013: The difference between connecting broadly and connecting deeply is important. When people are concerned with the size of their network, they lose perspective on the quality of their network. I think the same holds true in life offline, as well.

          I like the idea of social networks bringing people back offline, but it may be tough to implement.
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    Jul 2 2013: I have a personal network that needs it's own social media network! Can you help?
  • Jun 18 2013: I've found a great site to do this is www.atthepool.com. The interface is simple, and easy to find people around you who like to do similar activities. A bit different than meetup, because this one is more personal!
  • Jun 13 2013: It's really important to have a solid network of friends, one of which you connect with on a deeper level. The difference between acquaintances and friends lies within the level of trust. I consider my close friends (and family) to be people that I can rely on through thick and thin. Whereas, acquaintances can still be great friends, but I know that I wouldn't count on them if sh** hit the fan. There is nothing wrong with that, you just have to determine which of your friends you can count on.

    An interesting article relating to loneliness and people. There is also a Hacker News posting about people's first-hand experiences below.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113176/science-loneliness-how-isolation-can-kill-you
    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5700562
  • Jun 13 2013: So much to do so little T I M E. This has to be up to the participants.
    • Jun 13 2013: I agree! You have to actively work hard to meet new people, but you have to WANT it.