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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 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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