The Organic Nature of the Social Web: Contemporary Natural Selection

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Use of the web, particularly the social media related aspects of the web are in a rapid state of growth and evolution. In reflecting upon how I use social media, social networks and tools, I have come to realize the organic nature of the web. Just as in nature, each entity has a purpose and value. When the perceived value diminishes, the importance of retaining that entity also diminishes and natural selection begins. When something breaks, even for a short time, such as the Twitteriffic App on my iPhone, the value moves to zero. It’s unfortunate, but a reality of our times which rely so much on instant access to information.

Let me rewind a bit and not pick on Twitterific, because I have loved the service (and I’m happy to find in the past 5 minutes that it has been restored *). But, when I tried to view my tweets this past weekend and received YAJE error message, I felt trapped; I could not connect. I waited a while, thinking it was an error on my end or poor 3G connectivity, but later learned that it was a problem which was being addressed by the vendor. In Twitter-time, it just was not “happening”. So, I went directly to Twitter. The direct connection to Twitter works, but I prefer some of the various Apps I’ve used, like Twhirl and Twitterific. Hence comes the natural selection process; Twitteriffic did not meet my needs, lowered itself (at least temporarily) to zero value and I moved on. I downloaded the TwitterFon App and all was well. Now I really don’t know all the ins-and-outs of TwitterFon, but it put me back into the game. So, at that point, the unstated question became: how important is it for me to go back? I found something that works and it provides information on demand.

There’s another personal awareness about the organic nature of the social web; we each have perceived value which is measured by how we create and share information, thoughts or questions and how we participate in conversations. Connections are made because they add value for a time. However, as interests and focus changes; some relationships become less relevant to current needs and our posts can add to the "white noise" of the web. When this happens, I’m learning to reach for the pruning shears, the metaphoric “unfollow” button. No need to be offended, I know who you are and I appreciate the value you’ve added to my life. I can find you in a heartbeat and I hope you will feel the need to find me as you need help in an area of mutual interest.

*Special thanks to Twitterific for fixing the problem and best wishes for continued and future success as you add relevance to many, many Twitter users.
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