Mass (Social) Media and the Work Inversion
We're going through what I believe is a normal progression of "social media" – which is how we find and form connections with those in a world where communication is instant.
Social Media's first problem: How do we connect everyone?
In phase one, we needed mass social media to connect everyone together. The initial job to be done was to get everyone online and get them in a place where they could connect and interact.
Mark Zuckerberg's literal mission statement here was to "Connect the World."
We needed the Schelling point of just a few major social media channels to create the network effects needed to bootstrap everyone online, and everyone connected.
Now that we're connected, we're facing the challenges of the Social Media 1.0 era wherein the size, and mass connection are the problem.
Social Media's 2nd problem: How do we communicate and relate in public?
How do we relate to each other on a global, public scale while we all insanely communicate our desires, fears, frustrations, and conspiracies?
This is where community has come in. We've seen the wave of "community" based applications and philosophies to try and fill in this gap – splintering off of the major news feeds into more private groups.
Community is one solution to this problem, as it shrinks down the size of participants in a group from millions to dozens or thousands.
Where are we going?
Social Media 3.0: We’ll work with thousands, but become friends with a few.
Mass social media is great for coordination but poor for social cohesion.
The coordination that occurs on mass social media will shift to the coordination of work. Built on trust-based systems on the blockchain that allow us to trust a third party, even if that third party is pseudonymous.
What this means is that you can interact with dozens to thousands of people for work, in a trust-based environment without ever having to be friends with all of them.
And our friendships will focus on a more tight-knit band of friends, that we will co-live with, co-travel with, and co-work with, accepting that trying to have thousands of friends is less meaningful than a smaller, tighter-knit group.
This inverts social – where friendships and relationships form in small pockets in private communities, and the WORK happens at scale.
I believe all of this translates to Dunbar's number being real for friendships, but not for work-associations and collaborators.
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