Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Gladwell - to the barricades! - in person.

In his New Yorker piece Malcolm Gladwell's was expressing what most people know. The average on-line relationship is not as strong as the average one in real life. The average telephone relationship, or letter relationship - they are second class mail. We are all animals and we like to get the millions of tiny cues about other animals that only come from physical proximity. Twitter doesn't doesn't do body language, smell, fear, inflection, pupil dilation and everything else that tells us good things and bad things about the other.

When politicians meet to end wars they do so in the flesh. When business people sign contracts they meet. When we party or pray, we meet.

Social media is doing a curious thing. It is starting to make meeting in its forms into the premium product. When everyone is available in virtual form, there is competitive edge in meeting. Advantage goes to the on-line guy - who's there on the ground as well. It's expensive - it's time consuming - and it works.