Lately, I’ve had social media on my mind. Social media is a fast growing trend in the world at large.
I use that phrase, because social media is not solely limited to the internet and the online world, it is reaching out across the void and joining the internet with the living breathing world. That is the power of social media, it has the ability to not only spread through the net, but also by word of mouth.
The Invention of the Elastic Social Network
Recently, I’ve heard a new phrase called the elastic social network. The elastic social network seeks to define, not just the social connection that you have with people, but also the strength of that connection. Thus the people who you connect with more often will move up in the rankings of your elastic social network.
I find it to be a fascinating concept invented by the makers of a new iphone app: Color
Their app is a good example of how this elastic social network concept works.
Color is a free social networking photography app that recently made headlines because of the cool $41 million dollars that was invested in creating the app. When it was released it was met with a bit of confusion and skepticism due to it’s unique use of virtually every sensor available on the iphone, causing some privacy concerns.
For those looking to give the app a spin, Color uses the iphones sensors to detect your location and connect with other people running the app in your general vicinity. So, it will take sound samplings to make sure that you are in the same room as other people in conjunction with gps to get a more accurate location.
What I find more interesting is that this app is in the process of inventing a new method of social interaction. As a blogger, I find it fascinating when someone invents a new way to socially interact.
In this case, this social photography app creates a connection with people in your vicinity. So, when you are at an event, for example, and you take pictures, those pictures are instantly shared with all the people around you and vice versa. So, you are making a connection with the people around you.
Suppose then, you have an interest in a particular musician. You go to a lot of those concerts and take pictures. You start to notice that there is someone else in your app that also seems to go to all the same concerts and shares their pictures with you. You can see their pictures. Eventually, you can envision the two people making a connection on color and getting to know each other.
Of course the app has options to start sending messages to your connections and keeping up with a feed of pictures from people that you’ve gotten to know on color.
Now, the idea is that as you connect more often with people, they will move up in your social network. So that people have different elasticity depending on their common interests.
So, if you have close relatives and friends that have the color app, it will detect that you are more often in their vicinity and move them up in your social network.
In theory this would work the same way with people that have common interests, but haven’t actually met in real life.
What’s the application of the Elastic Social Network
We are constantly seeking ways to get to know and connect with people with common interests. The logical conclusion of this type of social network is that you can create highly targeted connections with people.
So, imagine a local business that runs this app.
For example, you run a sushi restaurant. You can encourage your customers to join in the app and take photo’s of their latest greatest sushi items on the menu.
Now, your customers will connect with the guests at the next table who are also using the app. They may be perfect strangers, but they are now in a social network together with each other and you. Say they are regular customers, so they frequent your restaurant and rise in your elastic network.
You put a brand new item on the menu. You take a picture of it with the color app and shoot out a message to your network about this great new item. Or maybe a customer of yours takes a picture. Now everyone in the network gets the picture sent out to them and a quick note.
Could This Concept Help You Out with Your Blog?
We are out to make social connections. Partly, we as bloggers want a lot of reach, but we also want targeted visitors. We want to rank our social connections so that the people who are more interested in our niche are more highly ranked.
This application makes perfect use of that concept. In the case of color, the social network is geographically targeted as well. So, if you have a business that is based locally, you can make use of the application as a microblogging tool to attract customers in your community.
But outside of this app, it’s also helpful to think on the elasticity of our social network and find ways to build that stronger connection with our readers.
We refer to this idea as finding targeted visitors in the blogging world, but that may be too narrow of a concept. The elastic social network is a way of finding targeted visitors, but it’s also a description of the strength of the connection that you have with any particular visitor.
If we start thinking about the concept of the elastic social network, I bet we can find more imaginative and creative ways to use social media and build on our social connections.