Remember the days when Facebook used to be open to Harvard only? Eventually Mark Zuckerberg opened up the platform to but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. When they expanded to include all colleges and universities, people freaked. out. Now they’re a veritable MySpace, allowing everyone and anyone to join the ranks of Member Of Le Facebook. Is this a bad thing? Is the quality of relationships built on Facebook now vastly different than those that were built when they were more exclusive? I would venture to say no, nothing’s changed.
I’ve recently been exposed to “exclusive” social networking. Online networks that require an application, recommendations, and acceptance.
Really? We’re trying out to be in country clubs online now? I understand that exclusivity is still associated with quality. Otherwise, we would no longer have the likes of Harvard and knighthood. But online? Is this necessary? With invite-only platforms, sites like Doostang and Black Card Circle are connecting influential people with one another. I would venture to argue, however, that the quality of relationships doesn’t change whether it be on open Linkedin or closed off Doostang. I also bet those influentials on these exclusive platforms also have their “everyman” Facebook or Twitter page. And I’ve even go out on a very short limb and say if I reached out to this influential person on one of these other platforms and connected with them at a personal level, I would have a stronger relationship with them than Sir Dr. Esther III, esquire on whatever exclusive site who doesn’t actually say anything while he’s on this exclusive site.
When you are online, the platform does not matter. You will be successful with networking if you reach out. You will not be successful if you stay a hermit. No matter how exclusive your platform is.