Putting a Human Face on Electronic Social Networking

This week a number of electronic Social Networking chemists are traveling to New Orleans for the Spring 2008 American Chemical Society National Meeting. It seems ironic that eSocial Networkers perceive a need to promote their projects in a face-to-face Social Networking situation. I other words, no matter how prolific and how proficient you are at social networking you still need to be seen at the right meetings and talk to the right people. Is eSocial Networking simply an extension of f2fSocial Networking? If so, then the added challenges of technical skills, access to soft/hardware, human effort, and time pose considerable obstacles to the success of eSocial Networking. On the other hand, we are possibly experiencing a transition period where eSocial Networking eventually replaces f2fSocial Networking as a dominant social force. This is the message I get when I see my 8th grade son spending hours in front of the computer screen. This is the scenario that we educators are struggling to keep up with as we try to extend our technical expertise and web savvy to keep up with changing student expectations. More likely, a dynamic equilibrium is being established with eSocial Networking becoming more and more adept at putting on to a human face. Eventually, human contact will become an extension of electronic relationships. Dedicated to my ecolleague, Jean-Claude Bradley.

One Comment

  1. Posted April 6, 2008 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Face to face meetings still have their role and I try to go when it is convenient. It is nice to finally meet people that you’ve collaborated with online for a long time!
    We are also mixing things up at ACS – see our poster session in Second Life tomorrow April 7, 2008:

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