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Every now and again I read a post somewhere that pontificates on some subtle aspect of life in general in a way that makes me think hard on things I may have taken for granted, accepted at face value or just blankly not looked at for whatever reason.  Jeff Atwood wrote such a post recently, Avoiding Walled Gardens on the Internet.

I recently joined Facebook, I have a well established LinkedIn account and I regularly scope for new social networks where I can stay in touch with old colleagues, scout new positions and the like.  After reading Jeff's article I didn't rush out and cancel my accounts or decide to rebel against the "Walled Gardens", but I think that Jeff has given me a new perspective on private social networking.  In fact, his article seems to have opened up a Pandora's Box in the recesses of my conscience.  It seems that there has been a gnawing, uneasy feeling in my gut for some time about these so named Walled Gardens of the Internet.  It just took hearing it from someone else for me to realize I am uncomfortable with the concept.

Why do we, as human beings, seek exclusivity and with all the pomp and pride of our self relying ego demand that in order for others to be welcome in our inner circle they must become "one of us". As Jeff says in his post,
If you want to join my friends list, let's do it in public. Post a link to one of my blog entries. Enter a comment right here. Reply to one of my tweets. Send me an email or an instant message. I'll even collaborate with you, as long as it results in a public artifact of some kind.
Posted on Friday, July 6, 2007 11:56 AM General | Back to top

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