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Monday, May 25, 2009

LASTING IMPRESSIONS: The "Art" of Networking

Lasting Impressions with Sian Lindemann

Social Media - A Contagious and Addictive "Art" Form

The Art of Networking is well becoming an art form in and of itself, via the web. A recent immersion into a massively interactive study and ultimate campaign to celebrate Planet Earth, for Earth Day 2009, was the most remarkable gathering of strangers, who became enmeshed in a living breathing microcosm on the web.

It was remarkable for so many reasons. There was a guide. There were students of Social Media. There was a passion among them in favor of bringing awareness to the plight of our Earth…and there was of course, the human element….People…all unknown to one another before this point.

All… well known to one another upon completion.

We came together like the communities of organisms that gather around a lava vent deep on the ocean floor, and who as quickly disperse when the source of that heat diminishes.


We’re changing as a species. We’re changing as a human community.

I rarely spend time in my own community for to venture forth into it feels surreal. It feels like being surrounded by those so busy with their task that they’ve forgotten the human element of thought and feelings and are mostly too busy to consider an emotion or real exchange of some kind.

It is strange to witness after immersion into ritualistic interaction in a way that conversation spreads across the globe through this box on my desk, connected by threads of communication and comment building upon a source, one source, many sources, and ultimately finding blend.

Much like musical composition….the multi – layered hues of music…
The conversation becomes the continuum. A beginning yes, a subsequent interaction, and ultimately, crescendos or not…and a continuum that ensues whether I am present or not.

It’s like being a voyeur of experience, and surreal is the best definition that I can give it.

I felt often during that time like the prime character of the movie, Lawn Mower Man…I knew that my intelligence and knowledge were expanding in a way that rational thinking could not explain. I was learning at a massive rate of speed. I was absorbing information at a rate and with a passion I’ve not known for some time.

I became obsessed with the interwoven nature of the web, the spread of information at the touch of a button, and the ultimately the enrapturement of this tightly woven group of people whose content was moving, personal and as individual as were the creators of it.

And then it ended.

Ended and found yet another thread. Another entry point. Another conversation, although a deeper at this juncture. And we begin again, with another topic. In the conversation people, who remain bodiless and only a personality or style of writing emerge.

It’s like a buffet of delights, of tastes, thoughts, colors that transcend culture, transcend country, transcend race, yet always remains human, by the nature of its source.

Strange and remarkable that this conversation and interaction is lucid and alive, and ongoing. Rarely the mention of being paid for one’s service to the whole as if the mention of money or exchange of services is taboo in this new community…and I wonder what those who participate do, to garner the income required to keep their computers illuminated.

People do “pitch” their projects. People do discuss the nature of their business, but it is a world so unlike anything I am familiar with in the traditional sense of “business”, i.e. a product, its development, and its ultimate sale.

However business ensues in this platform, but does not take root until an authentic state of “relationship” and development occur between the parties…yet will those parties meet in person. I have met some, but most I have only known through profile pictures, documented profile content, and in all truth, is it true? Who knows, really?

Yet each of those profiles takes form, personality and recognizable uniqueness in their ongoing expressions. One would have to have an excellent memory if they did not come close to their authentic nature….as the spontaneity of one’s interaction is not regulated, unless one I suppose could automate an entire identity.

My mind cannot wrap around that, although I would imagine it’s possible….I suppose that is where AI (Artificial Intelligence) comes in. One could create personality, automation and interaction based on a series of personality traits…and thus automates the whole conversation….

Too much for my mind to wrap around…

The point, however, is in this time, of 5-6 months; I have made more authentic friends and relationships on the web with people who I’ve never had the privilege to stand in front of and shake their hands, give them a hug or chat over a hot cup of tea.

Yet the friendships are real, caring and authentic. It’s a remarkable switch…and I find it artistic. I find it massively creative. And I find it a continual stretch to create engaging, deep, and meaningful things to share…which cause a reaction…both positive, and negative, but Mostly positive.

There are some who have expressed annoyance at my prolific use of imagery…..but there are so many more who appreciate the beauty that I share with them…collections of paintings, music, poetry, poignant and personal text that relate to real life situations.

The “new” edge of what has been known as a traditional ‘gallery.’

Its far more engaging than most of the intimate relationships I’ve had over the years. I’ve been more myself, more expressive and more daring in this context of interaction with others that I have ever done in day to day real life.

I’ve had relationships, I’ve been married, I’ve raised my children and they are off on their own, and at this time, this freedom to fully express myself has come to an intimate and ongoing interaction with friends, colleagues and “followers” on the web.

How strange it must be for someone on the outside of this art form….to enter, and expect immediate understanding. It’s been years of this growth, interaction and method of communication that has defined more me than any other immersion I have engaged in…

It’s a never ending web of wonder. It is art, It is community, it is communication, services and it is human…. and “it is HERE to stay.

Sian Lindemann
Monument, Colorado, USA
May 2009

Posted to THE NATIONAL NETWORKER (TNNW). All rights reserved.

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