Does a Social Media Network need to be Open to all?

Well of course it doesn’t. One could argue that there is no such thing as an open network! Isn’t a network limited and contained by its constituents? It needs to be limited to those that you wish to be linked to, connected to or just plain want to know! The word exclusive gets used a lot and gets much criticism as well. Why criticize exclusivity. It exists in all walks of everyone’s everyday life and yet when it comes to social media and social networking it seems that being exclusive to one demographic or another seems to offend people. Poor sensitive souls!

Lets be real the modern social network is the new from of the old fashion club, just on wider-reaching terms. Just because most networking groups exist now online they do not have to be open at all. Makes me shudder to think!

I feel quite strongly about this for two reasons; i) I created and manage an exclusive online and offline social networking group and ii) someone recently crudely and pompously criticized me personally because I wouldn’t let him in. It is not he first time I have read about or heard of such frustrated angst about being excluded, nor will it be the last I’m sure.

People appear to be confused by the whole notion of social networking and its newness and what that means. They even want to redefine the terms under which we socialize and communicate

There is nothing new about Social Networking and don’t even try and mandate your principles or misguided priorities on how people decide to communicate with their peers inside a social community.

Social networking has been around since the dawn of time and as some of us have evolved so the platform and formats of interaction have too. Many see social networking as new because of the new platforms that exists to enable people to interact freely on a much broader scale. A scale far beyond the limits their social skills would normally permit. Groups of networks have always existed from the earliest (and latest) tribes to the modern platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, we are just at the current stage of the never ending evolution that is communication and social interaction.

The web and the plethora of online platforms caters for all interests, however the most effective interactions are those that are socially focused, where members of the group have a common interest, whether that is comparing and debating shapes in cloud formations or whether it is for professional purposes and where likeminded people want to interact with selected others to the exclusion of some. Each network will have its own structure and in fact it will need it own rules to ensure that it doesn’t get unruly and off subject, for if it were to then the purpose and focus would be lost and then so would its value to the members. It is these rules and these purposes that can make networking groups exclusive. It is not anti-social, but selective on whom the groups want to socialize and share with.

If a professional social network has qualifying rules they have to be respected; these rules were not set up to specifically exclude you, (although they could be changed in order to do so). If you don’t qualify don’t get offended and take it personally, the network is what it is. Also why is it that only those that are excluded for one reason or another complain and carry a chip on their shoulder
Exclusivity works in the right context as does openness.

Social networking depends absolutely on exclusivity to one degree or another. Deal with it and don’t expect anything else.

  1. Good one….I totally agree with you….

    “If a professional social network has qualifying rules they have to be respected; these rules were not set up to specifically exclude you.”
    very true…we should respect the rules!!


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