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I’ve been using Twitter for a few months now. One of my favorite people to follow has been the star of 30 Rock, Tina Fey. Although her account only receives Tweets sporadically, each one is a gem of humor that tied me closer to the show.

Tragically, this morning, I learned that the Tina Fey account I’ve been following is a hoax.

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Reflecting on the experience, it made me realize two things about social networks.

  1. Social networks like Twitter, are enabling me to connect with people I’d never thought I could communicate with directly. My relationship with Tina Fey (a one way affair), was valuable and important. I felt connected and delighted when I received a thought she shared 5 seconds after she had conceived it.
  2. Consequently, true identity is important. In scenarios where you’re interacting with someone or something you don’t know personally, the authenticity of the person and subsequent communication is important. Without it, there’s distrust in the network and in my case, severe disappointment.

Social experiments

If you put a mirror above a sink in a corporate kitchen, more people will do their dishes or put money into a collective kitty to buy espresso. When there’s accountability, people respond and contribute to the community in better ways.

Reputation systems, developed within of social networks, or independently will become more important in the social web to come.

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