Saturday, July 26, 2014

What would an Offline Facebook look like?

Interesting question, isn't it?

I asked it of myself... 'and Alice fell down the rabbit hole!' Well, lets begin at the beginning. What _is_ Facebook to us, after all? I'm looking at it as a sufficiently personal (yet impersonal) environment where I can make the right kind of connections while showing 'just the right amount of skin', if you will.

Take the offline scenario though. Clearly, 85%+ of Indian society is terrified of walking up to somebody in a coffee shop, party or bar and coolly going 'Waddup!' and taking it from there. And I'm talking any interaction whatsoever!

Online, though, the story is really different. Even the most petrified guy offline can be a veritable lion online - for the simple reason that you can coolly butt-in to the average bull-shiitake conversation a cool friend is having with another and say/ask something that could remotely make sense. Before he knows it, he's embroiled knee-deep in argumentative conversation with people he could only dream of talking to offline. And voila! Facebook does what Nokia keeps claiming it wants to do - 'Connecting People'! 

Major talking points include the following, among others:

- Is Offline Facebook a possibility?
- Isn't the average OkCupid types really some sort of subset of this Offline Facebook?
- Although Online Facebook is so global, aren't we all secretly pining for a more local solution that helps us meet Aryan, that handsome neighbor, and Natasha, the cute new girl in college?
- Why is 'Networking' really such a business term today? Isn't it more just the idea of us meeting new faces, building intersecting chains of people we like? Can't networking be personal?
- Finally, does everything have to just happen, and the responsibility be each one of ours to 'make it happen?' Or is there the possibility of that catalyst - that can push us off the cliff - to who knows what joys that lie beyond?

I'm just hoping to stir up the pot and start some discussion. Let it go where it has got to go! Please feel free to ideate, comment & connect!


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