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Yeah, fair enough. But there are some worrying social consequences that I think you're missing, James.

This "circling of wagons" that you describe may be attractive, (especially for marketers) but is it, in fact, socially damaging? Surrounding yourself with "like-minded" people might feel good from the inside, but really you're building an echo-chamber for your own opinions - and I think that may be harmful to society as a whole.

I'm not a fan of building walls, and I believe that it's not a huge leap from "like-minded" to "narrow-minded". Already this is happening in the real world - last week's Economist noted research showing that people in the States are increasingly choosing to live amongst those who share identical political views to themselves. I believe such communities are likely to be socially impoverished (not to mention, tedious and bland) and will tend towards the development of increasingly polarised and intolerant viewpoints. This cannot be a good thing in our current world.

If this trend towards actively removing oneself from hearing or seeing anything that challenges one's viewpoint is replicated online through services like Facebook then I feel we will lose something enormously valuable. The Internet has always been a place for vigorous, challenging debate. Long may that continue.

James Cherkoff

Well said Ian, a perfect counterblast. ;-)

One of my favourite ideas from Clay Shirky's book is there are two types of 'capital' in social networks - that which bonds and that which bridges. It's a pretty straightforward notion and all the better for it. The most successful networks have people who are very good at making that network tick and others who remember to open the window from time to time.

Anders Online Marketing

I am working with marketing in Denmark and is searching for inspiration in the digital world. Thanks for inspiration

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