Ever have that moment when you wonder if what you're about to post will alienate you from the rest of the online world forever?
I get that sometimes, which says a lot more about my own insecurities and the extent to which the social Web replicates the social dynamics of high school than it does about any real risk. My social network includes some very forgiving, open-minded people... and the online world is much, much bigger than anything I've tapped into so far.
When I think of, say, the Vancouver social media scene, I think of people I know: family, friends, colleagues, clients, dev partners and the like. And yet that's a tiny percentage of my neighbors who are engaged in social media.
Just an example: when I look through the list of the top 100 Vancouver Twitterers by number of followers, I don't recognize the vast majority of names. That tells me that a big conversation is going on (or a lot of small conversations) that I'm not a part of.
Which is cool. It's a big ol' blogosphere, and I can't possibly hope to keep tabs on any more than my small corner of it.
It's also a handy reminder to avoid the temptation of generalizing about the social Web from our own experience if it. For any of us who wants to understand how the Web and the way we use it are evolving and make some intelligent guesses about the future of social media, breaking out of our comfortable little circles and exploring a little is critical.