In the December 1 NY Times, Andreas Stavropoulos, the Draper Fisher Jurvetson (VC of Skype and Hotmail fame) managing director who led the investment in Power.com, raised a valid issue: “We’ve been looking at this overarching question of where does social networking go in the longer term . . .”
From where I sit, part of the answer has to do less with the “martini” side of social things and more with the impact that networking can have on social policy. If the right people – large groups of smart, well-informed people – can get connected in useful, collaborative ways, important policy initiatives can accelerate in ways that will outstrip the slow iteration of formal, governmental policy change.
Energy policy is at the top of my list. WSJ reported today that “By tapping General James Jones as his national security adviser, President-elect Barack Obama is indicating that the great energy debate will take place at the epicenter of U.S. national security . . .”
Want to see social networking have an impact light years beyond writing on your friend’s wall about a party? Knit together the entrepreneurs, academic scientific and economic wonks, non-profits, journalists, and corporate Katzenjammer Kids who have a deep interest and knowledge about energy and all its alternatives. And, use for the knitting needles an environment that enables them to discuss, work and build across all sorts of voids. Policy might just evolve, grow and solidify into the hard, effective realities that Obama and Jones envision.
— posted by Tom Witkin