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I enjoy being social.
I love social media, social networking, social business, and almost anything social. I thrive on the energy of others. I love feedback, discourse, and people who push me to think differently. I have thoroughly enjoyed growing a community of friends & colleagues on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, this blog, and all the other social resources.

I find myself really into smaller, private social networks these days. Maybe it’s the deepening of friendships, scarcity of time, shift in values, or evolution of technology – most likely all of the above. But I think there is something to company’s focusing on building more ‘exclusivity’ into their products and services.

There is value in privacy.
I’m not saying companies should act like private clubs (although those do work well), but should allow their customers the ability to create their own exclusivity. Two services I’ve been using & enjoying lately have done a great job with just that.

Path & Givit
Both allow the user to craft personal and social content, then decide who to share it with. Of course, some of this can be done with Facebook and Google Plus, but those networks both feel aimed at the massive. Always trying to get you to share more. It’s nice to see companies doing just the opposite, encouraging people to share with less people.

Here’s the way I visualize my current activity on social networks:

Social Hierarchy.
Twitter is where I share the most with the widest audience. Anyone can follow me and I follow people I don’t really care about. It’s the lowest barrier to my social circles. Dunbar be damned.

Facebook is the network I’ve worked the most on this past year. Culling the friends count under 900 and trending towards 600-ish. If I’ve dumped you here, it’s because I’m working hard to focus attention on those closer to me and just don’t have time to do much beyond that. Follow me on Twitter if you want to just stalk me or have a casual social relationship.

Path is where the real privacy and exclusivity kicks in. If you haven’t been to my house or me to yours, then odds are we just aren’t close enough to connect on Path. It’s not personal, it’s very personal.

Because real friends & family in life suffer the most when social networks grow out of control. And they deserve better.