Does Internet-Connectedness Drive serendipity?

From SocialSoftwareWebLog;

In an latimes.com article dated January 9, 2005, Lynell George quotes Friendster’s Jonathan Abrams as saying that Friendster offers ways to “proactively influence serendipity.”

Hm, not my experience of Friendster but, Jonathan goes on to say: “You can be manipulating serendipity to make more efficient use of your social time…. Instead of looking for women who are this height and are ‘equally comfortable in jeans as in a cocktail dress,’ you can stumble upon people by their interests. You can drive serendipity.”

Drive serendipity?
Judith is sanguine, suggesting that our internet-connectedness is constrained by our email address book, buddy list, virtual office connectees, etc. I suppose. This suggests that a degree of membership openness is necessary for externally infused serendipity. Yet, I think Judith under-estimates (or is so embedded in that she can't see) the power of our various social networks running through the same medium. I IM with students, other faculty, friends, my wife, and my kids. Each of those networks is often active on my desktop simultaneously. That yields the potential for me to experience serendipitous connections.


  1. couldn't agree with you more robert on the extensive networking interconnectivity that we all can experience in and amongst an unlimited number of social networks. i merely took exception with jonathan's statement regarding 'driving serendipity'... serendipity happens DAILY from my socially networked desktop and beyond, no driving necessary... and on sanguine, indeed i am a cheerfully confident, optimistic, redhead...(:=

  2. judith - thanks for the clarification. it seems we agree that 'driving serindipity' is likely an oxymoron. i stand corrected re. sanguine. ;-)