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Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Social Networker I

Ryan is a charismatic young man, having worked long enough to know what is what but not quite so long that he is already tired of it all. In short, he is still able to enjoy life. So that when he is fired from his job (the reason for this never really being disclosed and since this is long before the recession, company policy is not a possibility), he does not despair. Ryan decides to create a social network to "make the city Vibrant". Vibrant (always spelled with a V) is the operative word in everything Ryan does. And Ryan does a lot. Armed with business knowledge (The Evil Negotiator, anyone?) and a need to make money, he quickly comes up with a scheme in which he ropes in eager young souls new to the city and so grateful for this new network, they will do anything to make it work, soliciting new members on the streets and in public places for a pay so meager, they are never able to buy the drinks at the Vibrant events they are advertising. Part of it is of course due to Ryan's charm, a gung-ho personality that radiates enthusiasm wherever he goes. The other part is his philosophy of making people fight for his friendship and attention, not bringing in a sufficient amount of people, will result in the person being shunned, spurring them on to reach for the stars.

And yet the network is thriving and well, perhaps due to a lack of other activities but also because drinking networks tend to attract a certain type of personality, the drinker, who after a few drinks won't care all too much about the company anyway and if he gets to go home with someone else, so much the better. Which isn't to say that all social networks operate the same way, there are many that bring people together without asking for their soul in return. Ryan's network merely holds a special place among a host of similar organizations, giving rise to a parade of very interesting personalities, all there for a variety of even more interesting reasons.

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