I recently heard from two friends. Both mentioned intriguing developments in the world of networking. (Note, I don't pretend to be the source for cutting edge technical developments, so bear with me if this seems like old news.)
Bill Ives uses trackback to observe not only how many hits his blog gets, but also where those surfers linked from. In this way, Bill discovers new sites related to his own.
As Bill described the technology to me, I thought that surely this will expand more broadly across the Internet. Imagine if each site could automatically share recommendations: "If you like this site, check out these other popular sites that link to the page you're reading now."
No sooner had I started pondering that than I heard from Neal Young (not Neil Young). Neal tipped me off to StumbleUpon, a membership service that creates a Friendster-like network devoted entirely to sharing Internet finds. By comparing my preferences to others already on the system, StumbleUpon suggests new websites for me to explore that others like me have recommended.
Taking off from Amazon's famous use of this idea, there are more and more sites that provide members with recommendations based on what others with similar profiles have enjoyed. Music, for example.
It's a bonding capital bonanza! The Internet is great at bringing together people with similar interests. I wonder how many out there are finding success using the Internet to build bridging capital?