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May 2010

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Laura Norvig

Are you the second from the left, in the middle row?

BTW, I love your new blog design. Very clean. Nice job.

Beth Kanter

No! I'm in the front row .. can you guess now?

Noah Flower

Beth, as a member of the Facebook Generation, I can say with certainty that you're spot on about how useful it is to stay connected with the people you grew up with. I'm probably even a little old, at 27, because Facebook came out when I was in college. Every now and then someone from grade school will friend me out of the blue -- but it would be even better if we were connected online to begin with. It's helped me rebuild a number of relationships that would otherwise have laid fallow.

Beth Kanter

you know as I was writing this, I also said to myself - SO WHAT! What's the value? It's latent value, but do you have a story of how keeping in touch with a grade school friend helped you professionally or even personally? Just curious and thanks so much for your thoughtful response. Care to guess which one is me?

Noah Flower

Okay, I'll guess: are you in the first row, second from the left? The shape of your face and the straight-across bangs with long hair look very similar.

Social network re-connections have been helpful to me in all sorts of subtle ways. I've found fellow honor-student classmates from high school who I never realized were right here in San Francisco, kept in touch with colleagues after they've left for school or other firms, and heard about news in the lives of many people who I care about but don't speak with on a regular basis. My experience is that being connected online means that your life and the lives of others is a bit like a radio station: you're constantly broadcasting to anyone you've ever friended, and they're doing the same back. It's made it far easier than before to find reasons to get in touch, and somewhat paradoxically it's also made real personal connections all the more valuable for their richness.


Interesting - I thought for sure the ending was going to read "It's not who you know, but whether you're connected with them OFFLINE." I "know" tons of people online- and have very reciprocal relationships with many but those where the relationship goes off-line are pretty special- rare!

Recently, a lot of those random facebook reconnections have been coming in handy. I am helping a friend from high school launch and when I posted about our blog on facebook a few people I had lost touch with connected me to some really great programs and sites like and Peace Innovation at Stanford. But that is high school not grade school.

Though, I think in the next few months I may be reaching out to some grade school friends to help me produce an event in the Middle East... we'll see! In that case, facebook will have helped me maintain a social network from the early 80s until now!
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