If you’re a Facebook user, then perhaps you’ve seen the “25 random things” activity that’s making its way around that community. In a nutshell, it challenges you to write 25 random but honest facts about yourself, and then tag 25 other people to do the same, and so on. There’s no set of questions or requirements about what you choose to share. It operates kind of like a chain letter (which I despise), but ultimately it’s far more worthwhile, because you actually get to know the people in your network via their responses.
This kind of activity is actually a pretty clever concept for Facebook, in part because it’s so low-tech. With the flurry of specialized, social networking “applications” (most of which are just thinly-veiled marketing machines that use the network to harvest your preferences and contact information), it turns out that the latest fad doesn’t require anything more than posting a note to your profile and then sharing it with people you know.
So I thought, “If it’s good enough for Facebook, then why not Windows Live?” We’ve got a great community here, but a lot of the people in our networks are perhaps less than intimately familiar each other. That’s going to be a hurdle for any budding young social networking platform to overcome, and “25 random things” seems like a great way to bridge the gaps between us.
Over the weekend, I rolled out my version of “25 random things” to my immediate Windows Live network, but not in that pushy Facebook sort of way that requires me to manually notify people. I decided to use a post on my public Windows Live Spaces blog titled “25 Random Things about Me,” and let the “What’s New” feed do all the heavy lifting. Surprisingly, by the Sunday evening, a dozen people in my network had already written their own “25 random things” posts, which I was able to read and leave comments.
If you want to get to know yours truly a little better, or you’d just like to see what I’m talking about, stop by my space and check out 25 random things about me.
I have no idea whether it’s going to spread like wildfire over here on Windows Live, but I think it would be really neat to add a new friend to my network someday and see a “25 random things” post already in their blog. That certainly would make Windows Live seem a little more friendly, eh?