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Fara Hain
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Fara Hain worked at Seeking Alpha from October 2009 to February 2011 as Marketing Director. Her primary responsibilities were in product marketing, user feedback and managing the launch of new Seeking Alpha initiatives. Previously Fara held marketing positions at Gizmoz, a company in the 3D... More
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  • Thanks to Social Networking, it IS a Wonderful Life 0 comments
    Dec 31, 2009 8:17 AM

    It’s that time of year again, when Christmas carols, holiday spirit and “It’s a Wonderful Life” do a job on me – lulling me to that cynic-free place where I begin to believe the world’s troubles can perhaps be solved if we just, "teach the world to sing in perfect harmony" while drinking coke and munching on candy-canes.  So it’s with this warning in mind that I post some mushy-gushy thinking on social networks.   I only hope I don’t regret this post too much come January :).

    I am an unabashed lover of social networking, particularly facebook – something that is often met with surprise or even concern for my well being from friends and colleagues.  “Why waste your time with virtual friendships?” Or the most common, “Who cares which of my old college buddies is sitting on the toilet right now.”  I don’t see myself as particularly voyeuristic, at least not more than any other reality-TV watching twitterer ;).  And I don’t love fb because I’m addicted to Farmville, or to updating my status – I almost never do.  (The fact that I have been professionally training, encouraging and maintaining blogs for others for the past four years without ever starting one of my own until now, helps you understand just where I stand on the TMI scale.)

    No, the reasons I love facebook are best explained by the post below. [Explanation: the post was made by a great guy who calls himself “Mayascribe” in the comment section of this website.]

    “What I covet most about this website is that both contributors & commenters can establish unique kinds of relationships that us pre-boomers, boomers, post-boomers to newbies, have never before had or explored within any investing community, all thanks to the forum Seeking Alpha presents.
    What's more amazing if not mesmerizing to me, strange as it is, is that some of my best pals now are people whom I've never met, reside here on SA. I know more about people's lives here than I do about some of my secondary level friends.
    Frankly, the investing talent here on SA I'd put up against the best and biggest institutions and brokerage houses out there. No doubt in my mind we'd kick their butts! I know I have, and I also know that I would never have had that chance to do so without the friendships I've established here on SA."

    I think that this enhances something I’ve always believed to be true about friendships – that although you often become close with people simply because of shared experiences, you actually may prefer the company of people who are outside your circle, but share your interests.  Of course, the best friendships are those with elements of both shared experience and interest – but those are rare. 

    For me, social networks allow me to see the things my contacts are passionate about - in the same way the commenter above found his finance community (here!!) - and connect in a different, and perhaps more meaningful way.

    I’m not surprised when two guys I met at a political rally in 1991 are still going at it on facebook over Obama’s healthcare plan, and I love facebook for letting me in on the discussion once again...and maybe, when that happens, somewhere out there in that big social graph, an angel is getting its wings.

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