I've been involved in social media since before the term even existed. I've appreciated and leveraged the power of connecting with people from around the globe since I first dialed a modem into a BBS and started talking to strangers.
The online world and social media has been very good to me. I make a good living consulting, speaking and writing and all of that came about from years of hard work and the access I've been given by being connected
If you haven't heard of Path, it is an app (iPhone & Android) that allows you to share thoughts, locations, photos and the music you are listening to. You can comment on other people's posts and instead of a simple like or +1, you can choose from several emotions to give any post. All this sounds familiar right?
Every social network allows you to do pretty much all of those things. But, Path has one very significant difference that currently is forcing a different user behavior within it's walls. It only allows you to have 150 friends.
Because of this little limitation, people are very choosy about who they connect and share with. I know my "rule" is that if I haven't had a real sit down conversation with you and I wouldn't let you stay over at my house, then there is no way you are going to be connected with me here.
This close knit feature causes a certain circle of trust to be created by the people you interact with. The conversations that happen there and what is shared are things you'd never see said publicly on other networks because they'd come with too much baggage.
It gets a little interesting though when you comment on someone you are connected with and then other people you don't know comment as well. That is always a little trippy.
This morning it solidified for me when someone really put themselves out there. Sharing intimate details of something horrible that happened to them. It was a conversation that you use to see happen online more, but now rarely happens.
You know why else I love it? Because there is zero pitching or pimping going on. There is no A List and people could care less what number you have on any other site.
People are talking about their lives, kids and struggles rather than sharing links, tips and everything else that happens on the web at large. People are being people and I love that.
It is going to be interesting to see where Path goes. Right now it is very young and pure and I love it. As it grows and needs to make money, what will happen to it? I'd pay to keep it like it is right now. I hope that is the business model they are opting for because if advertising or marketing of any sort creeps in, then it becomes just another social network rather than my morning coffee with friends that it serves as right now.