I have just been sent an invite to a service that claims that their “matching algorithm globally identifies the best sparring partners for benchmarking and experience exchange among your peers.” Now to be fair I haven’t tried out the service yet but if it is another “people like you” sort of algorithm I am not interested.
In terms of making business connections I want to meet people who are NOT like me. By definition my potential clients are people who don’t know what I know and haven’t done what I have done. But even in personal terms I don’t always want to meet people like me. I want to meet interesting people who stretch me, who help me learn something about life and about myself.
There is a real risk with our online tools that we end up in ever smaller echo chambers, reinforcing our prejudices and confirming our biases. I did say the other day that Facebook is like talking to yourself but better – but it is only better if it is not exactly like talking to yourself!