Phil Friedman in beBee in English, Social Media, English Writer/Editor | Marketer | Ghost Writer | Marine Industry and Small-Business Consultant • Port Royal Group Jul 20, 2016 · 3 min read · 20.5K

Affinity Networking Is On the Line

Affinity Networking Is On the Line


On a recent installment of "He Said He Said" (Vol 17, by Jim Murray and Phil Friedman) an issue arose about the nature of Affinity Networking. And I was very surprised that so many otherwise committed "Bees" seemed to think that no Hives on beBee should ever filter or exclude any posts, even those posts that are manifestly outside the topical parameters set by the owners and administrators of those Hives when they were created.

The repeatedly expressed opinion was that limiting the posts in any Hive to a given topic or theme would undermine the free spirit of beBee...

Personally, I believe that is pure poppycock. Moreover, I submit that it is necessary for at least some Hives to be topically filtered, or the basic concept of Affinity Networking, as I have understood it since the first time Jim Murray and I interviewed beBee CEO Javier Camara Rica on HSHS on LinkedIn, will be completely and utterly destroyed. And beBee will become like Facebook with more rapidity than a Bullet Train.

However, it seems that the issue is very emotional for many "Bees", and so I have little anticipation that rational argument will be at all effective in the discussion.

Therefore, I propose instead to tell you a short story...

I had a dream last night. In my dream, I woke up in the morning and, while getting my coffee and breakfast ready, I turned on the TV channel I listen to for national and international news. The newscaster started coming through as usual, but after about a minute, the stream suddenly changed to a reality show about kidney stones. Thinking that the cable company might be having some sort of technical difficulties, I switched to a different news channel. But instead of news, it was running old episodes of America's Got Talent.

So I went to the on-screen guide and started flipping channels looking for news, but every time I found a listing for news, that channel was actually broadcasting something else. Like a golf tournament or a game show or home improvement saga.

And I thought, where the hell is the news I'm trying to get?

So, I called the cable company Customer Service Department, which informed me that a decision had been made to freely mix up the content on the various listed channels. Because it was too restrictive and anti-democratic to limit a news channel purely to news. And after all, why shouldn't a reality show about hemorrhoids have an opportunity to be broadcast on the CNN or MSNBC channels? And why do I care, anyway? Who appointed me the Cable Channel Police?

So. I shut off the TV, and sat down to have my breakfast, while reading a book in an effort to calm down. I picked up a copy of a Robert B. Parker Spenser book and opened it.  While taking a long gulp of coffee from my mug.

And promptly spit the coffee out in a violent spray...

For inside the book's cover, which clearly told of a Parker Spenser-series novel, were pages from the Gideon Bible.

Then I woke up -- this time for real, I think -- in a cold sweat, glad that the intellectual chaos to which I appeared in my dream doomed, was not real.

At least, I think it wasn't. But then I haven't yet turned on the TV or opened a book today.  ─ Phil Friedman

Afterword:   For the record, and before you start writing comments accusing me of pissing on the beBee parade,  I understand completely that beBee is a work in progress, and that it takes time to find and work out all the conceptual and system bugs in anything as complex as a social media platform.

However, while I have from early on supported and continue to support Javier Rica, Juan Imaz, and now Matt Sweetwood and John White, and the rest of the beBee crew in their efforts to build beBee, I would not be a true friend to them or to beBee, if I did not speak out about what I consider to be the single most important problem to solve, earlier rather than later, in the platform’s development. ─ PLF

About me, Phil Friedman: With 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I am also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation. In a previous life, I taught logic and philosophy at university.

The (optional-to-read) pitch: As a professional writer, editor, university educator, and speaker, with more than 1,000 print and digital publications, I've recently launched an online program for enhancing your expository writing: learn2engage — With Confidence. My mission is to help writers and would-be writers improve the clarity of their thought, master the logic of discussion, and strengthen their ability to deal with disagreement.

To schedule an appointment for a free 1/2-hour consult email:


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