How anti-social networking software could be used

A bunch of merry pranksters have had some fun with the phrase anti-social networking over the last few years. (“You can use Nemester to: Find out the enemies of your enemies and conspire with them Denounce your enemies… Make new enemies… Help your enemies meet their demise…”; Introvertster is an online community that prevents stupid people and friends from harassing you online.”)


But let’s take it seriously. Suppose that we define an anti-social network as an organization of people defined by how broken their relationships are. You’ve either got a formula for an enduring television series, or the modern professional workplace. The latter is not desirable: it’s anti-social not-working. Personnel turnover is costly; HR workshops are no guarantees of success.

Suppose it’s fairly easy to build/install social network software for deployment strictly within a company, and you get people to use it (it’s probably easier than getting a popular social networking tool to convince users of their privacy commitment.).

Have people indicate not only their connections, but their “disconnections” with others, stating why they believe the relationship is sour. Maybe it’s the result of a mistaken impression. But it could also be a personality conflict. For good measure, have them fill out personality tests. Let’s assume Myers-Briggs for this experiment.

Here’s why:

Recently I participated in a session at my office on workplace dynamics. The common theme was that we all have people we have trouble working with (at least, those who showed up; we can induce that there are others). The lesson from the HR facilitators was basically this: “You should talk to those people directly.” I understand that they speak from experience, but it’s possible that they speak from the perspective from a certain personality types, such as Extroverted & Perceiving, which are the sorts of people you’d expect to be in Human Resources.

My personality type close aligns to INTP (the thinker, the architect). If I have a personality conflict with an E or a P, I’m happy to talk to with them, because E’s and P’s are great people to talk to.

The problem is in butting heads with an INTJ (which seems to be a common personality trait for engineering managers). Here’s the basic conversation: the INTP says “try this, try that!” and the INTJ says “no, a decision’s been made.” As Intuitives, we trust our our inner sense; as Introverts, we don’t see the value of engaging in a social exchange that’s likely going to fail.

BSM Consulting (the hosts of the website) echo this exactly:

“The differences between Judging and Perceiving are probably the most marked differences of all the four preferences. People with strong Judging preferences might have a hard time accepting people with strong Perceiving preferences, and vice-versa.”


But we maybe we have common cause. We are both T’s after all:

“A ‘Thinker’ makes decisions in a rational, logical, impartial manner, based on what they believe to be fair and correct by pre-defined rules of behavior.”

Therefore, they should all find common cause in improving the rules/codes/guidelines. The INTP likes finding silly rules– they should be pressed into the habit of thi. The INTJ likes making rules– they just need to concede that they’ve written ones which aren’t being followed. Agree on a new set of rules, we can resolve our differences and get on with the work. We just need to follow our personality preference towards good rule systems.


Frank– thanks for your comment. Sorry I missed it earlier in the week, I’ve been busy with the website clean up here. (I was surprised actually that a comment was left at all, since I still have to rebuild the ViewPoints tool for Drupal 5.7.)

Yes, of course, there are crucial questions about the actual implementation here. We have seen over the last few years social software sneak into the corporate organization. Also, I’m assuming some adherence to constructive media (which, as I proposed it four years ago, is still ahead of its time.) You need people in an organization to directly log register their opinions regarding ideas online (à la ViewPoints). From this, we can learn which people in an organization are or are not responding to certain folks, and then from there we can try to determine whether there’s a personality conflict.