Adapted from Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”

Once there was a social network tree…that loved a little boy.

And every day the boy would come….and he would submit and vote and read content…
and leave comments
and blog and twitter about what he read.

He would debate the merits of industry and commerce.

And he would socialize and criticize.

And when offline, he would think about ways to contribute to that community.

And the he loved the tree…very much.
And the tree was happy.

But time went by…
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.

Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and read my content and submit stories to me…and comment and vote and…be happy…”

“I am too big to read and submit content,” said the boy.
“I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money. Can you give me some money?”….

“I am sorry,” said the tree, “but I have no money. I have only my content.
Take my content, Boy, repurpose it for client use, and sell it in the City.
Then you will have money and you will be happy.”

And so the boy copied the content off the site…adapted it for his customers and used it to make money.

And the tree was happy…!

But the boy stayed away for a long time…and the tree was sad.

And then one day the boy came back and the tree shook with joy and she said, “Come, Boy, read my content… submit new stories…and be happy.”

“I am too busy to read and submit content,” said the boy.
“I want a social network platform of my own,” he said.
“I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a platform from which to generate revenue to support them.
Can you give me a platform?”
“I can’t give you a platform,” said the tree.
“However, I can give you my raw source code. You may copy it in order to develop your own platform. Then you will be happy.”

And so the boy copied the source code to build his own social network platform.

And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time.
And when he came back, the tree was so happy she could hardly speak.

“Come, Boy,” she whispered, “come and participate.”
“I am too old and sad to participate,” said the boy.
“I want turnkey fully built-out social network for instant monetization. Can you give that to me?”

….”I’ll redirect my entire site to your site,” said the tree.
“Then you can possess everything…and be happy.”

And so the boy took possession of the tree’s entire content and membership.
And the tree was happy… but not really.

And after a long time the boy came back again.
“I am sorry, Boy,” said the tree, “but I have nothing left to give you …
My content is gone.”
“I have no further need for web content,” said the boy.
“My visitors are gone,” said the tree. “You cannot monetize them anymore…”
“I’m not looking for new customers,” said the boy.
“My platform is gone,” said the tree. “You cannot repurpose…”
“I am too tired for site development,” said the boy.
“I am sorry,” sighed the tree. “I wish that I could give you something… but I have nothing left.
I am just a simple parking page. I am sorry…”

“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy, “just a quiet place to redirect all my expired domain traffic. I am very tired.”
“Well,” said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, “well, an old parking page is good
for your traffic to sit and rest. Come, Boy, sit them down.
Sit them down and have them rest.”

And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.

6 thoughts on “The Social Network Tree

  1. Absolutely brilliant Todd. I didn’t know you were a fan of The Giving Tree…it’s my favorite book of all time. Combine that with my favorite addition, social media, and you’ve got magic!

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