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At the founding of New England in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Puritan John Winthrop proclaimed, "We must knit together! We must be willing to abridge each other of our superfluities for the supply of others' necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other, make others' conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work..."

A noble sentiment that is perhaps a little more than what's needed for today's business networks. But in essence, Winthrop describes a mission statement that could suit today's best serving social network. Imagine what could be accomplished if everyone in the group followed that instruction. I can't help but assume Winthrop saw this level of community to be a pure necessity for surviving early America in the harsh unsettled climate of the early 1600s.

If we only followed about 10 percent of this creed today—mostly the part about looking after one another—well then you'd have a pretty good community.

This edition of FRONT looks at a new business social network under development in Roanoke. Time will tell if it manages to "uphold a familiar commerce."

You're invited to check it out.

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