Social Networks not very social amongst each other

By William Bakker | 06.18.07 | 2 Comments

Recently I signed up with Facebook. Not to check it out because I need to stay current for my job, but because I had too. Many of my friends use Facebook actively as a communication tool. I signed up after a couple of weeks where during every real world social gathering I attended, Facebook came up during the conversation. After signing up I quickly understood the value Facebook provides. It’s a great way to communicate and share.

I’m part of a multitude of Social Networks now. I’m a member of Facebook, MSN Messenger, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Gusto, IgoUgo, VibeAgent and more.

All these systems are closed for the most part. I need to sign up for each service individually. And the friends I make on each of these networks don’t transfer into the others. Me and my friends and family have to sign up for a multitude of Social Networks in order to view each others content. And the content doesn’t transfer either. Flickr does photo’s really well. But on Facebook, you can tag photo’s with people. So I have a collection of photo’s I’m in, across my network of friends (very cool functionality). So I have photo’s in two places. Flickr, because that’s where I store my photos for easy management, and in Facebook so people can tag each other. In MSN, I display my status (where I am). In Facebook, I have to do the same thing.

So the point of my story is that these closed systems aren’t working for me. Photo’s I store in Flicker should be available in Facebook, Gusto and all other networks I’m part of. If I change my status in one place, my status should change everywhere else as well.

Dave Winer has a great posting about this.

Eventually, soon I think, we’ll see an explosive unbundling of the services that make up social networks. What was centralized in the form of Facebook, Linked-in, even YouTube, is going to blow up and reconstitute itself. How exactly it will happen is something the historians can argue about 25 years from now. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will, unless the rules of technology evolution have been repealed (and they haven’t, trust me).

Well said Dave. I couldn’t agree more, and I hope the day will be here soon.