I really appreciated the thoughts in The Next Social Network: WordPress – GigaOM. I’ve been on Facebook for a while now (and prior to that LinkedIn) and despite my initial misgivings, I’ve been surprised at how much value social networks have provided, for a relatively low amount of effort.
On the social side, Facebook has provided me with the ability to reconnect with old friends as well as making it extremely easy to keep up with all my friends. LinkedIn really hasn’t been a “game changer” for me but it’s a nice way of keeping an aggregated collection of business contacts.
However, given Facebook’s alarming disregard for our privacy most notability with their Beacon project, and their growing commercialization, I would feel more comfortable if I could manage my own social network presence.
Perhaps with the opening of the walled gardens social networking API’s, Gacebook, LinkedIn and OpenSocial all have announcements, we may gain this ability. It would be amazingly empowering to centrally manage my online presence(s), including the multiple views of “who I am” as well as being able to filter undesirable content, where I get to make that distinction.
This seems a great avenue for WordPress to pursue, given its opensource nature and might help continue it’s differentiation now that Movable Type has decided to opensource their product as well.
I wish I was a true “webhacker” and could just make this happen, sharing code is always more compelling then simply spreading an idea. However, I’ll be cheering on whomever does.
Normally I’d make post anew rather then update an existing one, but I just saw Scoble’s Can we get a first step in social networking portability and wanted to comment on it here because it’s so pertinent to these thoughts.
As usual, and is typical, I think Scoble’s got the right idea just misplaced in an outdated modality. True social networking, as in the “seemless” desire of that purpose, is not about portability, import/export or “linking”. Those are all walled ways in which people still have to do the work, and implementors believe they should be in control.
So far google, or even yahoo, are the best representations of this ideal. They’re both in a position to find my interests, my pictures and my friends. Unfortunately, for now, name isn’t a sufficient differentiator for search engines.