Here’s my thought for the day… make social networks like email services!

    Am I the only one who’s just plain sick and tired of having 9000 accounts that mostly do the same things in different ways?  Bryan and I were having this discussion this morning (like 1 AM) and came to the conclusion that it’s definitely possible to make social networks that can communicate with each other.  Let me detail how I would like it to work:

I should be able to send anything to anyone, anywhere.

What I mean by this is that just because Joe isn’t a member of Facebook which I am, why should he miss out on the things I’m sending my friends?  I should be able to add him as a contact and send him links, messages, photos, events, etc. 

I like Pownce a LOT, it’s probably my favorite new web application, but I want to be able to send files to my facebook friends, or maybe to people who use similar file-sharing applications.   Things like that. 

Just because I prefer facebook doesn’t mean that my girlfriend or my sister will prefer it, why should I force people to migrate from one service to another because of my preferences?  Just let us communicate freely, just like with email.  Make up a new @ sign, or let us link profile pages or something. 

“Hey you have a network?” 

“Yeah, I’m on Facebook, here just add me.  My profile is:”

Simple enough right?  That’s how it should be no matter what the first person in the conversation uses.  They should be able to communicate with me freely, and I with them.
I hope to see this happen in the near future…

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  1. Toby Smithe said

    Thing is, it’s not “simple” at all. This *should* be possible, and it is perfectly feasible. But in the current, centralised, system, it would involve a large amount of API learning for different services, and using something like XMLRPC to talk to the different sites. However, if the social web would standardise on its API, and decentralise a bit, then anyone could potentially talk to anyone else, anywhere. It is perfectly possible, true. But “we” should lobby for standardisation first 🙂

    And open standards is something we should all be backing.

  2. One option is to make a global service – something like Meebo, but for social networking – that will handle all of them.

    I agree with Toby – it’s not simple at all, but it could be done. It would just take work. Once the work was done, new social networking services could adapt to it easily. It should become a standard.

    I think the social web definitely needs a standard API. Everything is so different, it all needs to follow some sort of format with added features here and there.

  3. panickedthumb said

    Toby hit it on the nose. It’s about standardization. And getting everyone to go along with that would be a trick.

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