I like Rashmi's new slide show, especially the title. It helped me clarify some fuzzy thoughts about social networking, pattern analysis, and information overload.
Rashmi illustrates how social networks have and are evolving over the past five years from the perspective of an information architect/interaction designer/cognitive psychologist. The general overview:
Friend of A Friend Model: 2002
Let's connect on LinkedIn so we can help each other with referrals.
I know you and you know her and i connect to you, I can be connected to her.
Rashmi called this "just a social graph" (or just a social network)
Object-Based Social Networks: 2004
Think Flickr, delicious, digg, Slideshare. Water cooler conversations around shared objects. A tag stream of web resources, videos, powerpoint slides, news items, etc. The ability to watch someone's tag stream and re-tag for personal meaning. A community tag stream. Viral sharing.
"We own the social graph, you bring the objects."
The objects, the graph, the place
Can the social graph be independent of the objects and the place?
Will google set it free in 2007?
The rest of the slide show talks about four models for popularity. The slide showing SlideShare's popularity metrics and goals sheds some light on metrics for social media. The last section of the slide show offers ten lessons on social design - for interface designers.
In thinking about the evolution of social networks and having been deeply steeped in Object-Based Social Networks like those on flickr and, of course, the NpTech Tag, I am wondering about methods for aggregating resources discovered via Facebook from friends. How to make that social stream of objects the are flowing via Facebook more findable (at least for myself). Also, how to focus the stream a bit more.
Fortune Magazine blog has a post last week called "Are We Moving Away from traditional social networking?" It goes on to describe a panel discussion from the MIT Emerging Technology Conference that featured what Rashmi might describe as "object-based social networks." That's why the article grabbed my attention.
Although neither Digg.com, StumbleUpon or NetVibe purports to be a social network, replacing a Facebook, each is a leader in new forms of social Internet use. NetVibes lets users pepper a personal dashboard with widgets. StumbledUpon is social search that lets users unearth sites that might be interesting to them. And with traffic that often rivals the New York Times Website, Digg lets users vote their favorite stories to the top of the site. All three were named among MIT Technology Review’s 35 innovators under the age of 35.
It also grabbed the attention of the All FaceBook Blog:
Much of what was discussed was Netvibes and how they are struggling with monetization solutions for widgets. What grabbed my attention was the article title. My response to the question: are we moving on from traditional social networking? Yes! Is social networking doomed? No.
The post goes on to suggest that when Google launches it platform, it will transform the act of web browsing/surfing into a social one .. what we experience on Facebook.
Once Google launches their platform, I have a feeling that we are going to see this social platform brought to the web. You browse the web but you are interconnected via an abstracted layer that keeps you interconnected with your contacts. The main goal of all these features is to make web browsing an increasingly shared experience.
So, will make it easier for us to find and retrieve information we need to do our work? Will it make it easier for us to connect with the right people to get our work done? Will be efficient? Can our brain handle it? Will being successful require a strategic approach to friendship?
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