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A Tech-Econ Mashup with a Libertarian Flavor

How to Improve Social Networking

OpenID is onto something.

Apart from Facebook, neglected LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and some Delicious.com bookmarks, I haven’t embraced social networking to the fullest because I don’t want to bother with 75 different accounts, profiles, usernames, etc. I’m already keeping track of about 4 different identities (or “brands” as those so-called “new media gurus” would call it) across the internet that I’ve created over the years, and I’m not looking to add more complexity to my life at the moment.

An example of how to properly incorporate social networking into your business: Netflix now allows users to interface their accounts with their facebook profiles, so that any film that a user rates on Netflix will show up as a little blurb in their facebook feed (typically a short line reading “Libby rated Swingers 3 out of 5 stars”). Admittedly, the only useful purpose for this is that I can now broadcast my taste in film to my facebook friends, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than maintaining a Netflix account for my movie rentals, PLUS rating everything I’ve seen on facebook’s Flixter app. My life is now a wee bit simpler.

I feel like facebook has an opportunity to become a huge internet launch pad for people, the biggest thing since Google. Imagine if, instead of every niche social community each starting up its own separate social networking website, they instead were able to build off of facebook’s? I’m not talking about setting up a “fan page” (who really ever reads those updates, anyway?). Think of how easy it could be to set up a new social network if users could just login to these new separate, smaller networks with their facebook profiles, similar to how I can leave comments on my friends’ Blogspot blogs with my WordPress ID. Again, life is made simpler.

Does anybody have more examples of integrated social networks?

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Afterthought: at some point in the last couple years, it seems like we’ve begun moving away from the old wisdom of never putting our personal information online, towards making our personal information freely available, even so far as using our real names as our cyber-identifiers. Thoughts?

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Filed under: Information Tech, Internet, Tech Biz, , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. Libby says:

    I just thought of another one – Networked Blogs, the facebook app that automatically imports blog posts to a user’s profile feed. It’s one of my favorite apps!

  2. Kat Ciano says:

    This one isn’t an addition at all, but it’s a fun look at Twitter for those of us Tweet-abstainers:

    It’s a roll of what’s “interesting” on Twitter that day.

    E.g.,
    Office temperature status: I feel like I am inside a pancake.

    It seems in general that Facebook would be a good “catch-all” default option, if they would just stop metamorphizing (in a way more like Kafka’s Gregor than ugly-duckling-to-swan) to emulate whatever the next Big Thing is in networking.

  3. Jason Vines says:

    You might want to check out Friendfeed — http://friendfeed.com/

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Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.
-Mark Twain

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