Darling, we have to talk. About the ‘c’ word – commitment. I think it’s time we settled down, picked a social network and stuck with it. Oh ok, we can have two or three but do we really need hundreds?
Remember that when people like Robert Scoble talk about the importance of aggregating their friends lists on hundreds of social networks, they are acting as a one-man media distibution channel. In other words, they need to get videos, blogs, fotos, articles out to as many of their thousands of fans on as many social networks as possible. You don’t. No, really you don’t. And yes, this means you too Mike Seyfang.
I reckon Profilactic got their name right! :
What is Profilactic?
Profilactic is a digital life aggregator that makes it easy to keep up with all of the content you and your friends create online.
Here’s Mashable’s list of Social Aggregators – managing your profiles, I guess.
In an inspired blog post, Jason Kottke said that social networks aren’t helping us organize; since all of them require different credentials to log in, they’re just adding to the noise. He just might be up to something there. It’s getting harder and harder to remember all those logins, passwords, and most importantly to remember which of your friends are using what network.
Social network aggregators is a relatively new breed of applications which try to consolidate all your various social networking profiles into one, with varying success. Let’s check out 20 biggest competitors in this field.
I personally join hundreds of social networks – for about 3 minutes – but only a handful (meaning, less than 5) get my attention full time. Most of those forums/online communities/whatevs I have been with for over 3 three years – a couple for around 8 years – and my online friends list is pretty well entrenched. Deep. Meaningful. The bells and whistles of social networking may not be there, but hey it’s home.
So next time you go out on the town, pick up yet another superficial social relationship, stumble home drunk on technology and start bemoaning the fact that you can’t build meaningful relationships because the tools given to you, don’t expect me still be here. That doesn’t mean I don’t still love you. But I’m not sure we can remain friends…
Hmmm. Ok, maybe we should try therapy?
From the podcast Dave N Wallace, Mike Seyfang and I did yesterday (not yet up), I guess what came out of the discussion was that the boys don’t want to have to go to a webpage to collect their social network information – they like what I call “takeaway”. In other words, have a dynamic page on the PC or mobile that updates with what everyone is doing on their various networks/user generated content sites. Me, I’m a “dining in” type of gal – I like loading up Facebook, poodling about, then closing the window and putting it away. I like the fact that it’s all badged with Facebook and I am a member of the tribe Facebook. That goes for my other communities too – I love the colourful World of Warcraft forums and wouldn’t swap them for a boring old text feed any day. It’s not the information but the ambience of the social network that is important to me. It’s also the fact that it’s not always on. Trust me, I’ve had to give enough people “time outs”. Emotions can run high if you are plugged in 24×7. But as usual, YMMV (your mileage may vary).