Even as the first trailer of ‘The Social Network‘ was released last week, and even as fresh rounds of humour/angst on Facebook’s privacy algo (Google’s too) are unleashed regularly, I found that the amount of things I share on Facebook has vastly increased, though the time spent hasn’t increased in proportion. Its probably the ease of sharing information, the threaded conversations (none of my usual twitter clients have it) around the shared item, or the lack of (self imposed) constraints that my blogs suffer from, but photos, videos, comments and all sorts of content (my own as well as the ones I find) get shared on FB. Sometimes I even miss not being able to send a quick mail (where is Project Titan?!) to someone on FB from GMail (yes, I have FB friends who I don’t connect with on GTalk) In a recent interview, Mark Zuckerberg also shared his views on credits, and its portability. With search and location coming up as major initiatives, I wonder when my Facebook data will become portable.
In this context, I saw the three kinds of webs (similar to the ones mentioned in the last post) and more that are almost seamlessly connected now – information, service and people. The need for filters in this information deluge is indeed pressing. While I do see some nifty tools that are being developed (eg. Pivot , Avoidr, specific search engines or even Twitter’s annotations) I sometimes wonder if it can ever catch up with the broadening scope of commonly used services. That’s also the reason why I think Facebook’s Open Graph search engine, which aims for social semantic search, is a big step, even while granting that not everyone’s on Facebook and their execution still has some way to go. Add to this privacy/security concerns (even Twitter was pulled up recently), and it does look complicated. Further layers like location will only add to this. And I wonder what new levels of complexity Google Me will bring. With each new service, the deluge of information increases, many times in the form of repetition, and our consumption changes.
The increasing usage of these services has meant that the web of ‘friends’ have also increased. In my case, while FB consisted of only real friends earlier, in the last few months, the number of virtual friends – mostly from Twitter, have increased manifold. Since I don’t usually share anything on the web that I don’t want anyone to see, my problems with privacy have been limited. But as the amount of sharing increases, I realise there are things I share that could be taken out of context. There is also the fact that personal and professional lives are no longer silos. (Read) The other take out from the last point is that its not just communication from brands/services that need to be looked at closely, but people too.
When the three webs are absolutely seamless, we will also see a shift in the kinds of relationship we have shared with brands, services and people. Facebook making payment for advertisers easier, sending me marketplace links, services making it easier for embedding ads, posts from my ‘friends’ plugging services/products with no disclosure, all work as signs for me. I do see a lot of work in setting up new ‘trading currencies’ and even different kinds of social networks (mobile phones – closed network ) and also note that the one factor that all the three entities need to keep in mind is trust. And that’s when I begin to wonder if similar systems are being developed for ‘sharing’ trust and whether they can keep pace with the deluge of information, services and people. Or maybe its already working under the radar – new services (endor.se), recommendations on LinkedIn, Twitter lists etc.
until next time, SIP investments for mutual benefits