Social networks 3.0?

Hello everybody, this is my first post on this blog. Actually I think it’s my first serious post on a blog.

During the last months I had to do with context-aware applications, social networks, user experience and this kind of stuff for my master thesis in Media engineering. I still haven’t choose any project to work on but I came out with some considerations on the actual social networks.

At the moment Facebook seems to be the best network for number of users, features and API. Google Friend has much less users but gives useful informations about the friends geolocation. Is this so revolutionary? Is this all we could ever have?

For sure I’m able to find my old schoolmates, to keep in contact with some friends living far away, to write my short notes on Twitter and to recall the face of the girl I met last night. But I think we could have much more!

Imagine a service that could manage the relations between people. A service that let the user control his personal data and choose who have the permit to see these data. I’m not thinking about an ethical Facebook but an innovative platform that could be used as the base layer to build applications like Facebook, a pervasive game, a restaurant app that consider my friends preferences to give better suggestions, a tool for keeping my contact list always updated and much more.

Imagine a social network open, free and distributed.

I’d like to know what you think about this idea.

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  1. Very good Marco!

    Just remember how simple the Web was at its beginning: just typesetting and hyperlinks, not even javascript!!

    But the real enabling force of the web was exactly that simple thing called “hyperlink” that changed the world. The concept was simple, powerful and easy to implement (for end users who became publishers). It turned the world upside down.

    We still don’t know if there will be something analogous to that “simple thing” for social media. Maybe there something yet to come… Before the Web there were other means to share information on the Internet (i.e. FTP, Gopher, Usenet newsgroups) but none of them had the enabling power of the Web. The idea was the same: sharing information on the Internet. But the modality was dramatically different!

    For Social Media we might be at this early stage. The idea is: collaboration on the Internet. But there’s still no breakthrough modality. When Web started, the adoption was massive and fast. All other technologies were basically abandoned (or used for niche applications or by nostalgic users).

    For Social Media we cannot observe the same behavior: MySpace users don’t switch to Facebook or Twitter massively. People collaborate with different technologies and there is no a unique Internet technology that replaces all these tools and leverages collaboration into massive adoption as it was the case for Web in information sharing.

    So, there is room for innovation. I really wish you that you could come up with a new (simple) idea and revolutionize the world as it happened with the Web!

    All the best!

  2. Hey,

    Vincenzo, in fact, the BIG key point, you are talking about, is URI: the Unique location of a resource.
    For social media, the keypoint is semantic web. The way for a computer to understand the human language in order to dynamically create the link between each object, person, concept.

    A hard work and as you said actually each social service has its own way to store “things” and doesn’t want to interact with others.

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