Web 2.0 Musings

Key Factors in the Future of Social Networking

Some of the issues addressed are being addressed, some are original – I hope.

Data Ownership – Data ownership should remain and always remain the property of the individual. Issues of data ownership need to be addressed strongly going forward, no company has the right to own my data. I may grant them permission to loan it temporarily for purposes that are for my benefit, or theirs if I am feeling altruistic, but the right to use my data for a third party should be revocable at any time.

Data Portability/Migration – Likewise an extension of the above, I should be able to transfer and make my data accessible to third parties with ease. I shouldn’t have to be duplicating forms all the time.

Aggregation – Related largely to data portability, if we are to successfully aggregate our online data into one destination we must first address the issue above. I believe that this issue of Data Ownership and Portability is one that may require legal intervention.

NB. Given it’s importance to society – ie. the benefits that the government and communities can derive from access to their collective data sets, this should be the direction that the government is moving in. Not ID cards. The fear comes from a centralised system of Data Ownership by “the man”, and bureaucratic flaws in the system. If the Data is owned by the individual, then loaned or displayed when it is to their benefit, it is a more publicly acceptable solution. Of course there are still issues of security, but the issue is transferred to the individual through their choice.

Selective Sharing – It is imperative that users are able to control what aspects of their data are seen and by whom, an individual should be able to create and share multiple profiles with different groups of people within their social sphere.

Data Relevance – As the amount of information about us, and our interests increase it’s imperative that we are able to view what is most relevant to us, and also how people are relevant to us, these common threads encourage communication and sharing of knowledge.

Passive profile building – the more information we have in a system that connects us to the world, the more we should benefit. However building profiles is a largely navel gazing process at the moment, and requires much effort. The ability to add tags of relevance with the minimum of effort (say a right mouse click) would enable people to increase their information with ease.

Tag Flavours – Being able to have positive and negative tags, tags for desires etc. would increase data relevance

Taggregation – Linking and grouping of tags, to ensure that data and information can be clustered and that using exact language isn’t required to reveal the information of most benefit. My speculation, Original Use

Knowledge Distillation, Aggregation and other methods of data treatment 

Simplicity/Ease – Obvious really, but amazing again how many networks miss the point at the design stage, intuitive sites are still few and far between.

People central systems – systems should be organized around the people not the portal. We have missed the point largely as we adapt and adopt new tools of communication. We have the system backwards. I.e. Going into mail, or skype, or IM, or phone, then choosing the contact, rather than going to the contact and then selecting the means of communication. Systems should be designed around people and groups of people, the tools come second to the people not the other way around.

Browser Integration, sharing is central to social networking, browser integration that allows users to easily share information and links would encourage sharing of knowledge between different peer groups.

Time based communication tools – the ability to filter information and data flow by time of day relating to mindset (ie. business, social), would reduce opportunities for distraction in the work place. Also would enable users to “switch off” at the end of the day.

Location – Both in time and space the addition of real time and projected mapping of individuals in time and space will create efficient means of meeting, spontaneous groupings and social gatherings, not to mention the opportunities for new forms of logistics and distribution networks.

Manufactured Serendipity – Utilising information gathered through social networking systems combined with mobile location technologies to highlight the relevance of individuals close to you. Sparking opportunities for conversation.

Real world social integration – The key goal of social networking tools, should ultimately be to facilitate and encourage the building of real world relationships and communities.


9 thoughts on “Key Factors in the Future of Social Networking”

  1. Lots of great points brought up here.

    I especially liked the one: Real world social integration

    …as well as the first one.

    I think the first one is one of the most important. People have a right to their own information and no one should be allowed to steal or share information without full consent of the original user.

    Great Post:)

    Btw, thanks for stopping by my blog.


  2. Lots of great ideas here…some I disagree with, some I am totally in alignment with.

    How do you define ‘data’, as in data portability? Is that just my personal data, like email addy, screen name, real name, and other information one would typically put on a form, or is it all-encompassing, such as any friends I may garner online as well as any content I create?

    Does the site owner have any rights to content created on their system?


  3. Thanks, Good Questions

    Q1. How do you define ‘data’, as in data portability? Is that just my personal data, like email addy, screen name, real name, and other information one would typically put on a form, or is it all-encompassing, such as any friends I may garner online as well as any content I create?

    A. It encompasses any content that you may create. With respect to Friends, obviously this would be up to your friends to grant you use or access when migrating information.

    Q2. Does the site owner have any rights to content created on their system?

    A. In a word no, rights may be granted for particular use by the the user, however the default rights should always belong to the user. If user information can be used for profit, then they could be incentivised by profit share.


  4. I read your response to my recent blog post: (The Future of Web 2.0) http://interactivemedias.blogspot.com/2008/08/future-of-web-20.html

    and I deeply appreciate the link to your post. I don’t think your comments neccessarily applied to what I had commented or wrote earlier, but your statement is still valid. I sincerely hope no one ever pretends to predict the future. In fact it is pretending and lack of uniqueness that triggered me writing that post.

    Regardless. Thank you for the link. I think this is a wonderful resource. Although I don’t neccessarily agree with all of it.

    You should add yourself to the list of social media bloggers on Sniki.org/bloggers (Sniki is an encyclopedia for social media, campaigns, bloggers, and other related sites and articles.)


  5. You said, “Data Ownership and Portability is one that may require legal intervention.” Right now the internet is kind of like the wild west, and it’s very difficult to enforce laws on it. Although it may be sound in principle, in practice it may be difficult to realize.


  6. @WillieNY don’t quiet get what your driving at here, or at any rate how it relates to the subject matter. Perhaps you’d like to elaborate?


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