There are no social networks
3 September 2007
There is only one social network. My social network.
Flickr is part of my social network. Twitter is part of my social network. So is Facebook, Upcoming, MySpace, Last.fm, Corkd, Pownce, Del.icio.us and a host of other social sites.
I like to talk to different people. Some of those people know the other people, some don't. That's my social network.
I like to do things with different people. I like to do lots of things with some people. Others ... not so much. That's my social network.
My social network is complex. It's multi-layered, it moves in many directions. It means different things in different situations. You think your site can handle all that? I don't think so.
Your site is good, it's fun, it makes me smile, it helps me connect. But your site is not my social network. It's just part of the online social ecosystem. It helps me do something – or many things – but not everything.
If you don't want to be part of the system, if you don't want to play nice with others, if you think that you can be my social network, then you're seriously mistaken.
If you can't converse with other parts of my social network, then you're going to wither and die.
If you can't see my friends and let my friends be seen, you'll be washed up and hung out to dry.
If you can't let others innovate, you'll stagnate.
That's my social network. Would you like to be a part of it?
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To hear smaller but more regular stuff from me, follow @themaninblue.
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