Social Networking Bankruptcy?


A good friend and fellow techie, Steve McGurn,  has done the unthinkable and declared amnesty on his social networking profiles. I know this will sound insane coming from a WEB2.0 evangelist such as me, but he’s right. The idea of all these networks sounds great. Find old school chums on Facebook, keep up to date with all your mobile pals on Twitter, micro blog on Tumblr, see what other people are looking at with del.icio.us, see your online pals through their Flickr uploads, share with Pownce and then again with Mahalo, aggregate with Jaiku, watch with YouTube and Viddler, and then if you have a few minutes left, you post to your blog. Well that doesn’t leave much time for checking your Google Adsense and Analytics let alone the bank and so on.

It got to the point that my Facebook profile was starting to look like a 12 year old’s MySpace page. Big SHOUT OUT! I don’t want to be a vampire, lesbian, favourite pop signer from the cast of lost. I really don’t care how many doughnuts or raw fish you sling at my head. Truth is that you didn’t create that application yourself, and it really doesn’t tell me anything more about you or what’s going on in your life. Sure a war poke is funny for about five minutes but what the hell is the point of the SuperPoke, MegaPoke, EyePoke? So I did waht Steve has done and stripped down the Facebook profile to some of the essentials. I know it’s harsh, but I am writing and creating some fun stuff on my own Blog and web sites that I really don’t want to spend anytime doing it on any other site again. Programmers always repeat their mantra: “Write once, run forever”. Yet we spend hours and hours repeating ourselves from site to site.  That’s one of the great things I love about RSS, you write it once, include the feed on your social networking site and Whammo! It looks like you’ve spent all day keeping Facebook up to date when in reality it just takes care of itself. The big problem is that all this great stuff (content) that you have created gets lost among all of the fortune cookies, places you’ve been and quizzes about movies you didn’t really like anyway.

I never really liked the fact that Facebook claims everything you put on their site. After you upload it, you surrender your rights to it. SUCKS HUH! But they can’t claim anything that is public forum or that is not hosted on their site. Enter RSS! It’s your stuff, you’re just licensing it out. I am going to keep my pictures on my own site and in some cases I’ll post more public pics on Flickr.
But going forward the deciding factor in what networks I stick with is portability. Will it run smoothly with my MacBook and can I access it from my BlackBerry. Picassa didn’t make the cut on both counts, which is a real shame for a Google Goodie. SMS support and Twitterberry has made Twitter a real fave and before the BlackBerry Facebook  application crapped out, I was really starting to enjoy messaging through it.
Flock, the Mozilla browser , was really starting to turn into a pretty cool tool for keeping in touch with all the social site at once, but it required a colossal amount of set up time and in the end if you did use it all the time as your main browser, it just became too much of a mess to clean up. Although it’s RSS reader is probably one of the better ones I have used in a long time.
I think I will end up going back to the Google Reader, beside I had all my cool Yahoo Pipes mash-ups working really well in there.  I am little concerns about the M$ hostile takeover of Yahoo! MicroShaft has a tendency of really screwing up great products: Visual FoxPro, Visio, Sharepoint… Yahoo on the other hand have been pretty awesome at not messing with Flickr and Del.icio.us (yup they belong to Yahoo).

2 comments

  1. Cheers to that! I know what you mean. If you want to though, you can use XFN or FOAF on your own web site to build an open social network!

  2. Welcome aboard. Glad to hear that you took the plunge!

    Great points. I am curious to see if AOL will end up with Yahoo!, seems like they are looking for a white knight to save them from Micro$oft. Amazon purchased Audible, let’s hope they took a page from Yahoo!’s play book on leaving things alone.