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A discussion I just had with David Levy got me thinking about how various social networking channels are working and not working for me and others. It seems like various social networking channels are finding their place, based on capabilities, usage, integration and push versus pull issues.

Twitter is somewhat filling the social void felt by excessive work from home. I rarely see colleagues face to face, and don’t talk to them on the phone much. It has an unintended side-effect though. It appears to be growing my social network in unforeseen directions. I’m definitely making connections with people I would never see or talk to in real life, at least on an extended basis.

The main things that Twitter presents that are technically somewhat different from IRC are a pretty good web interface, a published web API, a number of client software options, and out-of-the box integration with cell-phone and traditional IM (e.g AOL Instant Messenger). I believe it also enjoys a rather active and growing developer community. I think Twitter is shaping up to be the Internet message bus, if it can stand the load and we can work within its pesky functional limitations.

Twitter is also the only “push” technology in the social networking space, and what gets pushed in front of me has been filtered by my choice of who to allow. This is good.

Two-way integration and DRY concerns (”Don’t Repeat Yourself”) are the crux of most complaints about any of the social networking technologies. Who wants to update Facebook, Twitter and their blog? Facebook is clearly an endpoint, and for this serious flaw, it risks eventual death. For blogging, there is a “hotel California” mentality about the interfaces, despite the ubiquitous provision of RSS: why can’t I manage multiple blog personae from a single source of truth with rules for feeding the right blog with the right content?

When you are a hammer, everything is a nail, so my perspective is coerced by my background. I understand message bus architectures. The integration issues for social networking applications are in three parts: transport, rules and transformation. If Twitter is the transport engine, where are the rules and transformation services?

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3 Responses to “Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, Micro-blogging et al”

  1. […] Following up on the post today regarding anonymity and yesterday’s post regarding integration issues in Web 2.0, I stumbled across an entry titled “Social Networking 3.0” on Henry Story’s Blog, The Sun Bablefish Blog, regarding the silos the various Web 2.0 applications and services are forming. Henry’s area of interest is focused on identity issues, web ontologies and on some of the related technical mechanisms such as RDF. […]

  2. on 17 Aug 2007 at 4:11 am Henry Story

    You may want to look at SIOC the Semantically Interlinked Community http://sioc-project.org/ for many ideas on how to interlink all these communities.

    These ontologies provide the plumbing, and so are not meant to be used without tools. Really someone just needs to build the equivalent of Mozilla for the semantic web to get it going. Except that I don’t think one needs something as general as that. Micro applications that only understand some parts of the space will be good too. See my beatnik address book on http://blogs.sun.com/bblfish

  3. on 19 Aug 2007 at 9:44 am blabto

    I can see the benefit of ‘micro blogging’ and the ability to quickly (if pressured) write where you are, what you’re doing, where you’re going. People often skim read the top of a page to understand what the document / page is about. Microblogging does this for you.

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