19 April, 2007

Social Networking

It seems to me that social networking is getting somewhat out of hand nowadays. Personally, I've got accounts on Blogger, last.fm, MySpace, Flickr, LinkedIn, Facebook, Hi5... and I can't even remember others I may have signed up on in the past. This is just ridiculous. Worse yet, on most of these accounts, I have very similar friend lists. Other people I know who have signed up on some or all of these sites. So when does this all end? Does it ever end?

Now granted, some of these sites have definite differing purposes. Blogger is more for pouring out your thoughts as I'm doing now, than for networking. But there is still that social aspect to it. Flickr is for sharing photos... but again, it has a very community-based design, and it's becoming more so all the time. Last.fm is about tracking music listening habits and discovering new music... but it also has a very social aspect to it: friends, "neighbours", forums, groups, etc. Still, why do we need ALL of these sites? Despite all of the ones I have an account on, I know there are far more that I still haven't signed up on!

It's actually starting to get pretty frustrating keeping up on all of these... what I need is some method of consolidating all of this collaboration into one single point of contact. Some method for keeping up on all of them from one central system. I'm trying out this Flock web browser in the hopes that it would provide something of the sort, but no such luck. It provides an easy interface for blogging (which I'm using right now) and drag-and-drop uploading for Flickr images... but that's about it. What I'm looking for is... a control panel or command center of sorts, for all of my social networking and collaboration sites. Some way to get an overview of what's happening on all of those accounts, without having to log in and load them up individually. I want to be able to "link" friends on different networks, so that I can see who I have added where. Hmmm, perhaps this calls for a brand new website... SocialControl, or something of the sort. Couldn't hurt to try. After all, my contact page is getting way too cluttered with all of the sites that I'm on now. Now this is an idea I may have to run with.... does anybody else have any input on this? Similar thoughts? Does this seem like something that might be useful?

On a side note, I noticed a very important feature missing from that Flock browser as I was publishing this post. It doesn't let you tag your post... I had to come in and do that by hand after the fact. Oh well, not everything can be perfect.

UPDATE: 3 hours later, I decided to do a quick google search for something along the lines of what I was thinking, and I came across The Internet Address Book. Could this be something useful? It's apparently been out since September '06, and I've never heard of it before, so I'm guessing it's not faring as well as most of the network it claims to connect to. On the other hand, from what I see so far, it doesn't so much connect to these networks as simply lists your IDs on them. I was definitely thinking of going beyond that. More to come later... perhaps?


Evan said...

Hey Tarken,

Sorry to hear that Flock didn't work for you at this time. FYI, we plan to impliment the type of "control center" you're looking for (I've already seen some initial work and it's going to make social networking amazingly easier). You will also be able to add tags to blogs in our blog editor.

I hope you'll swing by and check out our 1.0 when it comes out!

Evan Hamilton
Flock Community Ambassador

evan at flock dot com

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you post about this... I've kind of wanted a service to provide me with a central area for updating and viewing others' updates on social networking sites.

But then, I decided, I don't need social networking sites and I wanted to slim down my online time, so I deleted all my profiles. I only have blogger and flickr now...

If you find or develop a social network command service, I would love to check it out, though I probably won't sign up for myspace again. ;)

Ara said...

Facebook has some sort of application called My Profiles that allows you to add your other profiles onto your facebook profile. It's not exactly what you are looking for, and of course, requires you to be on facebook, but i saw it today when i joined facebook. Another one of my many profiles.