Social networkers who read my article on the future of social networking may have thought my suggestion for a single “uber-network” that connected all the social networking sites together might have been a bit far fetched. Indeed, I received a couple of emails telling me I was talking out of my hat.
Well, perhaps I wasn’t so wide of the mark. Google has sponsored a project at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, called Socialstream. According to the developers the idea behind the project is to “create a system for users to seamlessly share, view, and respond to many types of social content across multiple networks”. In other words, Google sees the value in creating an “uber-network”, much like my suggestion.
The human value in this will be in time saving. How much time do you spend in updating Facebook, Ecademy, MySpace and so on. Social networking is fast taking over people’s lives. Indeed, one well known social networker, Thomas Power, is so busy networking online he needs someone to help him do that – his “digital biographer“. With the rapid growth in social networking sites there is a danger we would get nothing done each day as we would spend too much of our time updating our contributions and administering all the sites we belong to.
That’s why the Socialstream project is so exciting. And the fact that Google is behind it means that you can expect it to be rolled out in Google Labs before too long. Check out this video demonstration of the system.
Once Google take hold of this, expect all your social networking to be done through this system. The end of individual social networking sites may be nearer than we think.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+