I just had an idea for a new way of doing social networking. I read in an article the idea that its ‘ not about pages now, its about people’. My thoughts were that this was only half the story. It’s not about people either. I’d like to listen/read about some people, yes, but for the majority it’s more about specific content they provide. If there was a social network where I could subscribe to a person and then further refine that subscription to particular subjects they talk about, then that would save me a lot of filtering. Filtering is a big issue too, as people have expanded their social networks, filtering methods have become more sophisticated. Facebook takes the dictatorial approach and likes to filter for you. Twitter puts some simple but elegant filtering tools in place. I’d like to have a social information network that delivers the content I want to get, and allows people to get the content they are after from me. Together we are able to sift through the rubbish to find the treasures. If a network existed in which you could subscribe to people and subjects and the content that people post could be divided into subjects that would be interesting. It would need to be a self correcting system of subject definitions in that you don’t want people to be claiming to talk about one thing but actually posting about another. The twitter tags are great but the length of the tweets is a problem. Tweets need a ‘more’ function at the end so that if people can be drawn in by the first introduction then they can instantly see more content without leaving the platform.
I’m just throwing these ideas out there on my blog because I would like to think about them in the future in more detail. The main thrust though is a combination of social and subject subscriptions. Diaspora actually has a lot of these qualities right now. It uses hashtags, but allows longer posts. I would like to see the ability to use more hashtags in our profiles though, so that we could more broadly define our interests.