23 April 2009

new kinds of parochial

Lots of talk seems to be taking place around the idea that you can take the same profile around with you, whichever social networking sites. Is this a great idea? It is. But I'm in two minds about it all. I don't know. Maybe it depends on how you take your profile from A to B. Because I sort of think one of the pleasures of the interwebs is the distributed personality thing. Where you are different parts of you, according to the nature of the platform you're on and the community you're in. There's an overlap of course, but the bits of me on Twitter and Facebook are not the really the same. So the idea that you centrally manage all your different profiles is interesting and would probably be useful. But it's still a rare thing that I want to tweet and update my Facebook status with the same thing, so it might just be about doing the same amount of stuff within a single space. And the idea that it might squeeze different communities, different tools and different bits of you together to create some kind of aggregated output I find a bit odd. Because I'm not sure that's the sum of all the parts. I dunno. Maybe it's not for me and the way I combine these things. Because OpenSocial, Youmeo and others seem to work that way. Perhaps it's about having the flexibility to combine in different ways. Maybe an eBay goes well with a MySpace and a Facebook. And a Twitter with a LinkedIn and a Flickr. It'll be interesting to see new kinds of parochial emerging. I want to try this portability thing out before I make up my mind properly, so I'm waiting to receive my Youmeo invite. I'll let you know. But right now, what do you think? (Thanks to Toby Maloy for the awesome data visualisation of Flickr tag mapping.)

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