One (Social) Net to Link Them All?

If you’re reading this, you are yet to burn out on discussion of social networking on the web, or on Lord of the Rings references. I commend your stamina, curiousity, or both. You are problably also in more than one of the many social networks out there, or in danger of finding yourself in that situation.

So you may feel that you, the world, and the web don’t need any more networking opportunities. For those who don’t feel that way, there’s Pete Cashmore’s Mashable. Now there’s an example or social networking stamina!

For the networked-out, the interesting new network would be the one that makes it easier to manage your existing (and future) networks. A couple of candidates recently came to my attention.

One is the OpenID-based contact feature recently added to claimID. I posted somewhat sceptically about it a couple of days ago. Based on a couple of comments, I am now less sceptical. In particular, I see Chris‘ argument for “a portable directory of our contacts.”

The other is The Coop, a project to bring social networking into Firefox. It’s described and discussed in two posts at TechCrunch. Some expressed horror at the prospect of its being part of the base browser. I would be among them, were I not confident that it will be an add-on instead. It’s not one that I can see myself using.

So, how do these two new “networking opportunities” fit together? I hope that the answer is “well.” For example, if your Firefox Coop was populated from your OpenID-based contacts, you’d have just one new network, and it could be the one meta-network bringing together your contacts. I think that I want such a network, but that I don’t want it to be part of my browser.

And I think that I’ve done well to get this far without referring to (fire) foxes in the (chicken) coop.

One thought on “One (Social) Net to Link Them All?”

  1. Nice. Yeah, you’re getting it.

    I think this is not something that necessarily *lives* in the browser, but like your filesystem, is something that your browser takes advantage of … like a FriendsFS (friends filesystem).

    So long as you can pull contacts in from anywhere on the web, the browser becomes your agent for keeping track of and establishing connections; it doesn’t need to, however, store those relationships.

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