Bringing The Digital Life All Back Home...
Recently I've being spending less time on the social web and when I am on my preferred platforms, I'm using them for different reasons. Although I like Facebook (it's a pleasant walled garden) it has always seemed a bit like high school and the applications and games don't appeal to me. Twitter, where I've spent most of my time the past few years, started for me as simply a note-taking service for brief thoughts that occurred to me. It morphed into something pleasantly unexpected, a replacement for the interaction I once had on the community that existed on YouTube during 2006-2007, as well as meeting new online friends. After trying Google Buzz it is still a non-starter for me, social web celebs raves aside, currently it just seems more of the same.
It is natural these platforms progress and evolve and for me they have come to feel more like communications tools than hubs for social interaction and community. I embrace that, I find myself more interested in using them to discover new things to read, do, gather information and make contact with people for more extended interaction. My perception is the social web is narrowing down to a connection point for more personal, in-depth conversation, than can be conducted on limited space open social web forums.
Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude, Yelp and other Location Based Services along with smartphones are making inroads I believe because people are looking for more depth in their online connections and want to bring the social closer to home as well as offline. A more personal web, where the platform becomes the communications tool that bridges the community people create online, to more intimate levels for deeper relationships. The internet is the replacement for the old social network, the telephone system, so it is no surprise it is making connections in the same way. Fundamentally human social networking remains the same, regardless of the tools used.