OMG – It is Socialism on the Internet!

There does not seem to be enough reporting or buzz about about Google and Facebook’s social networking widget strategy..

The Industry Standard notes the growing Facebook v Googe battle for “internet mindshare”.

I’d argue this is the single most important aspect of the current internet landscape, where users will eventually insist that their their single identity flows around the internet as seamlessly and simply as possible,in what I like to think will be an analogy to a global gathering / party / conference / lounge environment.

Soon we will surf on in to a website and decide what information we’ll share with that site and with others who arepresent there at the time.

MyBlogLog, now owned by Yahoo, is for me the closest thing to that ideal environment because it allows you to see others who are at the site and then click off to more information about them.

4 thoughts on “OMG – It is Socialism on the Internet!

  1. Perhaps if we reflect back to the start of the “coffee shop” era in England. It was a social revolution of sorts, a place where not just discourse was unrestrained but social mores of the time were clearly more relaxed than they were outside the coffeeshop. Manner of dress or any indication of station in life meant nothing in a coffeeshop. A finely dressed gentleman could enter wearing a top hat and carrying a cane, he might well expect the lower classes to get out of his way on his entire trip to the coffee shop, but once inside such deference or any expectation of such deference ended. It was actually quite a social revolution at the time.

    Perhaps the internet has become the same sort of alteration of expectations. Only on the internet its a totally different expectation. We don a cloak on the internet and we actually want the cloak to convey something about us. It may be a false coat, but we want it to have effect that is projected as we travel. It used to be that one had to have a certain station in life to wear a coat with silver buttons and a certain station in life to wear a coat with gold buttons. On the internet “identities” can be assumed or claimed without verification. Yet some aspect of our identity is always projected. Think of the avatars that people select. Some may suggest gender, age, beauty, youth and these items are usually thought of as items the user would want to be projected throughout the social media sites they use, but this is not always the case. Granularity is important. An “identity” in a single’s bar might be different than one in an office setting. Yet certain aspects remain. A photographer might be interested in that Fuji ad but not at the moment and so might now really want “photography” to be projected onto a social media site that would bombard him with an advertisement when what he really wants is to look at some photographs unique to a desert. We want to project our interests, abilities and demographic information and have it automatically used in an intelligent manner by the various sites we visit but we still want to have control over its nature and extent of use.

  2. FG I think your historical coffee shop analogy is really interesting and agree that the internet combines with this some new and twisty ideas about “identity”. I actually think we’ll see a move away from anonymity and towards greater transparency as the medium matures, and I think this generally is a very good thing as it makes it easier to ID scammers and tends to cut down on the level of hostile comments and posts.

  3. Cookies allowed some persistent state to a user of a webpage and it was described as the electronic equivalent of a store clerk who remembers your face. Now things have evolved quite a bit since then but its still a necessity that most users don’t want to go around constantly introducing themselves at different websites. If the computers engage in electronic handshaking then so too should the users be able to shake hands and have the introductory information transferred transparently. A school teacher who visits a travel site will probably be presented with photographs from SUMMER travel. Its efficient for the website and for the site’s visitor. Its also more likely to show summer travel to an intellectually stimulating destination. Again, the user might opt for something else but its efficient to start off with the known-identity items being sent electronically. If someone smokes cigars only occasionally he might still want to know about a new cigar bar but a total non-smoker who is allergic to tobacco would not be concerned with a cigar bar. Each benefits from the automatic transfer of a consistent and cohesive identity.

  4. (3) Most coffee shops today sell cookies as well. Isn’t that interesting. I wonder if they will start implanting nano-sized tracking chips in their chocolate chips!

    The ultimate brick to click transformation!

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