I wrote this piece on social infrastructure last fall for the inaugural issue of Social Computing Magazine. As most startups, SCM was a little late to launch and hence some of the data and references in the article are dated. No matter, I still believe we are entering into a period where communities and social networks will be part of everything. No, there won’t be many more MySpaces. There really isn’t a need for too many huge social networks. Instead, we’ll see verticalization/specialization–the long tail of SNs. And these won’t be built from scratch. They’ll be built using Ning, GoingOn, PeopleAggregator and the dozen other social infrastructure platforms that are emerging right now.
I talk about three trends we are likely to see:
- The opening up of social networks
- A battle for the ownership of user data
- The introduction of social economics