The missing social network

Facebook trying to co-opt the web into Facebook highlights for me how backwards the social networking world is today. I’m a fan of the platform idea, but the more I think about this, the more I come to the conclusion that the world already has the greatest platform yet developed at its fingertips – the Web itself. I understand why Facebook is trying to enable the reporting of external content all over their site but what would really be great is if rather than trying to port the net into my social network, my social network extended onto the net. When I’m in Facebook, I don’t really care that much if Brad just bought Book A or if Chris just purchased movie tickets. When I really care is when I’m on Amazon looking for my next read or when I’m at Fandango about to buy tickets to see a film. More generally, when I hit a site, I’d love to know who else I know who has been there, where they surfed to afterwards and what other related sites I should be checking out based on the behavior of my network. When I’m on a blog, I’d love to see who I know who has left comments, how they’ve rated the content and if I’m reading something written by someone that’s a few degrees of separation from someone I know. I’d like all of my networks (my contacts, my LinkedIn connections, my Facebook friends, etc.) to be a part of this extension of the web and for it to inform and enhance my surfing.

Adaptive Blue is starting to cover some of this with their Blue Organizer. So is me.dium with social browsing and SocialThing with its network of networks. Now we just need to bring it all together. . .

  • V Vibhav

    Hi Seth – Interesting point of view, but I highly doubt if such a thing would be popular across the globe. I guess, you are thinking from a VC point of a view and what would be beneficial for you. Most people are on facebook to read about what others are upto (with no effort trying to extract useful information, but to feel one-up over the next) ! And I think this is what is here to stay…

    • funny to look back on something like this (written 5 years ago) today. i actually think with thinks like “like” facebook has done a really good job of extending its reach across the web. in much the way that i was envisioning in this post (although not necessarily for facebook to do itself). good for them for recognizing both the power of what they had, but also the need to further extend it off of facebook.com.