/// More Than Friending: How Can the Social Web Go Beyond Facebook?

May 31, 2011  |  All Things Digital

When people talk about making the Web more “social,” what they really seem to mean is making it more tightly integrated with Facebook. But is that all there is? With only a smattering of deliberate exceptions, new sites and apps launch with Facebook Connect to get the network effects of tying into its powerful social graph and effective spamming tools. Instead of attempting to create their own social network, they piggy-back on top of Facebook’s. In fact, one former Google product manager told AllThingsD recently that one of biggest reasons he left the company to work on a social start-up was so he could use Facebook Connect, something Google discourages. But while Facebook might be the biggest game in town, it’s still a pretty warped and inaccurate picture of what it means to have friends. And it all makes me wonder, what are other models of “social” besides Facebook’s current product? Could someone who does social better than Facebook mount a significant competitor to the site? And, most importantly, could they succeed? Friending Is Broken One of Facebook’s most fundamental flaws is its notion of friending. Relationships on Facebook don’t naturally expire as they do in the real world. To unfriend is drastic, used only in the direst of circumstances–like a bad breakup. And the fact that people from so many parts of our lives are on Facebook elicits bland communication

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More Than Friending: How Can the Social Web Go Beyond Facebook?



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