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I am often asked what the future of social media is. And always my answer is “No idea“. I am not very good at making predictions… unlike those smart people who shared their work at W3C workshop on the future of social networking (kudos for the find to PageOneResults via WebmasterForums).
The workshop lists a lot of really insightful articles that definitely deserve attention. The goal of the project is to bring together “the world experts on social networking design, management and operation”. Topic discussed include:
- Appropriate architecture for social networks (including privacy and trust issues);
- Adapted user experiences (with focus on mobility and accessibility);
- Context and communities: “how social networks can be enriched by more context-aware devices and applications”.
Here are just a few papers listed:
Eventually, Myspace and Facebook, no matter what fancy features they may add, will seem as archaic as Compuserve and Prodigy do now. The acceptance of a distributed social networking model is, as the internet has shown, an inevitability. All proprietary walled gardens have given way to distributed models, and social networking is the next frontier. And just like open, distributed protocols before it, social networking requires an open API in order to function properly. Since many walled gardens are based on amassing as many users as possible, in order to maximize ad revenue, adopting a distributed model goes against their business plan. Therefore, it’s up to the open source community to come up with a real distributed social networking solution.
…we can extend the representation of social links thanks to the semantic relationships found in the vocabularies shared by the members of the social networks. These “enriched” representations of social networks, combined with a similar enrichment of the semantics of the meta-data attached to the shared resources, will allow the elaboration of “shared knowledge graphs”.
Privacy and Social Network Sites: Follow the Money! (pdf) – also, check out the references in the bottom;
Mobile social networking involves more than simply replicating existing PC browser-based social networking interfaces in a mobile environment… Integrating person-to-person calling devices into a socially-networked Web is not the same thing as displaying the socially-networked Web on a mobile phone.