The Future of Social Networking Workshop (by W3C)

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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:

The Future of Social Networking:

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.

Leveraging Web 2.0 Communities in Professional Organisations (pdf);

Leveraging Social data with Semantics:

…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: Two Great Tastes:

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.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project,
Ann Smarty
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  • Toma Bonciu – SEO Services


    I think that Chris Brogan has a great article that can show us the power of social networks (Twitter Taco Truck and the Times) and I think that social networks will start to find more and more practical usage. At some point maybe all the static networks may evolve to a version where you can interact much more easily with your friends. I think social networks will evolve to more interaction – trying to bring the experience of a real encounter between two real people into the virtual space.

    TomaBonciu on Twitter

  • Leanne Boyd

    As social marketing continues the leaps and bounds around us, we have in just the past months, seen a huge surge in “information overload.” And what this has produced is an enlarging group of those who are capable of creating tools to manage all of this. Where we stand now as a true global community is a FAR cry from my first wanderings into the WWW. 1994 and AOL’s WWW Gateway or whatever they called it. A TINY modem, and costly per-minute rates. Fifteen short years but a true Internet eon.

    I think it’s beyond our scope and vision to see what the tools will be in another 15 years, or even ONE year. Apps like Twitter and Facebook have utterly expanded my world. And I am veteran of two upper ONLINE degrees, and over 10 years with online businesses. Research today has heavy inroads into social marketing and I only see that expanding… quickly.

    This is affecting each of us by the hour. And it is affecting all of the tools we use right now. I feel, like Prodigy you’ve mentioned… Google, AOL, any given platform… are all shaking in their boots. Partly with anticipation, but also with wonderment: how to keep up? how to survive?

    These are exciting times! I am so thankful to be living in these days of Cavewoman 2009, continuing the writing on the cave wall of Cavewoman 101, wayyy back when.

  • Ashin Mettacara

    Hi Ann,
    Can you help me with code to include my image in google news. News are now being crawled by Google News. But I still cannot see the image in the left side of my news.
    So I would like to kindly to request you to give me the source code.
    Here is my email:
    with loving-kindness,

  • Agent SEO

    @ Toma

    I think social networks are already evolving into making relationships between users less static and are already creating more interaction.

    I think MySpace may have fallen a little behind, but Facebook’s users & developers have done a pretty good job at devel0ping new apps and tech to keep it somewhat fresh.

    I think the evolution of real-time updates via places like Twitter is huge too (although many people don’t need an update every 15 minutes about how I’m feeling)!