The web-wide social network

November 19, 2008

Ross Dawson has an excellent summary of a Gartner presentation on the Distributed Social Web by David Cearley. A web where each participant is their own central node on a web-wide social network.

It is the only natural conclusion of the vision of Data Portability.

It will be made possible by a series of futurists, technologists, philanthropists and engineers developing core building blocks like OpenID, oAuth, APML, PortableContacts, XMPP, RSS/ATOM, OPML, Microformats and more.

It will be commercialized by a series of entrepreneurial start ups with stars in their eyes running in and around the feet of the giants who are each fighting each other to keep up. Startups like JS-Kit.

It will be fueled by traditional and not so traditional media companies, steered by young, idealistic intrapraneurs, who are willing to take a bet in order to stake their claim on the next generation of social networking and human communication.

It will be monetized by a recognition that one can’t monetize word-of-mouth. Instead Attention will emerge as the ultimate way to measure, discover and interact with participants. See Faraday Media.

It will be popularized by bloggers, smart IT journalists and conference organizers who understand the importance of open over closed.

We have already started to see a preview of the world to come via the early attempts at rudimentary aggregators and proprietary data portability implementations. This is just the beginning of the beginning.

For a more details around the emerging trends, check out Ross’ post.

5 Responses to “The web-wide social network”

  1. Melissa Says:

    I was just talking about this with a friend who does digital watermarking about how attention and bandwidth are the new measures of currency… I am in a tither for things to come, and am excited to play with this particular idea and how it’s lends itself to authenticity.

  2. Chris Lunt Says:

    You should coin a term about the “attention economy”, it’s a key idea.

  3. Chris Saad Says:

    What sort of term describing what – I’ve already coined many haha

  4. GadgetMan Says:

    Yes, the web already is a social network. So the findings from Gartner are not new, they have already been known to academics and researchers such as Tom Erickson from IBM who coined the web as “social hypertext” and sociologists like Barry Wellman that said a computer network is a social network. This is where many researchers are exploiting this social data in order to create better searching algorithms, web applications, and user interfaces which you already see today in the Web 2.0 and social networking areas.


  5. […] Gartner talk summary by Ross Dawson about the distributed social web, via another blog post by Chris Saad. Building blocks like OpenID, oAuth and microformats are mentioned in both posts, and I wanted to […]


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