Social networking across networks
By chienr on Oct 09, 2007
After years of being on Friendster and LinkedIn, I finally got on Facebook. Within two weeks, I was able to reconnect with many old friends. I was really impressed, not only by the size of Facebook's network (30,000,000+ active users) but also with the rate at which it is growing. Most people that I reconnected with, have only become Facebook users in the last month or so.
The biggest problem with Facebook (or Friendster, LinkedIn, MySpace, for that matter) that I see is that it's a closed network. Facebook allows third party developers to build applications on its platform but it's still closed in that you have to first become a Facebook user in order to connect with other Facebook users.
As a consumer, I'd rather not have to create and maintain a profile on multiple social networks. Why can't I add an Orkut user to my Facebook circle of friends? Or transfer my list of buddies from one network to another?
In contrast, from a single Email account, I can send and receive Email to and from any domain. I don't need to sign up with Gmail to keep in touch with my Gmail-using friends and family. Despite being a 25-year old technology, Email is still the only standardized open form of people networking.