The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 12:33:59 PM on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
While reading Twitter today, SheGeeks asked the question, what is the difference?  There is a symbiotic relationship between the two, while still maintaining differences.  The current sites out there do not reflect true aggregation, while many are attempting to do lifestreaming (like Profilactic)

Aggregation
The mere definition is the pulling together of disparate information to be available at once place.  FriendFeed is a form of aggregation, as well as Spokeo.  I go to one place to find the information.  LDAP services give a good example.  I can federate, or look everywhere for the information, or collect all of you together in aggregation to look in one place.  I can force federation through some of the social products, or I can let you aggregate all of your information into a social profile that gives one output.  So what you end up with is little pockets of aggregation by person, but not for me in consumability.  For true aggregation to occur and be functional in social networking, each person must aggregate, or better yet have a single source for their data (a la DataPortability.org and my posting previously) and then allow me to further aggregate all of that single information into a sole place I get it all.  From RSS feeds, to friend updates, to instant messaging.  The whole ball of wax as the saying goes.

Lifestreaming
Lifestreaming is the first step in people trying to pull every facet of information they post, every profile they maintain, every instant message they send, every song they listen to, every favorite everything they make a list from and somehow put it into a clean interface.  This in turn becomes an aggregation point for that single person, yet not for everyone else.  You now need an aggregator tool on top of the lifestreaming to make it usable by any one person.  Sure, if I had one friend, then this would solve it.  But people are watching hundreds of Twitters, hundreds of blogs, hundreds of newsfeeds and still trying to entertain themselves on the Internet.  Have you seen one yet that accurately also gets all my IM's across all the networks added in there?  Not a chance.  Does everyone use presence awareness coupled with location awareness?  That means not only am I online and available, but where am I in the world (Plazes and Dopplr for example).

So where does that leave you and I?  Busy finding just the right mix of consolidating our daily Internet presence and finding sites that pull enough of our friends stuff, we keep up.  Forget news feeds and any other meaningful site.  The recent TWIT podcast stated this well, that we naturally crave for information and it is coming to us at a rate faster than we can absorb.  All of us top line bloggers and Internet presence enthusiasts are blasting away, while many can't keep up with the river coming at them.  

No single site is yet the golden ticket that gets us to see Willy Wonka.  Wait, is he online right now to ask?

  • 1) Defining Aggregation versus lifestreaming
    Created by Corvida at 3/26/2008 2:10:44 PM email | website

    I can agree with you on the definition of Aggregation, but as for Lifestreaming, as Federic of the Last Podcast posted, you're not necessarily streaming your life when pull the information you post. You're just streaming what you're doing online, which is only a small part of your life.

    Here's the link to Federic's post: { Link }



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