My Ideal Social Network: It's Not Google Plus. It's Less.

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With the launch of Google+, I have come to realise (as I am sure you have too) that I am on too many social networks right now: I am member of Quora, BlogHer, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Technorati, Digg, Gov social networks (GovLoop, GCPedia, GC Forums, GC Connex) and countless more I've joined and have since forgotten about or stopped using.

And I can't interact with everyone everywhere, so the only way I can be where my peeps are is to pop in once in a while on some of the platforms, ignore others, spend most of my time where I get the most value, and syndicate to the other platforms.

But it's a lot of work, and I'm having the same conversations on multiple platforms. Conversations that would be so great if my various networks could have them together instead of locked into their respective platforms.

And so, I have come to realise that my perfect social network is actually not a social network.

It's the cloud.

I want to be an RSS feed.

Now hear me out.

What I want is actually quite simple.
  • I want to produce content
  • I want to consume content
  • I want to do it in a platform agnostic way
I want to be an RSS feed.

I want to share information as data. Data that you can follow or fetch or pull or have pushed to whatever device or medium you choose.

I want one collective data stream to feed my followers. Not my social networks. My followers.

I just want to make data available and let you access it however you want it. One social/ professional content aggregator to sort, filter and display whatever you need in the moment. Everyone's content in one place at the same time. You know, the Web. YOUR custom web.

And if/ when you choose to interact, it lets me know. Wherever I am, whatever device I am on. We can "meet" in the same space to chat real-time, or we can comment offline to one another. And we can open our conversations and invite others, even if they aren't using the same tech. Our discussions are not bound by our need to share platforms.

And I want the same for your data. I want to log in to "you", to all of you. I want to get your content wherever on whatever device or using whatever medium available to me at that moment.

I want to send data to the cloud and get it back enhanced.

I want to be an RSS feed and I want you to be one too.

Afterword: Before you run off to the comments to tell me that I just described the vision for Google Plus, understand that I think that Google+ has good bones. The idea of spaces and circles is more conducive to this than any other platform out there. My idea is that our data and our ability to share it should be much more organic than even Plus will be able to handle once it's fully formed. The reality is that unless everyone everywhere drinks the Google Kool-Ade and joins Plus, conversations will still be platform-centric. So, my RSS dream will continue to be just that... a cloudy little pipe dream.