To start a social network today you need only flip the switch. Ning, KickApps, Pligg, GoingOn, are all players in the ever growing space of social network providers. The rapid commodification will have two major impacts on the nature of social software in the near future:
- Social Networks are Features
- Unified Identity Becomes Essential
Om Malik got it right when he said social networks are features, not properties. Friends lists, collaborative ranking, private messaging, public commenting, widgetable profile pages - this collection features strengthens any site.
The proliferation of social networks as a site feature means a proliferation of personal profiles, which makes identity management more and more of an issue for Joe User. He wants to participate in the social network features of the sites he visits, but managing multiple identities is a pain.
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