Rob LaGesse today posted about a concept he calls “Selective Networking” and predicts that social networking sites, as we know them today, are dying out. He holds up the LinkedIn network as a model of these closed networks.
Rob takes more of a tech focus and argued that “there…needs to be a ‘social networking API” – a well designed format for trusted data sharing, with built in user controllable limitations.”
Maybe so, but even with this, I have to disagree with his assessment that they social networking will die out in favor of a more controlled version. Instead, I think that niche networks will continue to proliferate within the more open model. For example, friends in Second Life, MySpace and Facebook, etc.
For instance the closed model of LinkedIn that Rob mentions has some serious drawbacks. I have a LinkedIn profile, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops to make new connections. It can be done, but in my experience, only the very few do this effectively. Mostly, I connect with those I already know who are on LinkedIn.
As for the wider social networking, I wouldn’t want to miss out on those “chance” encounters that have brought me many colleagues and friends, both through this blog and other social networks to which I belong.
What are your thoughts?