Friday, February 06, 2009

Organizing the SocNet Mess

If you're like me, you have a pension for joining your fair share of social networks, but have trouble keeping track of it all. Take twitter for example. It's a great way to trade status updates with your friends and maybe even a web celebrity or two, but once you start adding more than a handful of people the feeds can get downright noisy. And if you have a particularly active friend (I'm not pointing out any names here) locating a particular post can be a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. So what on Earth can we do to stop this mess of social madness How about a feature that's just about as old as email

Folders, Lists, Labels, or whatever you want to call it. It's really very simple. Just like in your Inbox, your default view displays a global listing of all the updates you choose to follow. For Facebook it would be everyone on your friends list. For YouTube, it would be every channel you subscribe to. Then, you could create your own lists or rules containing whatever specific subsets you would like to track individually. For example, you could add your closest friends to one list and call it BFFs. Label another one Podcast Updates. Another one could be Online Deals. Then you could check whichever update feed you had the urge to inspect, prioritizing certain ones over others, just as one would do while perusing a well-organized email account. Unread counters, content search capabilities, the whole nine yards.

Organizing things might just make sifting through the online social jungle a less daunting. And less time monitoring your online social life means more time for a real social life. Or possibly more online social interaction for some.. Well, whatever makes you happy!

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