August 5, 2008
I have been convinced for some time that we are in the midst of an important chapter of the web — the emergence of the social web.
This all started, of course, with the runaway success of a few large social networks like MySpace and Facebook, etc., which was followed by the legions of “social network for ___” plays. Soon, it became pretty clear that what was likely to happen was, rather than social networks replacing websites, what we would see was the larger sites embracing social features.
I still expect this is what will happen. But more and more what seems to be happening is the dominant social networks and social services offering their data — social data — to be incorporated into third party websites and web services. Of course, this data will be used to enable third parties to offer social features, but I am becoming convinced that the data piece, and not the functionality piece, will be the key.
My conversation today with the founder of Gnip, former MyBlogLog founder Eric Marcoullier, has me all the more convinced.