I came across this article about identity aggregation today written by a friend of mine: Mike Gunderloy; Mike and I worked together a couple of years ago on Web Services magazine stuff. Anyway, Mike says the social network aggregation hasn’t reached a sweet spot since there is no huge uptake yet. I agree – and the reason for massive adoption is that most social networks duplicate our relationships (and hence the Social Networking Fatigue) – but in reality though, we do maintain number of different identities in life and we also do maintain a number of different networks of people (with some overlap). For example, I have friends at my work (LinkedIn), at my school (Facebook) and in my neighborhood (fatdoor); these networks are very different in nature and involve different people and are complementary to each other.
So in order to create value in identity aggregation, one has to approach the problem in aggregating different dimensions of a profile that does not overlap. And of course, that also depends on number of things such as open-ness of the networks and so on to ensure the interoperability of the networks. At fatdoor, we are working on several fronts to make our neighborhood network open – also please send me if you have any cool ideas on this front.
So, my question to you is – what is more valuable? Aggregating different dimensions of an identity or aggregating social networks irrespective of their dimensions?
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