This is kind of a follow on to my previous post about identity on the web and data portability. One thing I have been thinking about for a while to how we as people can often have discrete sections of our lives which may or may not cross-over. We have families, friends, jobs, hobbies – each with various relationships and a way that we present ourselves.
Everyone’s lives are different (stating the obvious) , we use different services too. For example; I use Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn and have dabbled with others. For me, these represent different aspects of what I’m interested in or what I do and there’s a little overlap but often not much. I can’t presume it’s the same for anyone else but I could assume that other people’s work and home/family life is different or that their friends might not always be the same as their colleagues.
As users of social networks, do we want one system that can enable us to model our lives or use different niche networks for different needs? Do we (as a user-base) care about one system ‘knowing’ all about us or do niche systems meet the needs of certain aspects of our lives in a more meaningful way?
The word is that Facebook might be slowly repositioning itself so that it could attract the LinkedIn/Xing business networking audience, which is interesting if not predictable. I’m interested what this could mean for identity and social or business relationships online. Can a company position itself as a ‘relationship networking’ service?