Michael Specht

A blog from Australia looking at technology, management, Human Resources (HR) and recruitment.

Social networks in the extreme

July 1st, 2007 · 10 Comments · Social Networks, Technology ·

Today I was lucky enough to get an invite to Pownce, thanks JJ, which is cool as I can claim to be one of the first 10,000 no 50,000 no 100,000 people on the service which keeps up my street cred as being ahead of the curve. But it raises the same issue as I have had before on all of the new social networks.


I mean come on guys, I know you all want to control your growth and limit who can get in, but please make it easy for us to bring our contacts with us.

I have a few hundred souls who read my blog, thanks! I have a hundred more on LinkedIn that I connect to, some are the same as the readers of my blog others probably not. I have 146 friends and 119 followers on Twitter, I’m sure most of them don’t read this blog but they are fun to hang out with. I have friends on RecruitingBlogs.com, friends at Jobster, Jaiku, you get the point. I have ignored Facebook, MySpace and Friendster etc because I just don’t have time. But if I had invested the time I would have different set of friends.

I am not the only person to complain about this issue, nor is this the first time the issue has cropped up. But we have had a solution (of sorts) for about oh 2 years now, being XFN. Before anyone jumps in and says XFN wouldn’t work, stop as it is open source and the community could have enhanced it over the last 2 years to support what we needed. I see there is an obvious reason this has not happened.

LinkedIn and Paxlo have started to solve this by using the APIs of tools/services such as Hotmail, GMail, AOL etc to pull in you list of contacts.

One of the simple foundations of Web 2.0 is that “Users owning the data on a site and exercising control over that data.”, but this does not seem to hold true when it comes to my friends and social networks. The reason being is the friend are the value in the product.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 devlin // Jul 2, 2007 at 4:14 am

    I just wanted to let you know that I have used linked in for several months and find that it isnt very useful. If people want to contact me to share ideas, they have to pay linked in therefore, they dont contact me. I want to contact someone and share an idea, I have to pay so I dont contact anyone. There is no news on anything…its just a static database….I dont see how it is possibly useful..

    Try http://www.congoo.com or facebook.com. Congoo.com has industry news too. My two cents.

  • 2 Michael Specht // Jul 2, 2007 at 7:10 am

    Devlin thanks for the tip I will check out Congoo.com

  • 3 Kevin Howard // Jul 2, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Can’t help wondering what the future holds for this ever growing crop of social networking products.

    How are they all going to make a profit?
    Will they make enough profit to make them an acquisition target?
    And if they don’t what will happen to them?
    (and all the data and ‘connections’ they hold)

  • 4 Frank // Jul 2, 2007 at 2:14 pm


    Let’s stay in touch as we are.

    Please, please, please don’t invite me to Pownce…….Pleeeeasssse, I’m drowning in connectivity!.

    Just checking out Congoo……oh, not again…….

    Frank :>)

  • 5 Michael Specht // Jul 2, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    @Kevin, you do have to wonder don’t you it can’t last forever.

    @Frank ok I won’t but you will be the one missing out ;-)

  • 6 Andrew Lampe // Jul 3, 2007 at 9:19 am

    And this is where web 3.0 comes in…check out the july 2007 issue of business 2.0 about radar networks and the semantic web. A lot of it is theory and hyberbole, but fascinating to even think about on a technological level. I’m a die hard programming freak of nature and the amount of data that is out there for any given user is just phenomenal, but there are people and algorithms that are being written to aggregate all of this in to one pool. Whoever wins this race to the finish line is going to be the next “big thing” for the next decade.

  • 7 Michael Specht // Jul 3, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks for the tip Andrew I will look out for it! I agree about the amount of data out there, sometimes it really scares me!

  • 8 Cait // Jul 10, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Facebook also has the ability to use plugins, and now has many popular services. Give it a try, it’s going to become a platform because of it’s easy usability.

  • 9 Michael Specht // Jul 11, 2007 at 7:05 am

    Cait, no I am actively ignoring FaceBook for as long as I can out of principle!

  • 10 Open up the network and be really Web 2.0 at Michael Specht - discussions on HR and technology // Aug 6, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    [...] biggest complaint about social networks is they are basically a closed shop, and I have told that to anyone who will [...]