You know how there’s the general rule of some technology being mainstream when your mother uses it? Well my mom is listening to a podcast, the twist is that it’s a knitting related podcast that my sisters produce. I kinda knew this whole social media thing was headed in an interesting direction when I heard that they all participated in a knitting and crochet related social network. Of course when I asked them if it was a social network they looked askance at me, and said “No, it’s a site where people share the stuff they’re working on and post tips and questions”.
Looks like this whole section of social stuff is catching on in the way folks expected it to. Explains the explosive growth that Ning is experiencing, and why so many folks are scrambling over each other to make something of the sort in mobile. But what’s taking off isn’t “social networking” exactly, it’s people forming communities. Give people a set of pages they can use to create a profile and message to each other, you get a decent user community (frequently focused on flirting with each other, but that’s a different issue). Give people tools to create pages they can use to communicate with each other, and communities start to form. The long term value seems to be tilted more in the Winksite direction than the Mig33 direction in that respect.
Actually, I’m not sure were I’m going with this. It could go anywhere from talking about mobile social building blocks like the stuff MPulse has been working on, or Zygo’s and 3Jam’s take on group messaging, all the way through OpenSocial vs. the mobile web and how we get to start using DiSo ideas like XFN, OpenID, and oAuth, and other microformats in the mobile environment. But then I would have to dig up info about what Johannes Ernst has been up to and how LID has progressed within mobile in particular. But unfortunately I need to get running yet again. Hopefully that’ll stop happening now that I’m not going to be running up and down the peninsula on a daily basis. In the meantime I leave you with this cross-disciplinary thread to pull on if you want: including SMS messaging in the OpenID authentication mechanism to avoid having to enter a password.