Social software silos

Tim Idenifies the major problem with social software silos.

One thing that interests me in terms of is the fact that there are many sites offering social applications (different services rather than duplication) and it struck me that it would be really cool to have a sort of 'meta-social'software' service, that would aggregate all your social presence on the web into one place. That way you could take your blog, del.icio.us bookmarks, IM accounts, flickr photos, friendster profile, url and email (along with any other personal data) and make it accessible all in one place, meaning you only have to give out one userID to people, which would allow access to all these things.
Microsoft's solution is a great effort in that it tries to integrate all these services, but the fact that you have to buy in to using the same product for everything concerns me slightly; – it would be nice if integration was possible over multiple services. This should be possible with something like RSS, but to my knowledge has not yet been done. (Presulably a level of cooperation between teh providers of social web services would be needed, and since not all of these services are open source, this is probably fairly unlikely.)

Some thoughts on the issue myself, first I saw some information about LID – lightweight identity and I've been thinking about the whole issue myself. Recently I adopted the use of Keepass which is a open source light weight password manager. To have pretty much all my internet and computer passwords in an advanced 256bit encrypted, twofish algorithm database, makes you think twice about personal information. I mean for example I'm playing with Microsoft Wallop, using flickr for my public domain photos, relaying music taste to audioscobbler and busy weaving bookmarks and metadata for del.icio.us. But each one bar audioscrobbler I would say are pretty much deadend when it comes to getting personal information out. Not only that but what about all the other information which is generated from mass aggregation? Would be good to share that information with the people actually creating it wouldnt it? By the way I have not heard Doug Kay talk about Attention XML for ages now and digital identity was discussed by the gillmor gang a while ago. The reality of digital identity raises its head when thinking about social software, shame none of them will even take my foaf profile? Not to say that is the ultimate aim of digital identity and interopable social software.

Miles dropped me and Tim a email pointing towards the new Technorati Tags. And honestly I'm pretty impressed with the tag feature, I just wish there was a meta standard for blogging which would beat using the rel attribute in a link. The better default option of using the categories of blog entries is actually quite a good idea because it requires no extra effort from the blogger and its retro active, which gives technorati lots of data to analyse, if they have not done so already. Anyway to celebrate the technorati's step up in the aggregation market here's a couple of good examples.
Technorati bubble
Technorati ipaq tag | Bill Gates | Socialsoftware | Hacking | Xbox | Silicon | Flickr | xbmc. Now if only we could get this in xml?

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.