Robert Scoble woke up and smelled the coffee earlier today:

Yahoo just became a powerhouse in social software.

But then says this:

Luckily Yahoo hasn't quite figured out what the center of the social software world is gonna be. And I'm not gonna give them a roadmap to figure it out. Oh, damn, I just did. A map. Heheh.

People. That's the center of social software. ;-)

But seriously, do you think we haven't figured it out? Great, that's more time before Microsoft takes it seriously...

Posted by jzawodn at September 07, 2005 03:33 PM

Reader Comments
# Dare Obasanjo said:

Yeah, we haven't figured it out. ;)

on September 7, 2005 04:26 PM
# Mike said:

And Microsoft HAS figured it out. Right.....

on September 7, 2005 05:27 PM
# Mike Torres said:

Except two people on MSN Spaces are the first to respond. Hmmm ;)

on September 7, 2005 05:27 PM
# Jeff Clavier said:

Should we leave you guys debating alone on that one ?

I thought startups were the ones figuring these things out, and then you buy them.


on September 7, 2005 06:07 PM
# Robert Scoble said:

Heh, are the only ones here Microsofties and VCs? Hmmm.

>People. That's the center of social software. ;-)

Totally agreed.

But, how do you represent people on screen? I can think of some axis. Beliefs. Hobbies. Profession. Location. Sports. Etc.

on September 7, 2005 07:31 PM
# Don't Worry Be Happy said:

No offense to the Scobelizer, but, honestly, he doesn't have a clue on this one...

on September 7, 2005 08:54 PM
# Andrew Ducker said:

People are, indeed, the centre of social software.

Which is why Livejournal is the centre of my social software world - it's where I see what my friends have been up to, participate in various communities, and read the feeds of those non-LJ'ers I'm interested in.

Linking people together by Beliefs, hobbies, interests, etc. is a good start - but unless you allow it to go deeper, putting a chunk of people's lifes up there, and allowing them to interact, it just doesn't hold together in the long term.

on September 8, 2005 12:52 AM
# guillaume said:

Well don't wanna be OT but the real center would certainly be an interoperability between the two social networks...I've met really nice people at 360 and I'm sure there are tons of people I'd like to meet at the Spaces....There is a whole paradox here that has me choose my friends by brand. I have received some invites from My Space users that I cannot accept because I don't want to have to manage dozen of accounts.
If you guys could at least make it easy to switch from one platform to another and offer a paid subscription that includes a software similar to Trillian Pro or Live Communicator...
(ok just woke up...sorry)

on September 8, 2005 01:40 AM
# AndyF said:

Bingo! Give guillaume a prize! This is a primo response that I hope both of you, Z & S, take very seriously. This comment should put all the one-upsmanship and "we're better than X" in perspective -- none of that is addressing problems users want to solve. In fact it is creating more through these segregated, non-interoperating communities.

on September 8, 2005 10:34 AM
# Tom D said:

People may be at the center, but oddly enough it's not people that a social network needs to revolve around - it's common ground, a niche. MySpace has music, LinkedIn business & career development - even Yub has consumerism. The open-ended, free-for-alls like Friendster found that out the hard way, and are slowly dying off and growing slowly, if at all. You need to have a catalyst that people can use to break the ice, so to speak. So I agree that people are definitely the center, but that center needs something to revolve around.

You'll also have to get past the fantasy of "interoperability" between social networking services - do you see any interoperability between the big blogging services that have been around for years? Between mail providers? Yahoo doesn't make money by supporting MSN Spaces, nor will MSN Spaces benefit by encouraging people by supporting 360 via open standards. And don't even get me started on distributed social networking... Besides, these create-once-use-everywhere services never work - Passport, anyone? Liberty who?

on September 8, 2005 12:35 PM
# Shrikant Joshi said:

True. People ARE the center of social software. But isn't that how you define social? Or was that sarcasm? (Man, one should have some way of expressing emotions on the internet...)

Inter-operability was ALWAYS gonna be an issue. Only once in a blue moon do competitors bury their hatchets and an ESPN-Star Sports logo is created. After all doesn't one have to maximize his/her profits?

One question I wanna ask Jeremy is, how come Yahoo woke up so 'soon'? (That was sarcasm.) Wasn't the web always intended to be a social place? How come now you guys start thinking of protability, integrability and inter-operability?

on September 9, 2005 11:36 PM
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