Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. Social networking is not about chips and routers or code or even design. It's people.
So what is the next wave of social networking? What features would the ultimate social network have? I think I can piece it together from what's already out there. Here's what features I think the ultimate social space would have:
- It should be a safe place to play, like Facebook. No spam, no viruses.
- It would allow people to attach themselves wherever they wanted to live, and dynamically by their natural actions, like MyBlogLog. Being social shouldn't be an overt action...it should be the result of social behavior, like blog or photo content consumption.
- It would have to be a platform like MySpace. A place where other people could build on top of it and skin it, but freely, without fear of being shut off and clearly established business rules for participation and revenue sharing
- It needs to work for me alone before it works for the group, like last.fm or Flickr or del.icio.us...all of which display my own content and behavior in an interesting and useful enough way to the individual user that they are worth using even before they get networked up.
- It needs to be focus on communication, like AIM. AIM represents the closest approximation of my real life network... the people I'm most interested in actually chatting with are the people I'm most likely wanting to be connected to.
- It needs to cater to a wide variety of interests and be hyperlocal like Craigslist.
- It should be dynamic and flowing in its display of activity, like Facebook, but in a way that is open to bringing in activity from other places, like SuprGlu.
- It should be conversational, like Google or Yahoo! Groups, but with features that allow conversations to splinter into sidebars.
- It should be mobile... Facebook has a great mobile site... prob the most functional and easy mobile site I've ever been to... Throw in a little Twitter, Dodgeball, GPS, etc...
- It should make my life on the outside, in the meatspace, better, like Meetup... because, as much as I'm jacked in, I don't want to live my life virtually.
Please feel free to add to this in the comments, on your own blogs, etc.