Downside of the web’s “social soup”

BBC NEWS | Technology | From here to cyberspace:

A timely piece from Bill Thompson at Beeb website. He writes: “One of the big problems with Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and the other social network sites is that they
bring the many different groups we all belong to into one online space, creating a ‘social soup’ that encourages intermingling when most of us work hard to keep our friends, family and colleagues just a little bit separate, negotiating the boundaries with more or less skill.

The tools used to manage privacy and sharing online remain crude and inflexible compared with the nuanced way we handle real-life social networks, and we are going to have to learn to deal with the new modes of social engagement that result.”

A good point – whereas in the past you would maintain different circles of friends, we are all potentially intersecting at one central point in the Venn diagram.

He continues: “(Facebook) is rapidly becoming more than just a social network site.

Its support for third-party applications and services is turning it into a platform for all other forms of online social activity, from talking about movies via the Flixster application to asking friends questions or ‘superpoking’ them. Facebook may well become the single point of contact with one’s online networks, wherever they may be hosted. I rarely visit Twitter, the site that lets you send short updates about what you’re up to, because it’s easier to post from within Facebook. And as this trend develops, more and more of us will spend more and more time on Facebook instead of elsewhere. Once someone builds ‘MySpaceBook’, an application that lets you run your MySpace profile from within Facebook, the game will be over.

Is Facebook becoming the first true portal?



  1. Intelligent thoughts on Facebook and social networks

    I’m trawling through a whole chunk of quality feeds at the moment and a couple of intelligent posts about Facebook caught my eye. Here they are: Downside of the web’s ‘social soup’ – Andrew Smithwrites about a piece from the


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