Mix08 – Session 6 – Social Networking

This was another panel discussion about social networking. Guy Kawasaki was the moderator. Following the Steve Ballmer keynote, he kept things interesting, and asked some of the hard questions. My notes are scattered, and the session was interesting, but one disappointing fact is the panel did not really cover the use of Web 2.0 and Social Networking inside the Corporation. Read on, and download the session from http://www.visitmix.com to see more.

What are the issues?

  • Security
  • Large horizontals vs niche networks
  • Each site behaves as if you have not used any other site before – antisocial
  • “Friend” vs “Family” vs “Colleague” – how do you label people
  • Privacy, how to give users control over their own data
  • Spam issues
  • signal to noise problem – how do you overcome that?

Is stalking as much of a problem as the media makes it out to be?

  • Companies in this space spend the majority of their time on spam
  • Persistent identities prevent the threats
  • You can validate they are real people by validating against their email addresses


  • OpenID begins to persist your identity across sites
  • OpenID is useful, and easy to use, but there is no real gaping problem that OpenID solves
  • Usage needs to become ubiquitous and under-the-covers to work, like SSL

What about media, photos, events, shopping?

  • Entire ecosystems are designed to tie them all together

What about Second Life and World of Warcraft?

  • not necessarily a real identity
  • there are issues with crime
  • users create an alternate reality, rather than extending your actual persona

Casual Games

  • These have taken off in Asia
  • Games like bejeweled, Tetris, KDice
  • They add a social aspect to simple online games

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