Managing scattered online Social Life on multiple Social Networking sites

I’ve been kicking the idea of a central way to manage accounts on many social networking apps for a while now. I think it starts to go beyond just managing social-network accounts because what your really doing is managing identity.

Some are saying that 2008 is the time for this sort of “killer app”. Google have also started to chip away at the problem offering a way to update your status in many places at once.

Some ideas that I have had along those lines are:

  • Manage all you private messages via your email client, as if they were just additional IMAP mailboxes. This could be done if the web-app implemented the IMAP/SMTP protocol but stored all the messages in a DB so it could be accessed via the website.
  • Use something like FOAF to maintain a central place for all personal info. You could also control which networks had access to which parts of your profile, say only showing your mobile number to Bebo for example.
  • Have RSS aggregation for all the feeds from all of your accounts providing a sort of global view of all your online identity, perhaps filtering by ‘private’ and ‘professional’ or anyway you like. Bernard has something similar.

15 thoughts on “Managing scattered online Social Life on multiple Social Networking sites”

  1. wow, just randomly stumbled into your blog while searching for the subject of this post. had similar thoughts about a multiple-site management tool as an app as well, think you are right that it would morph into identity management.

    Nonetheless, especially for anyone doing online media, working on multiple social networking sites (think bands) even a less comprehensive option could be useful. Anyway, cool blog….

  2. I think there would be alot of security issues that would need to be addressed, but the idea is sound.

    You would probably have to be quite abstract though.

    Another issue is that these sites are funded by advertising, and anything which negates the need for you to visit the site(s) and therefore see the ads could be a problem.

  3. Andy, you might be right about security, or rather trust as anyone with access to your feeds could also pretend to be you. Perhaps if some feeds are password protected and your web aggregator had the password it alone could reserve the data.

    As for the advertising, I’m finding the big players are becoming less and less pushy in this regards and the sites that actually send you the full message from website Private-Messages with a “Click here to rely” are becoming the norm. I guess if something like this emerges then the sites which are easier to use will take out the ones that aren’t (e.g. Facebook took out MySpace).

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