by Brian Solis
Loic Le Meur, founder of video conversational community Seesmic, sparked a “distributed” series of online conversations. He charted his social map and made a noteworthy case to re-centralize content and conversations, in his case, back to his blog.
We used to have our social online presence very centralized, for me it was my blog. The current trend is very interesting, everything is decentralized and we only use the best services by type of media (text, photos, video, music, events etc). Everything we post is totally decentralized this is why tools like Mybloglog, Friendfeed and Socialthing start to gather all of these for us and it is a great idea.
The challenge for Friendfeed and the like is that while I really like all my services gathered in one place, I would rather that these would be centralized on my blog instead of a third party service.
It’s not an unreasonable request, and would in fact, inject a level of sanity, control, and management back into the equation of creating socialized content, but as Stowe Boyd puts it, “I think that day is done.”
Basically, conversation is moving from a very static and slow form of conversation — the comments thread on blog posts — to a more dynamic and fast form of conversation: into the flow in Twitter, Friendfeed, and others. I think this directionality may be like a law of the universe: conversation moves to where is is most social. Personally, I don’t think the genie can be put back in the bottle.
The truth is that we are embracing new tools because they’re are either intriguing and fascinating to us and/or because those within our social graph are also adopting them to stay connected and participate in online conversations.
We are responsible for the decentralization of our content and our attention.
I created a Social Map that outlines where I create, discover, collaborate, and socialize and it serves as a stark reminder that I am distributed and there’s no turning back – at least not yet
I participate in the communities where I find value and where I can in turn contribute to the value. It is distributed. It is decentralized. However, it is this way because each community sustains its own unique culture, a culture that is only partially represented through the latest crop of aggregators and activity hubs such as FriendFeed, SocialThing and Ping.fm.
Data Portability may turn out to be the answer that people are looking for. And it may turn out to be a sort of anti-FeedFriend. The whole point of Data Portability is to get social networks talking to each other and exchanging user data, with their explicit permission. Want to add your flickr photos, twitter messages and YouTube Videos to your blog? Data Portability is working to help make that happen through consensus driven policies and procedures. In essence, data portability embraces the Decentralized Me, but lets users re-centralize it wherever they please.
I embrace it and invest my attention in those communities that offer a return. It isn’t much more scalable as it is and I may adopt new tools to help me participate through an aggregated fashion if I can do so without losing the context of the conversation stream and the overall culture.