Data is one of the biggest trends at the moment – it’s interesting to see the amount of coverage given to the recently announced integration between Nike’s Fuelband and the Path social network, for example.
What’s interesting to me about this is that the Nike Fuelband is essentially a very cool fitness tracking bracelet, which continues the Nike+ tracking and sharing trend. If you’ve tracked your run etc 5 or more times, it’s extremely likely to now be a habit you’ll continue, and the more social you are, the more likely you’ll keep it going to pass that early barrier.
That’s one side to it, the other struck me as I was distracted by the stats on my Last.fm profile.
Will social networks be defined by how much is shared?
Obviously there have already been attempts to create new social networks around the selling point of user privacy, and so far none have really achieved the kind of meteoric success of the big social sites.
What I’m thinking about is something slightly different in the way the networks are perceived and gain users, and it struck me as I posted on Facebook about how I don’t automatically feed every Spotify track into Facebook, but they’re all available as scrobbled by Last.fm (In 5 years I’ve scrobbled 14,524 songs to Last.fm which if you took an average of 4 minutes per track would be 58096 minutes, 968.26 hours, or 40 days worth).
What I’m thinking of is something like the following split:
- Least shared data: Twitter. No requirement for real names, or details. Big asynchronous groups.
- Average: Facebook. Suggests using real data (although you can get around it). Slightly smaller groups and closer to ‘real’ friends.
- Most shared data: Path. Integrate and share absolutely everything with a smaller, closer group of friends.
Will data sharing and data services start to shape our attraction to certain networks in an equal fashion to who we know is actually using them? Does the social aspect of sharing fitness data with other people in training equal the social aspect of connecting with my family whose interests on Facebook may rarely intersect with my own?
If we take Facebook as the standard sharing benchmark due to the massive user numbers, there’s definitely a skew towards much more sharing than ever before (Obviously some will have a locked down FB profile with a fair bit of effort required). Will we see a world of people addicted to data sharing looking to go beyond what FB can offer, or a greater number of people looking for more privacy and less automatic sharing?
These aren’t absolutes, and there will always be people heading in both directions, but I’m intrigued to see on which side the see-saw starts leaning.
Do you think many people will continue to silo the data in the most appropriate communities (e.g music on last.fm, books on Goodreads, fitness on a running forum etc), or will they look for one central data hub social network to rule them all?