Marc Canter – one of the most consistent critics of walled gardens/closed systems and the ghost towns they become hits it again with a post about subscribing to people

Well one clear way is to just ’subscribe’ to someone and then find out what they’re doing – wherever they are. This can only be done across vendor’s offerings – so it’s a great use case for open standards.

For a while now I have been a snob of social networks. “I get it, I get it” – I would join, check out early features, and not really invest in the community while trying to get a quick read on the SN. Understanding the theory without being invested. Recently, thanks to having to do the research, friends (like HH) inviting me left and right and some really exciting things happening in the SN space (like Marc’s PeopleAggregator, Facebook opening up, researching SNs in different cultures) I have been getting more invested different worlds, seeing what they have to offer, learning and experiencing (badges to come).

The biggest frustration I have is having to make a new profile from scratch in each of these places. Because, really, my hobbies are the same if I am in facebook or myspace. I might not put my entire employment history in Facebook, but if I did, why would I want to key it or copy/paste it 2x from LinkedIn???? What happens when these data sources become out of synch (like my employment histories or hobbies between social networks)?

The truth Marc has been sharing is simple – open it up (platforms), be free, listen to the customer (radical idea), and anticipate what they want (’cause they dont know it – yet), let them share (on your network and others). I used to think my blog was this center of the social universe for me – and it could become that… we just arent there yet.

We dont have one circle of friends. We don’t have one interest. We dont have only one favorite food. We dont have one email address. We dont only like one musician or singer or group. We dont like only one kind of movie or tv show or magazine. People like choice. They like options. They don’t always make a choice – and that is a choice in itself. They want to engage on their terms in the places and spaces of their choice.

The more you hold them down, lock them out, and box them in the easier it will be for them to invest (time, effort, ideas, creativity) in someone elses platform that is open.

Dave says…

From Marc’s blog:

2 thoughts on ““I think we can guilt them out into doing the right thing.”

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