A lot of the apps and web services that come across the desk lately have to do with consolidation and aggregation. In fact, back in April there was a pretty good post in Social Media Today on 7 social media aggregation tools that you should use that caught my eye. I went through the list and I was familiar with 4 of them. But there’s a larger point I want to make here.
Actually 2 points.
Point #1. I’m going to use Yoono as my first example. Yoono connects you to your social networks and messengers. It unifies your status updates into a single stream of information and lets you update your status across all your social networks at once. Social media sites that are currently supported include, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, FriendFeed and Flickr. Messenger services are available through Google Talk, AIM, Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger.
But what if each network has specific audiences? i.e. Facebook is family and friends. Twitter is your peer network. Linkedin is a business networking network and Live Messenger is say for your customers or something like that. My networks are somewhat broken out like that. I don’t want them to overlap. I don’t want my Facebook friends to receive my Twitter updates. I don’t want to pollute, so to speak, my otherwise “clean” Linkedin network with my Twitter updates. Occasionally I add the #li hashtag to a tweet, but otherwise I keep them separate.
You might be asking why I keep them autonomous but my simplest of reasons is that my networks are not all “business” related and conversely not all are intimate and or personal. Consider it strategic but it works for me. Different networks, different messages.
Point #2. There’s an assumption that we need consolidation and aggregation. I would say yes and no. I definitely think that having universal logins is heading in the right direction but there is one issue that I have with that. Profiles matter but they almost have to be a bit different for each network. People sometimes need to push out a different yet more effective profile per each network. Linkedin vs. Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Myspace. Different niches, different networks, different profiles.
Consolidation yes aggregation maybe.
More and more we are becoming members of more networks. That won’t be changing. I’m not sure there is an answer for posting updates that populate across all networks in which your networks understand the meaning. I may be looking at this too hard from a business standpoint and that’s OK. But the bigger picture is that consolidating our social networking effort is what we all want because we’re all hell bent on laziness or efficiency-take your pick. It’s just that aggregating or mingling them with any type of contextual adaptive effectiveness might be trickier.