The Social Web Makes My Head Hurt

Head Hurt Screenshot

The timing could not have been better. Yesterday morning my friend Rachelle Lacroix tweeted that the social web makes her head hurt. It makes a lot of sense! Honestly, my head hurts also spending all this time trying to figure out how all of these new tools works and determine where they are going. While none of us could tell you where things will be one year for now, all of us on the social web would love to tell you our opinion (which is exactly what I will proceed to do).

Over the past few months it feels like my digital identity has been tied to the car of a drunk driver and dragged across every possible terrain as I register for one site after the other. I end up placing my memory of each site somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain. Usually I’m able to at least recall my login even if I’m not quite sure why I registered in the first place. We hope that the new lifestreaming services will solve the problem but as Caroline McCarthy writes, they don’t.

Then there are the various standards and projects including but not limited to oAuth, OpenID, DiSo and countless others that are practically impossible to track. Every few weeks a new solution is launched promising us with yet another solution but as Marshall Kirkpatrick pointed out yesterday, we are going in the wrong direction.

Dave McClure acknowledges that the social web is a cluster fuck and concludes that in the short run there are only a few solutions. He would like a global identity system that enables a single login, single friend list, and a single friend feed. I couldn’t agree more with Dave and I think Facebook is best positioned to create the center of our digital identity.

The only problem is who will be first to open? Google has already offered their contacts API so why doesn’t Facebook do something similar? I could literally ramble on for hours about what I think the solution is but honestly that isn’t the point of this post. The main point of this is that the odds of a semantic web being created in the near future are extremely low (as Dave suggests).

If my head hurts, I can only imagine how people that aren’t thinking about this 24-hours a day feel. Do you think we’ll ever come to any solutions anytime soon? Does your head hurt as well?