When Every Site Becomes a Social Network

We are headed toward trouble. Trouble that I’m excited about. Matt Mullenweg has announced that he has hired Andy, the developer behind BuddyPress. I wrote about BuddyPress back in November and spoke about the easy creation of a social network for every WordPress based blog. This is going to be a significant change as well as a significant challenge. Every single blog is going to want to instantly create their own social network to generate their own community.

Want to connect with all people on your favorite blogs? MyBlogLog won’t be the only tool that makes connecting easier. I’m sure that I’ll sign up for another 100 social networks as soon as this feature launches because I have to stay connected with the people reading all my favorite sites. While attending Graphing Social Patterns West earlier this week I listened to a number of speakers talk about the future of data portability and single source identities. It’s all the buzz and it is bound to happen soon. There is an army of industry luminaries that are pushing this movement forward.

I expect 2008 to be one of the biggest years for data portability and while this is a huge step forward it is simply a reaction to the huge mess that we’ve created which we call the “social web.” The new BuddyPress announcement is a sign of troubles to come. We’re taking a huge step forward with the DataPortability workgroup but there is still a ways to go. I am excited about the prospect of easily turning any blog into a social network by simply installing the BuddyPress plugin but I also envision this creating a lot of short-term frustration with even more site logins.

Do you think WordPress will create their own identity standard for logging in across multiple site networks or is this going to generate even more trouble?