The idea of ‘Relevant’ Social networks
Robert Scoble just put up a long and detailed post about the idea of ‘Malleable’ social graphs and minimobs. A malleable social graph is one that “changes based on conditions you set in motion.” Providing a number of examples Scoble talks about how an ideal malleable social graph would change based on where we are, what we’re doing or what we believe. And this element of Relevance is exactly what Facebook and Twitter have been lacking so far.
If I am at an event and am up to pull up my Facebook feed on my phone, I’ll be shown irrelevant status updates by my friends’; but what if I was shown posts from friends who were in and around where I am, or posts from friends who might be at a similar venue (concert/restaurant/park or beach), or maybe updates from a fanpage of the venue I am at? That would be much more relevant to me.
Services like FourSquare have the location relevance element locked down, but what they don’t have is the interactivity and the sheer number of connections most us have made on Facebook. FriendFeed had a fantastic system where it let you filter out posts from specific users, from specific services and a combination of two. It was genius and it meant you only saw what you wanted to see. What if Facebook could have an automatic filter in system where posts that were more relevant to me would automatically be filtered in and prioritized in my feed.
I check into my FourSquare a lot more than I update my Facebook status when I’m out, but I assure you I’m a lot more likely to be social on Facebook if it starts getting more relevant.