Last month CNET had an article from the Mash-Ups conference here in SF. The article was talking about the way kids communicate and proclaiming that kids were saying that e-mail is dead. Being very focused on technology and its usage in the lives of teenagers and college kids like I am I agree that this is true to a degree. E-mail as we know it meaning using a client such as Microsoft Outlook is dead to these kids. E-mailing is simply engrained into applications they spend lots of time on. This idea got me thinking about what happens when these kids enter the work force. Will they be forced to comply or can their social and communication habits actually influence the way they work as well. I think the former will be true and more interesting at some point in time.
What the future of social networking should look like is a simple yet powerful life portal, for lack of a better word, that exists for people to manage all the aspects of their life. MySpace does this to a degree as it is a limited life portal I will call it. In the future this life portal can manage all your contacts, calendar, photos, messages etc but will be seamlessly integrated to all your electronic devices.
I should not have to think to check my messages I need to go to Myspace. Applications will exist on my electronic devices that tie all this data together and is available from any place I can “connect” to my life portal. Meaning there is Internet access. The current structure where I have to have three separate locations online like Myspace, Facebook etc to manage my digital life is really quite ridiculous. These services can still exist but should be integrated entirely into one place like a life portal. That way I can go one place online to manage, communicate my Myspace friends or Facebook friends or just friends wherever they exist online.
The future of Social networking will seamlessly blend into my devices and the entire experience will be transparent to the end user.