Universal format

So, I spent much of my time focusing on spatial tech, 3D worlds, metaversy stuff this SXSW season. There were so many good observations. I’ll sprinkle some in series a posts.

In the green room before our panel I was noting to Ben Batstone-Cunningham how odd it was that teens could not take their friend lists with them when they turn 18 and “graduate” from the teen grid to the main grid on Second Life. As a former Lindener, he said that this was entirely by design for security reasons (the two grids having no messaging interconnects) but that you could in fact bring your inventory with you to the new grid. But he also asked rather pointedly, which would you rather take, your list of friends or your actual things?

That’s not being crass. It is a statement about the non-techncial nature of people networks, the foundation of the success of any social world. You can’t export a personal relationship. Or, rather, you don’t need to. It is a universal format. It persists across platforms. Your app may facilitate the creation and maintenance of such relationships, but the relationships themselves move smoothly between any world. Watch as the Twittersphere shrinks post-SXSW. But the relationships — at least some of them — will persist.

There was much talk at SXSW about OpenID. When will x application support OpenID? So people are of course thinking about identity across worlds and this will help relationship networks bridge changing technologies.

But it does come back to people. Just like blogs, podcasts, and just about anything we seem to care about. This should be the focus first. Then technology.

Tags: socialnetworking