I decided to do some exploration tonight of some Social Media sites that I am not as familiar with as I should be — sites like tumblr, for example. An interesting thing about tumblr is that the site really promotes the fact that you can share everything you post super easily. You can email to your blog, you can blog to your tweets, you can tweet to your blogs, you can Facebook all of it…
I got a bit overwhelmed.
Then an idea came to me. Maybe it’s because at heart I’ll always be a reasonably old-fashioned minded marketing person. Maybe it’s because I’ve been trying to untangle the skein of yarn that is Cloud Computing. Whatever the reason, the following question came to mind. “Why are we sharing everything out when we could be bringing people IN?”
Take Another Little Piece of My Content Now Baby
Currently, I am sending out content in the following ways, directly or indirectly:
Company Website/Company E-Newsletter/Professional Blog/Personal Blog/Facebook Account/Twitter Account/LinkedIn Account/BrainShark.com/3 Email Accounts
Compared to a lot of people, this list is short. Google Reader, Google Wave, Google Buzz, Tumblr, Digg, Delicious, multiple Twitter Accounts, YouTube, Podcasting — the ways you can send information out are getting to seem almost infinite.
Then there’s the sharing and cross-platform stuff that I haven’t really engaged in much yet. My blog imports into LinkedIn. I had my Twitter account importing into LinkedIn for awhile till I realized it imported all of my @ responses. That was a bummer. There are people who can execute a single action, like “liking” a YouTube video, and have that action fed to 3-4 different accounts.
Let’s Bring It In
So here is my dream. You log into your favorite browser, where a central hub is waiting for your input. This central hub has different groups that you can feed content to just by selecting them. If you are posting a professional blog that you want to send out to your LinkedIn network, your company database, and your Twitter account, you select those areas. If it’s a personal photo of your kid riding an elephant at the zoo, you select your Facebook type friends.
On the other side of the dashboard, people could opt in to your communications, and you’d have to approve them for the different groups they’d want to be a part of. If they want to be part of your personal communications yet you don’t know them, they get denied for that content, but maybe could still receive your professional stuff.
Maybe the control panel could also segment types of content. Professional photos go to this group and this group. Professional videos to the same groups. Personal photos just go here.
Instead of separate sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, I think the future of the web will be the technologies that those sites employ as available to everyone through a personal cloud. Much like we all pay for our internet connections (you do, don’t you??) we would all pay for our content cloud. We’d build our network as we are now, through networking and content generation. But instead of having to click “share this”, or instead of depending upon your network to share an e-newsletter story with other pros in your network, everything would be controlled by you, and all content would go to those who actually want it.
Do you think the web will go this way? What’s your dream about Web 4.0?
Image by Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo, http://www.sxc.hu/profile/mmagallan