In this very interesting slidedeck, Paul Adams — who was heading the Google user experience (UX) team when he put this together, but who is now working at Facebook — takes us through a nice analysis of how real social networks work and why online social networks leave us feeling exposed and awkward. Privacy may be an issue, but appropriateness is a more nuanced term to describe what we’re lacking.

Adams argues convincingly that the Web has fundamentally changed, and that the social Web is not an add-on but the new Web:

The web was originally built to link static documents together, but evolved to incorporate social media , and weʼre now seeing a web built around people, where their profiles and content are moving with them as they visit different websites.

However, it will be some engineering cycles before the social Web can truly accommodate human social peccadilloes.

(Thanks to the STM Future Lab for the pointer.)

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


5 Thoughts on "The Real Life Social Network — Facebook Has a Lot to Learn"

Thanks for posting this – a really interesting presentation. There was only one slide noting that people may use multiple email or facebook idenities to manage the divergent groups of people they connect with. I think this is a pretty biased view – understandable from a facebook employee perhaps 😉 I manage the different groups of people that I connect with through different tools – friendfeed, facebook, three email accounts, twitter. I can have people in more than one of those groups if my connection to them overlaps.I think that people are learning to manage the nuances of different social connections with more skill than the speaker attributes to us!

“People are increasingly using the web to get the information they need from each other, rather than from businesses.” This is the crucial lesson here that publishers need to learn. Marketing is becoming a very different type of activity in the world of the social web than it was before.

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