Antisocial networks (Message from the CTO, newsletter 50)

13 July 2011

Again a “text-only” message this time, but this one is a cry for help. I think.

The über-network of social networks

I've just signed up for Google+. The invite that finally "took" - all previous invites resulted in "nice try, no spare slots at this time, we're in beta" – was from my predecessor in this position, Richard Morris. He evinced a strong dislike to Facebook, promising to move everything, including his friends list, to Google+ as soon as possible. Me, I didn't particularly care until I fell for one of those fake status updates on someone else's Facebook page, resulting in my Wall being spammed in turn. Now, I'm not so sure.

But then again, I’m feeling trapped by the sheer number of social networks I belong to. There's Facebook (julian.m.bucknall) and Google+ (, sure, and then following up close are Twitter (@jmbucknall), LinkedIn (jmbucknall), and StackOverflow (boyetboy -- fooled ya!), although the latter isn't really a social network. Isn't it? I see the same people answering all the time, so we're, like, friends, right?

Of course I had to snag "my" pages on Posterous (jmbucknall) and Tumblr (jmbucknall, again), although I've given up updating them. Foursquare or Yelp? Can't be bothered, you're welcome to them. My previous editor at PC Plus almost got me to sign up to Formspring, but I backed away, mumbling and twitching.

Wherefore now? It's starting to look like I need an über-network, a meta-network that manages all those other lesser social networks. I'm already seeing duplicate posts on several of them (and I'm as guilty as the next man), so where do I click Like, or +1, or RT, or Favorite, or Share? All of them? Come to that, where do I reply to my, er, friend? Where will they see it first? Where will my other friends, acquaintances, colleagues, random people that follow me, see that I've done my social network duty? That I haven’t let them down?

Can't someone write this super-social-network app for me? Or can you come round and pry my router from my cold dead hands?


So, something out of the ordinary for the 50th issue…

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