With the news last week that Facebook visits have topped Yahoo! visits (via Compete), it’s seems to be increasingly clear that our social networks are becoming our new “web portals” for finding relevant news and information – the difference being that instead of being corporately-curated, they are peer-curated.
What makes Facebook so successful as our new “portal”?
In my view it’s that it’s not actually a portal at all, it’s a hub.
It’s not a means to capturing the Internet in one place, it’s about capturing your friends in one place. It’s about the connections that make up the threads of our digital life – our events, photos, contact information, birthdays, interests, entertainment, all as a personalized experience that we can expand or limit as we see fit. Facebook will continue to grow as more of our social lives move online, and migrating people away from the system where we have invested years of time and content will prove increasingly difficult for web properties that don’t tie-in with our existing networks.
What’s the missing link (so far) in tying our networks together?
A personal CRM and curation system. The ability to tag, categorize, link, promote/ demote, and import from various social systems to truly personalize the relevance of our contacts and their content together. We’ll need more signal than noise to be able to keep up.
While things will continue to happen in real-time on the web, human evolution does not happen in real-time and being able to manage our ever growing connections and interests without separating or limiting our profiles will be mandatory.
Will Facebook do it, or will a new start-up, or traditional media company, take the reins and migrate people away from the walled garden into a new hub?
(h/t Mitch Joel)