Can we get a first step in social networking portability?

Earlier this week, during Marc Canter’s panel at LeWeb, I asked whether we could get a first step on all the social networks toward true social graph portability (which probably won’t happen because it’s too complex to do, because there are too many privacy rules, and because companies aren’t likely to give up their lockin anytime soon — imagine being able to drag all your information along with all of that of your friends from Facebook to MySpace and you’ll seee just how hard portability is going to prove to be). Translation: I agree with James Snell, who just made that point.

But here’s a challenge for social networks: how about you all add links to other social networks. So, when I look up Dave Winer on Twitter, for instance, I could see that he’s also on Flickr and Facebook.

For instance, I’m on If you visit me there you won’t have a clue that I’m also on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Yelp and a variety of other networks.

Plaxo and Pownce are two that are already letting me add links to other networks I’m on. I’m wondering if the industry could come up with some auto discovery protocols and/or ways to manually link things up?

Doing just this small step would greatly help us get down the road to some sort of federated system where I don’t need to fill out my information for each of my networks I’m on. It really is a pain in the behind to keep them all up to date.

Please? Pretty please?

The Webvan Pen

Yesterday I visited Hi5 and when I was there Paul Lindner, the architect, handed me a Webvan pen. He’s holding the pen in this video. We talked at length about what’s going on in social networking (they are signing up 100,000 new members a DAY, which is about half the growth rate of Facebook but still very phenomenal). Anyway, he handed me the pen to remind me to always look beyond the hype. Webvan, if you don’t remember, was a famous online grocery service that blew through millions of dollars back in the heady days of the late 1990s.

It’s a pen I’ll always treasure and it’s sitting here reminding me to look deeper at the companies I report on. My more in depth interview with Hi5’s CTO will be up next week.

Sorry I’ve been a bit absent this week. I overbooked myself. I’m speaking at Streaming Media West in a couple of hours. Plus I’ve been getting a steady stream of videos up on ScobleShow (check out TapTu there, a new mobile search engine that, in our little test, blew away Google).

And, of course, I’m still digging through lots of feeds for my link blog. I see that the Google Reader team added some new features which I’ll try out later.

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BluePulse shows how you compete with Facebook and MySpace…

BluePulse, today, released a bunch of new features for its social network.

But why is this social network gaining millions of users when Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc are out there already and are very entrenched?

Because they focused on a smaller niche. Their social network is ONLY for mobile phones.

I love this company and its service.

Want to get up to date on the mobile industry and hear all about BluePulse? You know what to do.

Venture Wire has the facts on BluePulse’s announcement
today. Blognation has other details.

Oh, and BluePulse is yet another best-of-breed companies that came from Australia. What are they putting in the water there?

Oh #2: this video, with CEO Ben Keighran, was filmed in YouTube’s original offices. Is this going to turn out to be a “lucky office?” We’ll see.

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