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March 30, 2006



Arent Social Networking sites like MySpace, Facebook walled gardens? So, what do you think is their future?


I recognize that MySpace, Facebook and most instant messengers are proprietary communities where users establish a service-specific identity (at Skype, I'm "brough"; at AIM, I'm "broughturner") that is only useful when interacting with others on that specific service. However, there is no coupling between Internet connectivity and these applications. If I'm connected to the Internet, I can run separate clients and simultaneously participate in MySpace, Facebook, Skype, AIM and GoogleTalk.

A walled garden arises when a mobile operator talks about the "mobile Internet" but limits their connectivity service to a few applications, blocking access to the rest of the Internet.

I do expect those community applications that offer APIs and other means for their users to do mashups will prosper compared to those that operate closed communities.

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