Sunday, March 30, 2008

Re: Here Comes Trouble: A Social Directory

Om Malik either does not know about "microformats" especially hCard (which is unlikely) or has willingly chosen to ignore it. The solution to directory problem is not to have a single provider like google or Plaxo collate all information about a person, but to allow any service to syndicate the same standard contact information.

The solution is the standard microformat for storing your contact details from email, to phone number/ postal address to social network profile info. Once all existing platforms which store profile info - blogs, email services, eGroups, specialized networks (forums/ etc) - start using the same format, it will be possible for any service to access hCard info from any other service (provided privacy is taken care of by allowing users the right to share/ not share).

Also, this will make it possible for you to store your hCard info at only on of the websites you use (say your personal blog or social n/w account or Email provider) and share the same info (syndicated) with any other service you use. (This is just like OpenAuth where the same OpenID - I store mine on my blog - can be used to access any service)



Sent to you by s4ur4bh via Google Reader:


via GigaOM by Daniel Berninger on 3/29/08

The declining relevance of telephone directories erased 95 percent of publisher RH Donnelley's market capitalization over the last 12 months. Although Google's free 1-800-GOOG-411 service may attract some share of the directory assistance business, the crux of the problem lies with the diminished standing of wired telephones in an increasingly crowded communications landscape. The demise of paper directories does not, however, mean there exists a clear alternative to accommodate the growing list of communication coordinates most people juggle. A "social directory" created by merging the telephone directory with the social networking model may provide a way forward.

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As the number of communication options increases, so does the burden of managing contact information, yet Internet-enabled directory options remain lacking. Google's 60 percent share of Internet searches gives the company both gatekeeper status in the information Internet — not to mention a rich market capitalization. However, Google's revenue represents less than a third of what the declining telephone directories generate in the U.S. alone. Riches await the infocom company that achieves gatekeeper status for the Internet's communications applications.


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