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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

You should follow me on Twitter.

Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at

Monday, May 5, 2008

Your Social Networking DNA

So I'm at the AIM Conference and I just heard a presentation by the General Manager of Yahoo! Canada talk about Social Networking DNA.

His point was, basically, it's unreasonable to expect social networks to continue to operate as they do now, because currently they're the only space where people of all ages interact together. He gave the example that if he started shopping for clothes where his daughter shops, she'd throw away her clothes.

Sure, that makes sense.

And I agree that it's weird and probably unsustainable for Facebook to draw people of every demographic.

And I agree that the future is going hyper local. Everyone will have their own networks where they can interact with the people they want to interact with, when they want to. There will still be Facebook, where everyone is, but there will be smaller, more niche networks, where you can talk to specific groups of people with whom you have a specific connection.

But I do not agree that people will have a single profile, a single "you" that will get carried from network to network, saving you from creating new profiles and logins everywhere you go.

Why? Because you're not the same "you" on every network. Your Facebook "you" is different than your Twitter "you" because your Twitter messages are broadcast to everyone. You're just not the same person everywhere you go.

And if someone steals your one, single social networking identity, that could be as damaging to your business and reputation as your real, actual identity.

Having a single "you" is as bad as being forced to use biometric information to gain access to physical locations or computer data. If someone steals your credit card and your identity, you cancel the card and you contact the police and the government, because you'll be able to prove through all your other "profiles" that you're the real you.

If someone steals your fingerprint, or gets the data from your iris and manages to steal your identity that way, how could you possibly prove you're the real you?

If someone steals your one, single social media DNA, you're in the same boat.


Ben said...

Interesting topic. Thanks for a glimpse at the AIM conference. I've linked to this post here:

Hope that's okay!

Joel Kelly said...

That's definitely okay, I appreciate it!