Dear Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, FourSquare and anyone else dabbling or fully-invested in the social technology game. Listen Up! My iPhone is now out of space because I have too many apps. I’m spending more time learning about yet another new tool and pondering whether it’s the right choice for me and my clients. I just finished convincing a really conservative organization that Twitter is kosher and NOW you throw Google+ at me. How the heck am I going to explain this one? The truth is that you are all good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it, 750 million people like you. So why can’t we all play nice in the sandbox?
I don’t want a bzillion social networks. I just want one good one. Sure I believe in capitalism and competition. I believe in pushing the limits of technology to make the world a better place, but I’m not sure if I really need another place to post my status, share news and make friends. So I propose that you all get together, have a few cocktails and make nice-nice.
In other words, here is what I want from my social network:
1. I want to connect to friends from high school in the same place that I connect with the guy who sat next to me at the opening keynote of the last conference that I was at. I want to be able to openly share “what I had for lunch” one minute and debating the benefits of location-based marketing the next. Oh and I want to see everyone’s baby photos of I choose. I want that warm and fuzzy human feeling that makes social technology, well, social.
2. I want control over who posts photos of me and I don’t want to see any photos of naked people.
3. I want the freedom to play Farmville if I want to, with the freedom to never see who is playing Mafia Wars. Ever.
4. I want advertisements that are relevant to me that take me to a destination of value.
5. I want to know my privacy is respected and my contact info will never be sold.
6. I want all of my contacts accessible from one location with easy access to email (until is becomes obsolete).
7. I want to know when people’s birthday are and I want a way to easily voice dial them through your network.
8. I want an intuitive interface with descriptions that are self-explanatory.
9. I want group chat.
10. I want to easily import my event attendees into an opt-in platform and to create a private community for them.
11. I want to be able to stream my conference though your platform with the option to make it public or private.
12. I want you to remind me if I haven’t been in touch with someone in awhile and I want you to know who is important to me.
13. I want to check-in to places and know who else is there. I want this done automatically.
14. I want you to suggest restaurants to me and to suggest entrees that I like. I want to book a reservation at the suggested venue and order my cocktail right through your interface. I want it on the table when I arrive.
15. I want a turn-by-turn GPS with shortcuts and tips suggested by my friends.
16. I want interesting articles to be suggest to me, I don’t want to have to search for them. I want urgent alerts for breaking news that is relevant to me.
17. I want my Nana to be able to use it with little instruction.
18. I don’t want popularity to be based on how many followers one has, but on the quality of their content. And I want it to weed out “fake people.”
19. I want to easily invite people to my event through your app, but I only want invites that are relevant to me.
20. I want to read posts that are about ANYTHING, but your social network.
So maybe I want it all. Maybe I want too much from one, single social network. I’m not pro-Facebook and anti-Google+. It’s not about one being better than the other. It’s about information overload for the commoner. I’d rather spend time teaching people how to make relationships matter than learning another technology that connects them. I love technology. I love social media. I just don’t love the market confusion.
Maybe I’m just cranky.