Plaxo's forthcoming entry into mainstream social networking with its Pulse service is all over TechMeme this morning. What was formerly a way to synch your contacts across various services is now taking a page from Facebook with RSS feeds from contacts, including from external services such as Amazon and YouTube. Pulse also lets you categorize contacts according to the type of relationship--business, family, friends--which will certainly become a feature that Facebook will adopt.
The point to remember about the current frenzy over social networks is that this period of innovation is equivalent to the introduction of Netscape in 1995. We are at the very beginning of the social, interconnected, people-centered Web. It's the Stone Age of the social graph. We are just beginning to create useful tools for living in the digital age, mapping the human social genome into the virtual world. It's a period of experimentation and creativity, and the surfacing of issues such as who owns your digital profile, virtual anonymity, identity standards, open networks, the intersection of 3D virtual worlds and social networks and how businesses should be using social networks.