I have subscribed to more social communities than I can keep up with ... and yet I keep clicking subscribe links. Some I bookmark, and some I don't. Most are clutter in my cyber-closet. My name is Maurene, and I'm a social community subscribe-aholic.
In my reality, each one is important -- with bits and bytes of information to be discovered. I've lost count of how many I've subscribed to. I play with each for a while, then get bored and subscribe to a new community. However, there are a few that I use regularly: LinkedIn and del.icio.us (for business) and Flickr (for fun). I have a folder of mainly unread RSS feeds. The blogs that I really want to read are subscribed to through Feedblitz, which delivers an RSS-generated aggregation of new posts contained within an email message. I use Feed Crier to alert me via IM for posts "hot off the cyber-press."
My old buddy Plaxo 2.0 has been ousted by Plaxo 3.0 (PIM extraordinaire). The Plaxo 3.0 sync-platform is built on SyncML, a platform-independent, sync open standard. As my ZDNet Between the Lines colleagues point out:
It’s an opportunity for Plaxo to become a kind [of] data synching hub of contact and calendar data between all the services a person uses.
I consider Plaxo to be socially aware, because it keeps current contact information between myself and those in my address book who are Plaxo members.
Plaxo 3.0 officially debuted into social community society with Plaxo Pulse, which by default automates content sharing of Flickr photos, blog posts and Amazon.com Wish Lists with others in my Plaxo member network. I found it to be overwhelming though -- more information than I could consume.
I subscribe to SocialURL, which aggregates the links of my social communities. I was disappointed that it didn't search the "social-community-sphere" for my subscribed-to-communities. Rather I had to identify the communities to which I belong and enter the respective community link for each of my profiles.
My favorite 2.0 playground is Go2Web20.net -- a subscribe-aholic's ultimate high. I spent hours and hours subscribing to obscure services, just to see what each offers.
I only have another year -- two years tops -- to subscribe to upstart wannabes. Convergence of the sustainable is already underway --witness Yahoo's acquisition of Flickr, Google's of YouTube, News Corp's of MySpace, CBS's of Last.fm, eBay's of StumbleUpon .... ). Consumers will pay for these mega-communities, either through advertising litter or a fee for advertising-free services. Others will shed their beta cocoons to emerge with a viable service worthy of a revenue model, as did Trumba.
In real life, people are social beings and virtual 2.0 social media provide the viral tools to help us find like-minded others. In my personal life, I'm in the midst of developing a social community for our local township (toolset yet to be determined). It will build a civic awareness and advocacy community, comprised of like-minded neighbors that had never met.