Social websites are getting better, more used, more open and more complete. Why should you start a website or blog if you can also write on your Facebook. Or why wouldn’t you transfer or duplicate all your data from your Facebook to any other social network or widget.
Do we need custom coded websites?
We need interfaces that show the information, but do we still need custom coded websites? We’re transfering data via xml, rss and api’s from one website to another. We import contacts from one service into another. We’re trying to work to a universal/sigle sign-on and to standards in open social techniques. Technology (widgets) and design (templates) are available to everyone, you just take what you need.
The field is rapidly shifting, we are clustering information around people not around services anymore. Information gets easily transportable and because of this, free of the website it is presented on. There are already many communities and I’m sure the amount of smaller communities will grow fast within the next years.
Why start a website, if you actually would like to start a community? Communities are about engagement and engagement is the ultimate goal for most websites and the base for a long term relationship between provider and user.
I’m writing these articles on my hypernarrative blog, but why should I? It’s a closed environment (except full article RSS). I could as well start writing this on my Facebook, Flickr or Ning. As long as you all move with me :)
I don’t need a special website to express myself. I need an outlet to publish my thoughts, a community and readers that sometimes give me valuable feedback, ispire or correct me. And the funny thing is that my chances finding these readers in social networks are growing.
My options are changing. First I made a blog because it gave me freedom of publishing. I could stop using Dreamweaver for updates, change the lay-out or control the information anytime I wanted.
We’re getting into a situation where I don’t need to run my own blogsoftware or website to be in full control of my information. With the direction social networks are moving I can easily move my information everywhere I want, when I want.
The barrier of technology had its peak, for now. Everyone can make what he or she likes. We just need to find the tools we need. The real challenge in launching a successful website is in building a great community.