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I think you are dreaming up too complex a proposition. If a social network has all these complexities, how will it grow? If FB had all these complexities, it would never grow so big. Now that it is big, it can experiment with groups, although even that is a second attempt because lists didn't work. People hate settings. FB is like an online version of a bar. People just want to hang out. The intimate alternative you are imagining is email. People already use it and it works fine. Before Facebook came along, was anyone writing blog posts about how nice it will be if a website let me share photos of my last holiday with my random old school buddies who I haven't spoken to in 20 years? These things are quite random. So, in as far as something will take down Facebook, it will simply be something which is equally or more viral and fun. It does not matter what its specific form or function will be. Intimacy is not essential.
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Nov 1, 2010