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well said. every year, i think on this issue as well. it was most noteworthy in my online life back in 2007 when some of the more intimate mailing lists/groups i was a member of started to grow too large and lost that special tight-knit vibe. i attempted to restore digital intimacy with others who sought it as well with a new, albeit short-lived, group that was named '' ( i know that email is not exciting to talk about but it seems that i fall back on mailing lists as probably the ideal way to handle digital social intimacy among friends and family. the new revamped facebook groups was a smart move and has proven to be useful. for instance, i setup a group for a segment of my neighborhood where a group of us are friends IRL. FB Groups are like using group aliases in email. Twitter could/should incorporate private groups. It would be a big success as many people want that or would be happy to have it once it exists. It might even work as an enhancement to the DM component. Could be similar to FB Groups. as for shiny new Social Network Services offering cutting edge privacy and friend circle management.... they sure have their work cut out. Early adopters will join the best (hyped) products but in the end, a bit of Product Development effort and focus by FB, Twitter and even Google(me) will be enough to shake the shit out any competition. Sure, you can build an impressive product and be part of a talent acquisition. but "The Next Big Social Network" would need to have a flood of user joins and i'm not sure that any feature could be stand-out enough to lure folks in and/or to abandon the familiar space they have already invested time in. i'd like to see how the Federated/Distributed Social Web evolves so that digital intimacy can be achieved across networks as opposed to only having a few behemoth solution providers in this space. we, the users, should care more about owning/controlling our tight friend circles using open and secure standards rather than by default feeding these social machines all of our activity data for them to crunch & store & profit. either way, simplicity wins. but decentralized social infrastructure continues to evolve.
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Nov 2, 2010