Online Identity Fragmentation + The Dilution Of "Friend" = Problem / Opportunity

Over the last several months I've been thinking a lot about online identity fragmentation and whether it's a problem or not. You know, Twitter account here, Facebook account over there, Flickr account around the corner, and so on. Sometimes they're linked, most often times not. There are at least six companies working on ideas that in some form will aggregate your various accounts in to one "social media hub" and provide an integrated stream of all your and your friend's online activities. That's all well and good but it misses the bigger problem/opportunity. In short, it's necessary but not sufficient.

At the same time, I've been talking with my friend Chris Arkenberg about how Twitter and Facebook (especially) have unintentionally contributed to the degradation of the definition of the word "friend" and how none of the popular social networking/social media sites give users the ability to indicate the strength of the ties between you and your friends/followers. As a result, the ability of 3rd parties to determine or infer levels of influence/trust/reputation/etc between you and your "friends" is seriously constrained.

The intersection of these two is filled with multiple opportunities. People have been asking me what projects I'm working on lately - this is one of them.