There was a panel discussion organised at Picnic 2007. With Jyri Enstrom of Jaiku, Matt Biddulph of Dopplr, Felix Petersen of Plazes, Biz Stone of Twitter, and Raymond Spanjar of Hyves as panel members I was waiting for an interesting discussion on social networks. I’m sorry to say I found it quite disappointing. For more info see the Picnic blog here. No real insights into the success of social networking or ways in which they will eventually evolve into. The most valuable thing noted by most of the panel members was that the social network helps you find things when you need them, the information coming from “friends” in the network. Everyone seems to think mobile social networks will be the next thing. Personally I feel there is still a long way to go and many hurdles to be taken. No real discussion on business models either, although Biz Stone from Twitter made a good point in saying that he wants the Twitter API be the interface through which applications and services will integrate SMS and the Internet (base upon the fact that Twitter does 20x more traffic through their API than through their home page). Ties in nicely with some of the clever things Rolf Skyberg said on his post on the social client. Someone has to do the plumbing, right? Well, Twitter is working on part of that.
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