Okay, “gives birth” was a bad choice of phrase; please read on.
This past weekend, I stumbled upon a podcast interview with Leo Lorenzen, the CEO of Altura Ventures, a VC principally focused on funding Facebook apps. The interview proves the insane pace of the social networking world; although the conversation took place less than a month ago, the major takeaways are already severely outdated. To wit, Lorenzen is quick to draw a line in the sand between MySpace and Facebook, particularly when discussing open platforms. He posits that Facebook, as a SN open platform trailblazer, will make it much harder for MySpace to follow suit.
Well, apparently, not all that hard; it’s happening next week.
Lorenzen punctuates the divide by remarking that Facebook is more like “a proxy of how people actually interact with friends in real life,” whereas MySpace remains typically “web-like.”
The root of this dividing line, according to Lorenzen, is the concept of the Social Graph– a term rapidly becoming a hot industry buzzword (and, in true web 2.0 fashion, may already be on its way out).
So, what is the Social Graph? In a long-winded (yet alliterative) way, the Social Graph refers to the underpinnings of communication, coordination, collaboration, and commerce within a social network. In short, the Social Graph is defined not by the thousands of widgets bouncing around in Facebook-MySpace-Bebo-Land, but rather by what (and whom) lies underneath.
Put another way, the Social Graph can be thought of as a dynamic, constantly undulating Q&A session:
Who’s using all of these widgets, and how?
As I’ve been discussing in the past few posts, the idea of a Social Graph no longer belongs singularly to Facebook (even though it’s one of Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite phrases). In fact, it would even be foolhardy to apply it only to the social networking space as a whole. The Social Graph now appears to be busting at the seams and giving way to a new Term of the Moment: The Social Operating System.
It’s like Jargon Christmas! For the sake of blog space, look forward to thoughts on the S-OS later this week.
Technorati Tags: The Web Outside, Social Graph, Facebook, MySpace, Social Operating System, Lee Lorenzen, Phil Leigh, Altura Ventures, Bay Partners, widgets