A few months ago in March 2009 I was conducting workshops in New Zealand on social networking tools for business and research (see my presentation displayed elsewhere on my blog). At the time I discussed the many benefits of using these tools, including networking, career exploration and competitive intelligence (in networking tools such as LinkedIn where the information is very trustworthy). I also indicated that these tools were a bit of a pain because you had to re-enter a lot of information you already entered in another social network site as there was no leading way to easily share that information and do it in a reasonably secure way. However, I felt that it was only a matter of time before this was no longer a problem. I had no specific predictions, only that I was confident we wouldn’t have too long before we would see some action. Meantime, apps are being industriously created to supplement this by enabling you to link and share status updates between Twitter and Facebook, for instance. That alleviates the need to update you status in both places, so that can save time and effort. There are many more examples of this, but you get the idea.
An article in The Washington Post by Chadwick Matlin on August 16th about Facebook buying FriendFeed titled “Facebook Cornering Market on E-Friends” talks about the potential of social aggregation. This begins to address my previously expressed concern with the many disparate social networking tools, so this is definitely something to watch.
On a related point, the latest Mac-compatible version of Skype (2.8) for Mac OSX now allows you to share your screen with another user. This is great and very easy to use. I had been using free YuuGuu.com that enables screen sharing and real time collaboration and links to Skype among tools, but then you and the other person have to be logged into both YuuGuu and Skype to make it work. That is still useful if the other person does not have the latest version of Skype, but it is great that such useful enhancements are happening!