Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Renaming social networking

I've previously argued that what we call "social networking" comprises two very separate things:
  • A set of features for navigating from your immediate connections to their connections and so on, generally with a filtering capability ("Who in my network is over 30/says they liked Casablanca/joined since I last looked/etc?")
  • Names, logos, slogans and other branding to identify people as having something humanly meaningful in common ("all the cool kids/movie buffs/seasoned professionals/etc join this site")
I'm looking for good names for these parts. The first one needs something technical, like "connection graph navigation" but less of a mouthful. The second one needs something more human, like "banners" (as in "rallying under the banner of ..."), but snappier and more evocative.

I'm sure that the combination will continue to be called "social networking," whether or not the label really fits, but it would be good to have nice crisp labels for the parts when we want to talk about them without confusion.

2 comments:

earl said...

For the second, this looks promising, though I keep thinking there's a better, related term that I can't quite bring to the surface. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=totem&searchmode=none

David Hull said...

Note to self: I think communities eventually won out