“Could open-source blogging platform WordPress serve as your next social networking profile?”. With that question, Anne Zelenka started a post on GigaOM that created a fairly big buzz in the blogosphere (143 comments and trackback plus 541 diggs). She wrote about DiSO, a project that by using OpenID as an identifier and WordPress as publishing platform wants to “build a social network with its skin inside out.” With some sophisticated blogroll-related plugins, bloggers would be able to build a social networking place that’s customizable to the max, since it’s their own place. It’s an idea by Chris Messina, co-founder of Citizen Agency.
It sounds like a great idea, especially now everybody seems to look for ways to connect their abundance of social services. Remember what Marc Canter said in Paris on Le Web 3: ‘We ALL want social systems that DO connect with other social systems.
However, Zelenka added a critical remark in her post, stating that not everybody wants one place to present their digital identity. Some people prefer several places to present themselves in different ways for different audiences.
I believe that DiSO might get popular, but I doubt whether it will get picked up on a massive scale. It seems like a nice tool for the geeky crowd out there. The ones that actually care about their on-line identity and think outside the borders of their group of friends and acquaintances. Who already have a well-styled and written personal blog. For them it’s a nice extra.
For the large audience however, it’s just a little too complicated. Yet for them, there are also interesting blog tools emerging. Tools that make blogging more accessible and look better than the old-fashioned Blogger.com design. Have a look at Blogonize for example. It’s basically an AJAXified blogging platform that makes it easier for users to create ‘one heck of a blog’ and thus might stimulate a huge crowd to finally start blogging.
Tumblr also fits perfectly into the trend. Ok, it’s not 100% blogging, but it sure looks like it. They say that when blogs are journals, tumblelogs are scrapbooks. It’s another easy way for users to easily share what they create and find on the web, in a gorgeous way.
So yes, blogging will get more popular for the normal users, since it’s a way for them to present themselves in a more personal way. But the process of installing a blog on a server and activating plugins is just a little too much to ask from them. Or will the guys from DiSo find a more accessible way to create the so-wanted personal social networkingtool?
Tip: Read this inspiring article by Hugh MacLeod in which he explains why he prefers blogging over social networks.