For a while, Alex has had something to say about the current state of social software. Now he has summarized the four main points of the argument:
1) For an independent consumer brand to rise out of the currently bubbling social software stew, consolidation of existing services may be the requisite next step
2) However, the business model of some of the ’small pieces’ out there appears to be a quick exit through acquisition by an existing big player
3) The blogosphere is very US-centric and this is hindering its economic growth
4) Most importantly: to break into the mass market, blogging needs to become less cool. This is, in my opinion, the most interesting challenge because it requires a transformation of the user experience into something that diehard bloggers might no longer recognize as ‘blogging.’ Posts need to incorporate simple objects that require less effort to create and manipulate than freeform text. Moblogs, reading lists, FOAF listings and such are interesting steps in this direction.
Perhaps in the future, blogging could become a convention for expressing object-centered sociality, to borrow a term from the sociologist Karin Knorr-Cetina.