Thursday, May 07, 2009

Invitation to brainstorm

For the last week, I've had a burning desire to do something with BuddyPress, a suite of eight plugins, currently in beta, that will transform any installation of WordPress MU into a social network platform:

The snag is - what? As someone said a few months ago (I can't find the source of this quote now) "The problem is not, can I build a social network, but, what shall I do with a social network?"

So we build a BuddyPress site. And it looks a lot like Ning, or WetPaint. Why would I want to do that? The destination web era is over:
In March the average American visited a mere 111 domains and 2,500 web pages, according to Nielsen Online. What's worse, our attention across these pages is highly fragmented. The average time spent per page is a mere 56 seconds. Portals and search engines dominate, capturing approximately 12 of the 75 hours spent online in March. However, people-powered sites like Wikipedia, Facebook and YouTube are not far behind, snagging nearly 4.5 hours of our monthly attention.
Building destinations (ghettos) is dumb. Trying to control users is dumb. Taking place in conversations where the people are is the only sensible strategy. That means teaching by example and immersion rather than by force.

But I still have this burning desire to do something with BuddyPress. Somebody stop me.