As I wandered around a few of the social networks tonight, and yes, added and subtracted just a few people, I thought about 'the next chapter' ... and sure, I cast a few 'real' votes.
It's pretty obvious that Mixx and Stumble are gaining ground. The question is why?
Maybe I'm naive but it seems to me, it's a lot easier to be noticed when there are less players? GREAT for now but what about later?
Digg is still huge. Technorati continues to seem 'confused' despite significant recent improvements. Others are already losing ground.
They're all a little different. Some of the bookmarking and voting communities may be for you and some may not. Right now, at least a few are probably important for you to at least explore.
I think it's high time that someone hits the subject that nobody wants to think about.
When the commercial interests and / or 'huge money' discover the potential of these networks, will they instantly become corrupt?
If someone offered you $50 for every vote you cast, would you think about it?
The possibility is real. It may be already happening.
I know we really don't want to think about any of this, but maybe if a few of us consider it now, we can help retain the integrity of these important websites going into 2008, and beyond.
Niche social markets with improved and improving moderation (such as Sphinn) will thrive.
Voting sites with larger audiences will need much-improved automatic and HUMAN monitoring. Sad, but true.
The players in this space need to be thinking about this now. I would hope they are already. I think it's possible to maintain the integrity of most of the niche sites and even some of the huge sites, if safeguards are put in place now.
If we can keep the 'voting space' relatively clean, your vote will be just as important as the CEO of a mega-corporation. Think about the possibilities. Right now, it's pretty cool watching the young crowd speaking out unabashed and really not caring at all about what the so-called 'huge people' think. More dialog like that can just help to improve the Internet landscape.
Sidebar: Collective-thoughts, along with a group of other blogs and websites, are running a little contest to vote for the 'bookmarkers' you think are doing a GREAT job. Unfortunately, because many of their authors are some of the BEST volunteer 'voters', they are not on the list, yet there is a good list to pick from.
Voting ends Tuesday. These people volunteer their time to help you find 'the best stuff'. Why not throw them a vote back?