Last Christmas I was having a discussion with a friend who is devotee of LiveJournal. LJ people tend to by LJ4Life and a lot of their online existence revolves around the site and its numerous features.
At the time I rather inarticulatly started voicing my objection to “social hub” sites in preference to having a collection of social networking sites. If I want to chat about music I don’t necessarily want the latest boardgame news or to review my book wishlist.
My preference is for highly specialised very specific sites that do one thing and do it well rather than broad, sloppy, ill-defined hubs like MySpace, Facebook or indeed LJ.
Recently though the large number of sites I am member of it has been a bit awkward since if I am dealing with music I now have three links I would probably want to share with people RYM, Sellaband and E-Fields (my music blog). Getting all three to refer to one another is relatively easy but it still would probably be easier to refer to a link of links. Which means setting up a static page, possibly on this blog or on my own static pages on SDF-EU. What I’d like to do is have more than one link possible on each profile in each site. Most however simply allow one link to one personal page.
So do I really want a hub site to consolidate my interests? Well currently my answer is still no. The point of the web is create links between data and I don’t want to link everything to everything without any organisation. I want to link together my related sites. I also want to be able to flick between my interests as I see fit. If I want to go and update my wants list on Library Thing I don’t want to simultaneously IM via Facebook or see if there is some gig news on MySpace. I want to be able to control my flow of data and choose what I am going to work with.
Therefore despite the proliferation I’m still not ready to be assimilated.