Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
August 6, 2007 8:04 PM

Ever Heard Of Digilanti Or Social Operating System? You Should...

I am on my flight from Phuket to Bangkok and I finally had a chance to crack open the latest issue of Wired Magazine (August 2007 - with Martha Stewart on the cover). I came across two new and interesting words I had not seen/heard of before in their Jargon Watch column (which always puts a smile on my face).

Digilanti happens when, "combining digerati expertise with vigilante initiative, the digilanti anonymously police the Internet, exposing scams and fighting spam in the interest of making the Web safe without government intervention."

And this one:

Social Operating System - "a social networking site like Facebook or MySpace that seamlessly integrates activities, including entertainment and shopping, to become a platform for online living."

It makes you pause and wonder. If there are people who are passionate about making sure that entries into Wikipedia are accurate, then it makes total sense that there is a subculture of people like the Digilanti of the world, out there protecting us from Nigerian Bankers who are trying to free millions of dollars worth of gold. I wonder how /if they work together or is it truly individuals doing their Batman-like thing online, on their own?

Anyone know any Digilanti? It does sound cool (in a geeky kind of way).

I also loved reading about the Social Operating System. What did you think of when you read that definition? Facebook immediately sprung to my mind, and nothing came in a close second - which speaks to the power of how Facebook is morphing beyond the next hot online social network after Friendster and MySpace into something much bigger.

Is it just me or does it seem like Facebook is doing anything (and everything) to become the next generation portal? I'm doing my best not to get caught up in the "online social network of the moment" syndrome, and I know better than to place my bet on one platform at this moment in time, but Facebook really seems to be doing everything within its power to own your full online experience.

Just this week, when I was presenting my "tools of the trade" on day two at PodCamp Singapore, I realized that some of the core tools I use (namely Google Reader, del.icio.us, Twitter, etc_) all have applications built for Facebook, and are all completely visible to my friends via my profile page. If you're interested in seeing which items I am sharing via Google Reader, my latest Twitter tweets or even the content I've tagged in del.icio.us, all of this is available via my Facebook profile page (I really wish we had the ability to create a unique URL for our Facebook profile page - hook me up with a www.facebook.com/mitchjoel - please).

As e-commerce invades social networks (and it's starting to happen now), Marketers are going to have to be well aware of the new online social network (now known as Social Operating Systems) and do our best to understand (and analyze) how marketing messages translate when individuals are driving the response to (and from) their collected connections.

The big marketing challenge will be in not crossing the line. None of us would want to be on the receiving end of punishment doled out by the Digilanti.

By Mitch Joel


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