I have recently come across this rather interesting map of the internet which summarises the growth of several domains that focus on social and communication. The map shows how they are perceived within the on-line world. It is interesting to see facebook taking over the vast majority of the map which is very contrasting to the map of 3 years ago when MySpace was in Facebooks position. It is difficult to suggest that facebook is not going to be a lasting entity on the internet and that it might fade out just like mySpace. Generally I do not see this happening because of the way that it has been set up to intergrate with all other parts of the internet, through online logging and social graphs it makes you wonder how long Google Ads will hold out against this type of demographic. The idea that Facebook knows what you like and what you look at by how you surf the internet and therefore can target adverts accordingly is something Google has been trying to do since day 1. The link with Microsoft and Bing will now prove vital for the future of computing as synergies force computing into a new era, a better platform of experiences as systems are customised heavily on the current users trends and graphs.
Some of the more intresting features include the idea of viral videos that show that people are not interested 100% in polished products from hollywood but instead like to see rough and ready entertainment from the real world. This may prove to be crutial in the battle for the home entertainment sector, especially the fight between Google TV and Apple TV. I beleive in the long run Google will loose out to Microsoft and Facebook on teh social front but instead will gain traction in the media front.
There appears to be a great shift coming. A split within the internet, where people use Facebook to develop a very personalised and private network where you share your online experiences with those you know and links are made through this network. This will lead to highly customised internet prefrences that will give people a sence of personal belonging.
On the other side of the split there will be the public version of the internet, with little log-on infrastrucutre so that viral videos etc. can reign. This will therefore allow people to reach out to each other through these networks, learn about new things and then take it back to their own network and spread the word.
A larger version of the map can be found: http://xkcd.com/802_large/
The 2007 version can be found here: http://xkcd.com/256/