Alex Steer

Better communication through data / about / archive

The future of social networks - six pivot points

297 words | ~1 min

This is a short post to draw your attention to The Futures Company's blog, where over the course of this week we're launching our work on the future of social networks. I've been leading this work, and have been busy on it for the last few months, and I've written a series of posts which we'll be posting on the blog over the course of this week, and which will be available after as a short paper giving an overview of the full report.

In a line or two, we suggest that too much attention is paid to technology change in online social networking, and not enough to changes in how people want to interact online. We identify six 'Pivot Points' - points of tension based on the choices people make when they engage online, and the conflicts they experience – that will shape the future of social networks. These decision points – around scale, privacy, specificity, pervasiveness, utility and worldview – will have different outcomes for different people across the world, but their different combinations will shape the future of online social networks. So rather than making big bets based on technology (or luck, or the latest fads in advice), business should understand what these Pivot Points are, and use them to see what decisions their customers are making about how they want to interact.

So there. If you want to know more, drop me an email or tweet, or go through more official channels and talk to @futuresco or

# Alex Steer (01/08/2011)