I just saw the announcement of the long-term partnership between MS and FB. Their first product will be social search:
Of course this was to be expected. I remember this discussion during the SKOS workshop. What we could not know however is whether FB would choose MS, Google, or build the whole thing by themselves, the latter being improbable, not to say infeasible. Well, they chose MS.
A more social question is what effect this will have on our internal exploration / exploitation balance when searching : will this social search make us explore less the unknown, endangering creativity, now that we (using this social search thingy) can fully exploit the things that are recommended by people that are like us, so we can ultimately become more like us ?
Will this social search drive mass convergence, reverse the stretching of the long tail brought by the Web, and bring us back to square 1 where New-kids-on-the-block hits and brain dead blockbusters instead of inspiring niches ruled ?
Or will it thicken the long tail, expanding markets for niches ?
My ideas are not fully developed yet, anyhow I found it necessary to already provoke some discussion on this topic.