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Idea Bar: The Universal Invite/Connect/Poke/Follow/Subscribe Button

I have a profile on just about every social network that I can find.  That doesn’t mean I use all of them, of course, but I am starting to run into a very interesting problem that I have to assume others are running into as well.  The problem is keeping my social network synchronized.  I have nearly 250 contacts on LinkedIn, and nearly 100 on Facebook, and they are different.  I know most of those people have accounts on both, but if I am already connected to someone, it requires an extra step to connect again on another site … which I don’t take/have the time to do. 

Add to that the fact that now I have over 4000 folks who subscribe to this feed, but I am only connected to most of them through the fact that they read this blog on occasion and not through any social networks.  So you can probably guess where this idea is heading.  What if there was a universal button that I could just put on my blog to let someone connect to me?  Period.  And that button would let them send me an invite for LinkedIn, Myspace, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and whatever other network I choose to set up.  Then I could review the invitations individually and approve or decline them.  The only argument against this that I could see is if you want to keep your communities separate (for example use LinkedIn for business contacts and Facebook for personal contacts).  Still, under this idea you could still choose to only approve certain types of invitations.  What do you think – would this work?

About the Idea Bar:  Working in a creative team, the life of our business is new ideas.  We come up with them every day for clients, but sometimes there are ideas that just don’t fit a client.  They are too big, too different, or just not quite right. Inspired by John at Digital Influence Mapping Project, the IdeaBar is a category of posts that are meant to be "open source" and offer new ideas for marketing.  Take them and use them … all I ask for is a link back to this post if you find these ideas useful and talk about them.  Read more IdeaBar posts on this blog.

7 thoughts on “Idea Bar: The Universal Invite/Connect/Poke/Follow/Subscribe Button”

  1. I love this idea. It reminds me of the free Gaim application that I can use to IM contacts whether they’re on MSN, Yahoo, IRC, iChat, whatever — all from one buddy list. But I’m no software engineer, so I have no idea how you make it work 🙂 While I see your idea as a great way for the various social networks to gain more users, I wonder if they might initially resist the idea of getting in bed with their competitors…?

  2. Rohit:

    I’d expect it will happen — given the fact that there are now comment tracking sites like cocomment around, it’s not far off that you would have contact tracking sites. Perhaps here’s the killer ap idea for social media — or maybe a way to integrate it into my RSS feed reader? I’ve already ported in my Facebook and Twitter so I can see updates — is contact management that far off?

    By the way, are you thinking of setting up a discussion group for professors around your new book? A place where you could ask questions and we could respond? Might prove useful as you investigate the best practices around “personality” marketing and how to make the book work both in the marketplace and the classroom space.


  3. Elaine – great idea. Stay tuned for an announcement with more details about the book (including working title and positioning) early next week. I am going to be creating groups, posting questions on LinkedIn and lots more after I do that post next week, and definitely looking for more feedback then.

  4. Rohit,

    A toolbar like this would be a great idea. There are many useful toolbars out there for Firefox, and this would be a welcome addition. As you said, it would still allow you to accept or decline, so it’s just pure convenience. Get the programmers working on it! 😉


  5. I know your pain ’cause it’s also mine. And I got a lot less contact than you. It’s full of social sites ready to syncronize with your contac book, but they don’t talk to each other. Let’s hope Facebook will change this.


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About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

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