This post at Search Engine Journal references a social media project at Carnegie Mellon called Socialstream which, among other things, was created to “rethink and reinvent social networking”. Of even more interest is this capstone project is Google-sponsored which means many of these features are likely to be utilized in a future Google property.

Socialstream is based on a unified social networking concept in that it interfaces with a wide array of social media accounts to make networking simpler and more interactive. The Quicktime Demo of Socialstream’s functionality revealed some incredibly useful tools that simplify networking a large number of people. The Socialstream features page does show highlights of the program but actually seeing the product at work in the demo was far more revealing.

These are the most intriguing features of Socialstream:

  1. Timelines: in a single, very clear report, the timeline provides the Socialstream user with an overview of the new content added by all of their contacts. This snapshot of networking activity is a crucial concept for the proper administration of multiple networking accounts. What I found most interesting was how the titles for each piece of content in the timeline drove the user’s activity.
  2. Multimedia Sharing: in the demo the user sees that a friend posted a new image from a trip he went on. The user then decided that she wanted to share her own image. All she had to do was open a dialog, browse for the picture she wanted to share and post it with a note to her friend. The picture was then posted directly to Flickr seamlessly in a manner that was very Apple-esque in its simplicity.

Expect to see this kind of functionality on other unified social networking (USN) platforms rolling out within the year. For example I predict a rumored program at Yahoo called Mosh (that is currently password access only) is going to be a USN as well; after all, the word Mosh definitely works well with the concept.

For now the only one I am aware of that is available is which is more like a unified address book; created from multiple accounts. If you know of another active USN please let me know.

Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Placement Inc.
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