iPhone Misses Mark on Social Networking

Christian Science Monitor commentator Peter S. Magnusson makes a good point about Steve Jobs failing to grasp Web 2.0 and social networking.

Jobs “does not understand the 21st-century user,” he argues.

Today, people chat; they blog; they share multimedia such as pictures, video, and audio; they debate (“flame”) each other on forums; they link with each other in intricate webs; they switch effortlessly between different electronic personae and avatars; they listen to Internet radio; they battle over reputation; they podcast; they do mash-ups; they vote on this, that, and the other; they argue on wiki discussion groups.

With the exception of a minimalist widget for text messaging, the iPhone does not have direct support for any of that.

Magnusson’s article gives us a feel for what the iPhone could be if Apple pays attention to our feedback. Go give it a read and tell me what you think.

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While the point is valid, there is more than a little of “it’s hard to see the picture when you’re inside the frame” in there. You, me and the author may be Web 2.0ing it all over the place, but it remains to be seen if that will define “being online” for ever more. Lots of people still just use email and check sports scores.

Granted, the lack of a chat client really really sucks. But if the Safari-as-a-SDK works out, all that social-networking activity will be covered in a year’s time. Just my $0.02.

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