I wanted to share a potentially transformative trend coming out of Japan. Last week Mixi, Japan’s largest social networking site, introduced two APIs – mixi Plugin[J] and mixi Graph APIs[J] – designed to let the third parties integrate their social web services and apps with Mixi. For example, Panasonic is developing a DVD recorder that allows you to let your friends know what TV programs you’ve reserved to record via Mixi.
On the other hand, perhaps this is just the next step towards a fully integrated and seamless social ecosystem in which our lives are increasingly distributed among one another.
No doubt some people will wonder at what point does the technology we buy come to own us (a new take on the old adage, perhaps?) Our public personas could soon become an extension of what we do with what we buy and what version of our lives we choose to share. This information could then be repurposed and recycled in web version of the Chinese whispers game until the lives we live and the lives we share are completely unrelated.
Alternatively, we may quickly come to accept such relatedness to each other as the new normal. I will take for granted that I know what’s in all my friends fridges, on their shopping list, when their car is being serviced, what their microwave is cooking and what programs they are watching on television. After all, I can choose what I want to know and what I don’t.
Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.