David Shing, the man who helps figure out future trends for AOL, is fed up with Facebook and Twitter.
In fact he has told his bosses that defriending and unfollowing are going to be the next big thing as users realise that the increasing "noise" on social networks is counterproductive.
"The web is so overwhelming, so then it becomes underwhelming [because] it's so hard to find anything," he says....
Shing... believes the future is all about the "attention economy" – a world in which content is valuable enough to dwell on and more likely to be curated by friends than pushed by "in-your-face advertisers".
Or as Joe Fernandez from Klout.com – a kind of page ranking service for people – put it: "The web has shifted from being page-centric to people-centric."
I still don't like the term "attention economy," but I have to agree that having digital circles closer to one's Dunbar Number makes sense to me. I've been pretty profligate in accepting Facebook friend requests, but frankly there are half a dozen people I communicate with there; the rest are of marginal interest (and I'm of marginal interest to them).
Indeed, I've been thinking about making deleting my Facebook account at the end of the year, and inviting all my current Facebook friends to the new one. A couple weeks ago I spent a morning with Jarno Koponen, the founder of Futureful, a kind of social information-finding service. I was struck by the profile that the system made for me, based on what I tweet and link to on Facebook: I look like I'm much more obsessed with politics, the debt crisis, and the general stupdity of humankind than I really am.
More generally, it makes me wonder how well my online profile, and the couple years' worth of tweets and posts and reposts, represents my interests now; hence my thinking that it would be interesting to experiment with erasing my poast and starting over.