Social Networking is NotWorking

As a coder by profession, I think I’m not alone when I say that I don’t see the appeal in using most social networks.

They require lots of input (who are you? what do you do? where do you work? what do you like? who are your friends? don’t you have more friends – please – add more friends!).

Then, in return for all this input, you get very little – mostly you spend more time wondering if you should accept someone else as a friend.

Here at Ohloh we often get asked: “why doesn’t Ohloh focus on being the ‘myspace/facebook/linkedin’ of open source developers’?

The answer is is two-fold:

Yes – we are heading there. We do want to be the place open source developers connect. However,

No – we’re not going to just jam random (often annoying) social networking features.

Our strategy is simple: we’re going to attempt to reverse the value equation: you will tell Ohloh relatively little about yourself (basic bio and what software you create and use) – and, in return, we’ll give you more and more relevant info out of it.

So far we’ve covered:

  • we provide automated metrics on software projects
  • we give you stats on your own development
  • we provide relevant suggestions on what other software you should consider using

As usual, our problem is what to focus on first. This is where you come in. Let’s start discussing where you’d like Ohloh to grow in this space – and, if you must, where you’d like us to not go. Fire away…

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