(random peanut-gallery-ish idea-dump) From a friend's post on Ello, about what they'd like in a social network:
I still use Livejournal for long noodly posts about my life & my feelings. I use G+ to keep up with the daily doings of my close friends. Facebook is a series of open letters to my mom. Twitter is a lively party with my best friends & favorite social justices activists.
What do I want & need that those don't cover, that I might find here?
collapsing some of that into one place would be awesome, for starters. I'd love to have a social network that allows for lively conversation & hefty discussion about social justice & long noodly posts about feelings.
Which gave a concrete example to something noodling in my head, and in conversations with other people, the idea of a physical user having multiple personas on a single social network, and allowing people to basically create sub-socialk networks on the main site/network, appropriate to some subset of what they want to see/interact with.
Tumblr sort of has this, with the ability for someone to have multiple blogs, however that only goes one way. The number of times I wished I could split out my tumblr feed into multiple feeds. Sometimes, I only want the cat photos, damnit.
In most other networks, this is either done by forcing the user to have multiple accounts (e.g. twitter), or, forcing the user to keep/curate different lists that are then used for access control when posting or browsing (livejournal's groups) without giving any indication to the reader which "persona" they are reading/interacting with (also, how many times have I forgotten who had visibility on a post when commenting on it in the LJ days?). Sites that have real name/identity policies (FB, G+) make having multiple accounts difficult, at best, even.
As with many things on this site, I could see multiple ways of this presenting itself. Maybe the personas are all visibly linked to the same person - e.g. focalintent-photographer, focalintent-SJ, focalintent-TV, focalintent-family. Maybe the personas aren't visibly different to anyone but myself, other users would only ever see focalintent. Or maybe, the personas appear completely separate, e.g. focalintent for the photographer, sol3 for the musician, FirstName.LastName for my family - with no one knowing that he three were linked unless I explicitly told them.