For those busy souls who don't have time to read blogs on a regular basis, here are the highlights from Read/WriteWeb this week. It turned out to be a Social Networking special, with a lot of our posts devoted to the future of social networks.

Google SNS integration


The founders of Dodgeball and Orkut met recently in a Google cafe ;-)

Earlier this week I analyzed the potential for Google properties Orkut (a social networking system) and Dodgeball (a mobile sns) to merge. I noted the following trends to back up my argument: SNS + Mobile; meta-SNS + Mobile; Co-mingling of data between SNS; similar demographics between Orkut and Dodgeball.

Most commenters though had a differing view. Hashim's comment summed up the general feeling:

"Don't get excited about anything Googe does in the social area. Orkut is clumsy, and Dodgeball has been stagnant. A merge of the two probably won't be much to talk about."

However given Google's current focus on integrating their products, who knows... ;-)

Social Networking Silver Bullets

This week we really delved into the future of Social Networking. Ebrahim Ezzy wrote an in-depth post entitled Social Networking: Time For A Silver Bullet. Ebrahim argued that the current state of thousands of 'walled garden' social networks can't continue - we need meta social networks to connect up niche SNS. According to the poll we ran at the end of the post, 69% of you agree. 

Alex Iskold followed up with Multiply: A Different Approach To Social Networking. Alex explained that in Multiply, the focus is on how individuals consume information in the social network.

On a similar theme, I did a post about how del.icio.us is turning into a social network - based on an interview I did with founder Joshua Schachter. Joshua took exception to the title I used, noting that "saving links has always been and will continue to be the focus and primary value of the system." Nevertheless, social networking functionality is going to be added to del.icio.us in future - which to my mind will make it an SNS, akin perhaps to Imeem.

Interviews!

There were plenty of in-depth interviews on R/WW this week: blueorganizer, eSnips, HeyLetsGo, and Neil Rimer from Index Ventures

The state of web development

Our post on a new report entitled The State Of Web Development resulted in some interesting comments. I'd highlighted the report's prediction that Ajax usage by web developers will surpass Flash in 2007, however several commenters noted that Ajax/Flash hybrid use is more likely. As Tom (comment 11) said: "Using the best of both these technologies is most likely the way web development is headed in the next couple of years."

OK, roll on the new week!