Every couple of weeks, I get FaceBook invitations landing in my mailbox. This is in addition to a bunch of e-mail notices from MySpace and some sporadic ones from LDSLinkup, LinkedIn and Friendster. Orkut doesn't bug me too much, but I'm not counting on that to last. I've got social networking fatigue in a bad way.
The biggest pain is that I don't like signing up for a new site every time something becomes the Next Big Thing™. I caved on MySpace only because it seemed like that's where everyone was going. Now everyone is high-tailing it for FaceBook, the new flavor of the month in a sea of funky-named sites looking to cash in on the Web 2.0 gold rush. I just don't have the patience to check a dozen websites with varying circles of friends, especially when I've staked out my own little corner of the Interweb.
Google might shake some of that up. They're one of the major forces behind OpenSocial, an API designed to allow all of these sites to talk to each other and allow programmers to design widgets once instead of for every since site out there. A bunch of heavy hitters have already signed on, including MySpace, Friendster, Orkut, LinkedIn and Six Apart. If that gets mixed up with a bit of OpenID, it could lead the way to the social networking promised land. Imagine a single logon that displays all of the data from your favorite social networking sites in a single spot. I don't know about you, but that sounds good to me.