I recently saw this video post of that articulates very well the evolution of the social web trends. As Jeremiah puts it, you have 5 eras of evolution
- Era of Social relationship - where you go to different social sites and create and maintain relationships
- Era of Social Funcaitonality - where you see social sites get morphed into Operating systsms and support applications to target their community
- Era of Social colonization - enabling portable identities where you as a user are in control of your relationships and carry your social graph or relationships across all these communities
- Era of social context - Now that your identity and relationship are portable, you can control what aspects of idetity you reveal and this creates opportunities for new social contracts buyer and seller
- Era of social commerce - where community gets even more embedded in determining the kind of product and service.