I think Social Networking is rapidly moving from being site based to being widget based. Instead of going to a Social Networking Site you’ll bring your Social Network to whatever web application you choose – be it your photo or video sharing site, your Tagging site, or your own blog. You’ll simply post your Widget where you want it – and your social network will be there – your friends, your shared information, your RSS feeds, your gadgets, etc.
Widgets will move from being useful little tools to completely portable web applications that you can almost literally stick anywhere, from your blog to your Desktop. On online Office-type Widget will be able to be placed on any page, and will be able to share information, and allow group co-authoring of documents from virtually anywhere.
There isn’t a lot of incentive yet (at least they don’t understand it well enough yet) for today’s Social Networking sites to drive this development. Instead it’ll be driven by small groups of Widget designers that work together to build an infrastructure that allows Widgets to inter-operate, and to inter-communicate. You data will reside almost anywhere you want tit to reside – from your local server to a remote file-hosting site. Fundamentally, it won’t matter where your data is – each instance of your Widgets, and those others you authorize, will be able to find manipulate and share the data seamlessly.
And you won’t have to know anything about databases, scripting languages or security to make it all work.
It’s The Web, your Way.