In reading Fred Wilson's recent post about liquidity, a thought came to mind, less from the financial perspective and more from the consumer's. Is there an opportunity for a social media middleware?
He is right that the internet is "decomposing into a vast array of micro-services". I am finding my attention further fragmented as I explore the latest tool - LinkedIn to Facebook, and now to Twitter.
Value is derived when these services are consolidated / integrated respective of how the users could / should / are using them - certainly an unlikely scenario exploited by an M&A play such as Yahoo / Microsoft, or any of the other potentials. I and many others have discovered tools to allow me to compound my activity from one source to another - Twitterfeed pushes my blog posts to Twitter, and Twitter's Facebook application pushes my tweets to my Facebook status. His point that M&A cannot work in this context is evident.
My thought is that opportunity exists to develop a middleware separate from all of these various sources, with the user in mind. This middleware will allow the user to access the various resources as they need to, all from a central platform - i.e. an RSS reader for the social web.
Such a service will not provide the liquidity Wilson advocates, as an M&A or IPO event may. However, if this nut can be cracked, such a service will allow these micro-services to evolve and continue delivering on the value proposition that first grabbed the attention of the early adopter. Surely that can be monetized?