Today in Social

Benchmark Capital’s Bill Gurley feels the need to explain that Twitter isn’t the same kind of a social network as Facebook. He’s worried, I guess, that Twitter suffers by numbers comparisons. His argument is a familiar one, that Twitter can be used relatively passively by the masses, that “you don’t need to tweet” to get value out of Twitter. True enough. As Mathew Ingram has been saying for some time now, Twitter is an information utility for many users, though he sees its two-way conversation capability as extremely valuable. Greylock’s Josh Elman offers a theory of specialized information streams: direct messages (still email; social media isn’t replacing it), what’s happening with your friends (Facebook), what’s happening in the world (Twitter) and professional (LinkedIn, email, Salesforce, et al.) Specialized social graphs dictate each, meaning they’re likely to remain defensible independent businesses, even as they increasingly overlap.