0000002 a billion dollar idea for Google
refining personal subscription so that you can choose to subscribe to only the topics of your interest for which the person broadcasts - less noise and filtering + great for targeted advertising
People lead multi-faceted lives where they engage with others in different facets at different times. These wider connections, to different groups of people, become closer with on-line social networking. This can be a great way to make new connections and should be encouraged by any social network platform.
Unfortunately, these closer connections mean that a lot of 'noise' is generated, as people we connect with broadcast to all facets of their life when we are really only interested in one or two out of the many. And the friends of friends amplify this when we connect to them as well. Pretty soon there is so much noise that you can no longer hear or be heard in the facets that you are really interested in dealing with.
The solution is to fine-tune subscription to a person's 'feed' (broadcast) by being able to subscribe to that person's posts on certain topics only, but with the option to explore all topics they post to so that those valuable 'introductions' to friends of friends can still occur. Specifically, discovery of cool peeps in areas that you didn't connect to your contact to know about - the subscription to the person and topic will throw you in with others of like mind anyway. Good thinkers will be rewarded with growth in multiple other areas and the best general thinkers will stand out - those who are inter-disciplinary experts who are sorely needed today in creative and innovative industry.
How will it work
The mechanism I propose for this is to force posters to select a category (or two) for each post they make, developing a simple text box to fill out which remembers earlier categories for speed. After a very short time, the category database is complete for each individual and they just select a tick box or other fast method each new post. Allowing only one or two of these category tags would force people to be very selective and if they continually mis-categorise you can just de-select them and not follow.
Another advantage, if you can see what people subscribe to for you, is to know what is really interesting about you for your friends/subscribers.
Show me the money
The billion dollar idea is to link this system to advertising for highly personalised adverts strongly related to those categories.
Getting the most widely creative individuals will be easier and the employers don't have to search as hard = $$