SOS – Social Operating System

“An operating system is software, consisting of programs and data, that runs on computers, manages computer hardware resources, and provides common services for execution of various application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system. Without an operating system, a user cannot run an application program on their computer, unless the application program is self booting.”

Now that Wikipedia answered the question what is an operating system I would like to explain why I am interested in the next step. The human factor. The social operating system. SOS.

Before I heard about the term Social Operating System – I thought for a few minutes this was a term I could claim as mine… fame, luxury, fans 😉 – I defined it for me as:

The ability of providing a system integrating a learning network of data and people will change the way organizational structures exchange, develop and innovate not merely content, but the context they are part of.

Obviously the term exists for several years already as a simple Google search will show you.

What would Wikipedia say? No idea. But following their definition for an operating system it could be something like this, no?

A social operating system (SOS) is cloudware, consisting of knowledge and opinion, which runs on brains, manages human body resources, and provides communication services for execution of various sharing needs. The SOS is the most important type of collaboration platforms in a people and data network. Without an SOS, a user cannot adapt efficiently to social changes in this world, unless the world is self-booting.

A SOS is not competing with Facebook or Twitter in my opinion, as both would be just part of this social operating system.

“The essential ingredient of next generation social networking, social operating systems, is that they will base the organization of the network around people, rather than around content. This simple conceptual shift promises profound implications for the academy, and for the ways in which we think about knowledge and learning. Social operating systems will support whole new categories of applications that weave through the implicit connections and clues we leave everywhere as we go about our lives, and use them to organize our work and our thinking around the people we know.” (Source)

What does a SOS allow us to do in terms of activities?

–          Listen and talk to heterogeneous groups

–          Conversations one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many with video and audio

–          Exchange data and files

–          Collaboratively create content

–          Share idea and sentiments

–          Communicate across cultures and languages

–          Visualize social profiles

–          Serendipitous learning

–          Being discovered by news and people

…and, and, and. And all on one platform. Pretty much what many expect from a social intranet, but this would be the earth intranet. Sounds like the future of Google plus to me…

What else should or would a social operating system offer? Please feel free to add your thoughts, hopes and fears as comments.


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  1. I’ve just written an article about the future of operating systems – and Social Operating Systems is something that I think will definitely be the future! It’s great that you coined the phrase!
    My article is here:

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