If there were a decent social-network aggregator that let me get information the way I wanted to get it, I would pay big money for it. Well, not "big" money, in that I wouldn't drop thousands of dollars a month on it, but I'd pay a reasonable monthly fee for it.
When I chose LiveJournal, I did so after testing dozens of blogging sites and discovering that not one of them did exactly what I wanted. LiveJournal came closest to what *I* want. Presumably, the other sites stay in business because they come closest to what other people want.
The problem with this is that any website designed to help people stay in touch and communicate is only as good as the number of people using it. Some of my friends prefer other sites, so I keep up with a couple of Xanga journals and I have a Facebook account and a Plaxo account and probably some others that I've ignored.
That's a lot of places to check. I've dealt with it by ignoring Plaxo entirely (the folks you use the Pulse feature do so through another site, and I get a RSS feed from that), having Xanga send daily emails to me for the journals I read there, and putting Facebook things into a series of RSS feeds and then still having to check it once in a while, because Facebook does not play well with others.
Plus, one of my young cousins claims on Facebook that she doesn't like it much and that MySpace is so much better. At some point, I'm probably going to have to get a MySpace account and figure out how to keep up with *that*, too. I haven't bothered yet because the cousin in question is 13 and every single one of her Facebook status updates has included the phrase "I'm borrrrrrrrrreddddd" with all the extra r's and d's and everything. I do not have high hopes that her MySpace pages have any additional content. But I vaguely recall hearing other people murmuring about their MySpace accounts, and someday the young cousin will grow up and write something with substance, and then there will be one more place for me to try to keep up with.
I'd much rather log into one site once, give it my passwords to all the other sites, and have it look for the things I want, ignore the things I don't (fscking Facebook applications), and put it all in one place for me to look at at my convenience, preferably in a manner where I can delete or mark-as-read from the middle. It's annoying to have to read all of the new entries on my LiveJournal friends page at once because if I skip around I forget which ones are new and which ones aren't. Ditto on status updates, notes, shared links, Xanga entries-- basically, if it stores it in most-recent-first order, it's annoying to me. And I'd rather be able to do that with either specific options or sweeping generalities-- if I add one new friend, I shouldn't have to click on five different things to get their updates too, unless I want their updates to be handled substantially differently from the way everyone else's updates are handled.
Of course, there's the question of how such a site would stay in business, because I do not harbor any illusions about people making such a site out of the kindness of their hearts. I would assume that it would be a business model similar to the social network sites; a free account with a limit on access and supported by advertising, with one or more levels of paid upgrades.
Someone, please, create this site, so I can keep up without spending the entirety of my life doing so.