In my earlier posts, I've outlined an on-going project focused on improving our conversations and relationships with the people most important to us - the people we consider our "strong ties".
I believe there are plenty of applications nurturing our connections with our "weak ties". Increasingly, we will see new user value found in applications and devices that improve our connections with our "strong ties".
As a result of the project, I'm continually looking for market validation of the strong ties concept. Thanks to this FastCompany article by Addy Dugdale - I came across the ON Service developed by Orange Vallee (a subsidiary of the Orange Group).
I found the TED Global 2010 presentation by Giles Corbett extremely helpful and reinforced my product hypothesis that "strong ties" will continue to emerge as a design focus for new social communication applications and devices.
Here's how Orange maps out the strong ties concept:
and here's how Paul Adams at Google maps out his view of the relationship of our "strong ties" to our friends and "weak ties":
(btw - watch for Paul's new book "Social Circles" )
So, the good news - for users and for the "strong ties" project - is that we're seeing players like Google and Orange market test the "strong ties" concept as a design principle for new social communication applications and devices.