World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee has called for a next-generation social network to allow academics and scientists to share knowledge more efficiently.
Berners-Lee said at the Profiting from the New Web conference in London on Monday that the internet lacks an all-encompassing social network that enables such experts to collaborate on projects.
Such a social network would allow scientists to share information more effectively to tackle the world's most pressing problems, according to Berners-Lee.
Social networking sites are moving in the right direction by opening up to each other, but Berners-Lee suggested that the underlying design of the networks does not fit his vision of social networks.
"Some people are getting frustrated that social networking sites don't talk to each other," he said.
"But now you can follow people on different social networks to yours, so social networking is becoming more like email in the way that all email suppliers talk to each other."
However, Berners-Lee suggested that current social networks are not designed to connect scientists, who need a different type of medium for working together on the web.
"Is Twitter going to be a part of that? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe we need something more sophisticated," he said. "Twitter is not really designed for middle of the way discussion. Something should be."
Berners-Lee explained that the structure of this new network needs insight from the likes of web scientists, because "most systems are done with a hunch and are not done with understanding".
He added that web scientists need to be more aware of social and economic factors when designing new systems, and described email as "wonderful" until spam became so prevalent.
Discussions at the conference centered on how the web has transformed business models and what companies should do to pursue the opportunities offered by the web to secure competitive advantage.
Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the web when working as a scientist at Cern in the late 1980s. He wrote a document entitled Information Management: a Proposal, which contained many of the ideas which would later become the basis of the web we know today.
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