He replied to my question on his project's competition with XF like this:
I don't think Kier, Mike or Ashley would appreciate me selling my ideas for a new system here on their forum, so I've answered your question on Admin-Talk.
I agree with Scott's comcept that the barriers between forums are annoying and artificial. To participate in various forums i have all these signups to do, email confirmations again passwords avatars, birth dates, location, timezone UGH It's the same ME. Why can't I just BE ME and dip into different places in the same empire?
Wouldnt it be great if I didn't have to do all that? I just ID myself as an XF lady Morgain and powzap all that stuff auto fills for me. This would be a big plus for XF too It would help XF forums get those precious users in and make the "XF Zone" a very attractive place to be. Participating XF admins would benefit alot.
There could even be shared XF meeting halls run by some XF admins with merged interests, with links off to there separate boards - bit like the old webrings only the user has control which ring forum to visit, not a linear series which forces user visits in order.
There are obvious challenges about spammers but I bet our clever devs could think around that. Apply select password, and do captcha maybe but all the rest gets filled in.
Where I don't follow Scott is that the Facebook model is so great. Facebook is already waning quite strikingly. Its very strength is its weakness. It can connect you with long lost friends, and connect families together. It can whip news around the world in minutes.
Trouble is it also connects you with a mountain of junk, and within an hour you are cluttered. Nor is being a Facebook person any status of pride or dignity.
So I think it would be great to have the ease of access of FB giving an XF global signup - to participating forums. Those forums would get boosted visits good for ad revenue, and maintaining activity.
But forums provide so much more. They serve a primitive need for tribe both for admins and users ("my people"). Or they can do.This is an ancient and intense need not to be overlooked.
They also give a far more nuanced and triaged kind of discussion with a far greater richness of response. Nor would a global platform cover the genuine needs for privacy which some forums have. Online community is not a glass city.