Social Networks and ways we can improve them by looking at real life social networks. The cruxt of Jakob’s ideas boil down to better representing the ways we think about our relationships.
they are all not equal and we systematically (and not so systematically) choose how we related to each one of them.
It woudl be great if we could empower systems to learn these systems through the way we interact with people on the network (through the clicksteam). It would be good for us to be able to designate scales and types of relationships.
The details of this follow here …
Jakob did a great job of both putting out his own thinking while letting attendees to his presentation engage both his ideas and other people’s.
To start out he went through and analyzed his experience with various social networking:
For Jakob Friendster became a game of accummulating contacts. How many contacts can I get in my list? This diluted the power of Friendster making it useless.
CompusHood – too limited to just compus
Flickr is easy to update, and added the nonconsequential means for adding people to your contact list (no permission is required). At first though it became about contact reciprocity, but then he realized that he didn’t have to add everyone to his contacts list that he was added to.
MySpace.com was mentioned as a waste of time, unless you realize it is anything other than a game of accummulating friends.
FaceBook has lots of details in their classifying of relationships.
Jakob considered all of these in a 1.0 phase. Until we can weight or otherwise scale our relationships it won’t match the real world we we conceive and relate to relationships. These quantifiable values could be added to computations that the network can utilize to bring more value and greater realism to the presentation of relationship-based materials.
Two conversations then sprung up:
1. is there a way where analysis of the clickstream can be used to bring more value and create relationship lists for you, helping you better find the people who you don’t know?
2. And with Clickstream is there an aspect of “attention” as thought about by attentiontrust.org or attentionXML and /Root Vaults?
A third conversation highlighted the fact that there is something wrong with “digitizing” my relationships. I want to turn these off. Too many people are false, and there is too much of a risk of stalking. Maybe if there were more recommending of contacts instead of direct indurction that would be better for one person.
Someone brought up the OutFoxed project that is going on at getoutfoxed.com where people get to say who they trust and who they respect and thus get to … “care about what those who I care about care about”. Is this similiar to what yahoo 360 is trying to do was a question in this conversionation.
One problem that was talked about was that none of these systems are very open. There are limited APIs and they don’t often work together. This limits the possibility of creating a really cohesive network. Its sort of the same problem (until recently) that IM networks had.
A conversation about the community parameter when we define relationships came up. Who I relate to about what is related to what community context I know them in: affinity, geography, domain. It was mentioned that Tribe has this idea of community with both geography and affinity communities.
What can I do with these groups?
this was a big question. collaborating within the groups and developign tools that these groups can collaborate with is really an important piece. Glypho.com for example has a novel writing collaboration area. You can think of Writely or Jot spot as collaborative, but they do not have the social networking aspect to them.
Jakob then went into the Wikipedia concept. For him it is good for gathering “impartial” information but there are somethings where I want to have the POVs of a debate and not impartiality. People then rang in and mentioned the discussion pages especially around ‘disputed’ entries and how they are as useful to them as the encyclopedia entries.
Jakob is developing a product called Vineo.com which is a mix of Digg.com’s community “thumbs up” service with a more social network bent. When Digg was mentioned, someone spoke about a blog article from Rashmi Sinha about the wisdomto be found in Digg at http://www.rashmisinha.com/archives/06_01/digg-crowd-psychology.html
Again, this was a great mix of presenting ideas and facilitating discussions. Quite informative and more importantly engaging and fun.