Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Aharon (great to see you blogging mate) pushes back on walled-widget-gardens.

He thinks that the offer of protection from walled-garden platform-venders is up there with the self-serving, false promises of, say, to pick an example at random, George Bush to protect the world from terrorism. You aren't going to need it.

Instead, he's made a pitch at suggesting a genuine federated system within which we could have privacy without the closedness. If I read correctly this could be something like social-routing mixed with encryption and false packets being sent around. So, maybe I exchange some kind of public keys with trusted friends at the beginning, in a kind of P2P alternative to the YASN social network, and their clients can get an encrypted version of my news-feed.

Hmmm .... have to think more about this, I can imagine it's potentially viable ... but it's very different from much of what's being offered at the moment. And certainly nothing like what people are asking for from an "open Facebook" ...

but ...

1 comment:

John Powers said...

Your recent production on social networks is extraordinarily interesting to me. It's so interesting because you are my primary portal into the tech world ;-)

When I look at my Facebook network my connections are primarily to very connected people. In other words I'm on the long tail end of the "friend" networks of most of my "friends." Perhaps that just goes to demonstrate the importance you ascribe to Facebook as "social-network management" services.

As people develop their online presence what to do about "fans," for lack of a better word, becomes a problem. Danah Boyd--I'm sorry I don't remember where--talked about a a girl she connected to via an Ani di Franco fan site who committed suicide. It's a challenge to deal with sensitive situations that come up in social networks. I'm not sure we've invented ways to manage such sensitive situations yet.

You wrote:

"But what Facebook (or something similar that knows it is a network) will be good at, is letting people build and manage private relationships and empowering these exclusive groups with software tools."

I think my perception of Facebook not being very good (yet) at managing private relationships and empowering groups has something to do with my being at the long tail of my "friends'" social graphs.

So from my perspective at this end Aharon's vision for privacy without the closedness has appeal because I don't want to be closed out.

What do you think of Brad Fitzpatrick's global aggregated graph?

Facebook hasn't proved of much utility to me (yet). But joining it did make NetVibes useful. On one page I can glance at activity on various social networks I participate, and would love for other social networks to be open enough that I could have a module at NetVibes to keep up with them too.

The application which would change my view of Facebook would be an alt-money application to facilitate P2P collaboration. But wanting such "money" seems to me that I'd want it to be spendable outside Facebook.

I think I'm missing something, but from my perspective the model of social graphs as a "community asset" as Brad Fitzpatrick proposes seems more advantageous to me than for Facebook to own it.