Flutterby™! : anti-social networking

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anti-social networking

2008-12-02 03:58:55.698682+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Dave has some musings on anti-social networking sites:

I’m reminded of the saying: A friend will help you move. A real friend will help you move a body. But try to express those different levels of “friendship” on one of the sites out there. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I haven’t seen any site that’s done even a half-assed job of it. In most cases, if someone asks to be my friend, I go ahead and say sure, because if I don’t, they’re going to wonder what they did to piss me off. But then how do you flag your closest friends differently? Then again, based on the popularity of the sites out there, maybe most people don’t care about the nuance (or think about which friends they’d call on if they did have to move a body).

I'd also ask: Do we want to encode those familiarities? I mean, there's the snarky "we don't want to publish our accomplices" reason, but, more deeply: Do I need a database to keep track of my "three (or thirty, adjusted for inflaction) thousand dollars in Boise" friends?

Where the "social networking" tools shine is where they allow me to have some sort of presence of various friends in my life, the continuous version of the Christmas letter. That doesn't require me to describe my relationships to the tool, except where it might let me adjust which version of the Christmas letter I send. Saying "friend" and "not a friend" is not the way to do that.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Heinlein Databases ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-02 05:09:04.386739+00 by: ebradway

The irony of the "social networking" tools is that we've been using Web 1.0 tools for over a decade now to maintain a finger on the pulse of lives of distant friends. Granted, the original CHIA email list has dropped way off in traffic recently. Flutterby.com is still flittering along - but it's more of a Web 2.0 / Web 1.0 format utilizing RSS.

I still use email exactly the same way I did in 1994 when the client was Pine and the connection was SLIP. If anything, I use email more than I ever have.

I recently experienced something new in the Web 2.0 world. I lead a group that ultimately produced a bid to host the FOSS4G 2010 Conference in Denver. Initially it was just a twinkle in my eye. I first tried pulling in help via various listservs. But it was a happenstance acquaintance that really created the momentum. But that momentum needed a way to quickly construct a private communication medium among a growing list of geographically distributed people. And the communication needed to provide for easy exchange and editing of text. I was able to throw up a Google Group and instantly had all the tools I needed. I've added the participants to my LinkedIn network and I follow some of their Twitters. I was already following several of their blogs via RSS.

I never would have considered using MySpace. It's not about me. And Facebook would have only gotten in the way. What's really missing from those social sites are tools to get the networks they support to do collaborative work.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-02 09:41:16.640782+00 by: meuon [edit history]

LinkedIn seems to be trying to add these tools (most for a fee), But it's slow and limiting. I also have been flamed for not accepting people's links on LinkedIn. But it's still the most relevant of those tools for a couple of groups in my life. It's gotten more "facebooklike" but at least it has not devolved to Orkut, yet.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-02 11:25:08.249508+00 by: DaveP

Yeah. Adjusting the version of the Christmas letter is what I think I'm looking for that they don't offer. But I hadn't really narrowed down the exact reason I think there's a problem, which is why I wrote about it.