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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Thoughts on the Social Graph [Aug. 17th, 2007|02:34 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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I wrote a huge post that grew too long for a blog post, and put it here:


Comments welcome!

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From: evan
2007-08-17 09:50 pm (UTC)
Should spell-check. Bunch of typos.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-08-17 09:57 pm (UTC)
Whoops, fixed.
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From: jsmarr
2007-08-17 10:03 pm (UTC)

This is awesome work

Brad-congratz on getting this all written down, and great job. I think this is just the spark needed to really ignite the open social web blaze to come. :) I'll try to post some more thoughts from my/Plaxo's side, but really excited to see you get this out there! See you at BarCampBlock. js
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From: jsmarr
2007-08-18 12:32 am (UTC)

Re: This is awesome work

Here are some more thoughts on the subject from our vantage point at Plaxo: http://blog.plaxo.com/archives/2007/08/more_on_social.html
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[User Picture]From: drmellow
2007-08-17 10:15 pm (UTC)
No comments other than it's cool, and I really hope it takes off.
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[User Picture]From: grumbeld
2007-08-17 10:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't even know that such a thing was being considered, but I think that it's both brilliant and necessary. I'm looking forward to seeing this come about.
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[User Picture]From: girl_on_a_stick
2007-08-17 10:46 pm (UTC)

Two thoughts

1. Wow, very cool project

2. Needs more Venn Diagrams
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[User Picture]From: obra
2007-08-17 11:03 pm (UTC)

Thank God!

This will make my life so much better :)
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[User Picture]From: jproulx
2007-08-17 11:40 pm (UTC)
Needs more code.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-08-17 11:58 pm (UTC)
I just didn't link the svn repo. There is code.
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[User Picture]From: erik
2007-08-18 12:08 am (UTC)
It seems like what this is (and I don't mean this in a disparaging way at all - just trying to relate and visualize it) is a glorified Trillian or Adium. It collects various accounts and aggregates them. The question seems to be, how much can be grabbed/aggregated automatically, and how much requires intervention/maintenance by the end-user to keep it functional/correct.

Is it ideal to simply present a user with a page that has check boxes available for every social networking site they use, along with fields to enter their user/pass, and from there some code runs which grabs all of their friend info? Or are you trying to automate it even past this point?

P.S. I guess this is why you were all up on everybody being your friend on Facebook awhile back? I feel duped. Here I thought it was just cause were chums. :-P

P.P.S. Despite Evan's comment and your reply, still shitloads of typos. Mostly grammatical errors. Go look again.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-08-18 01:32 am (UTC)
It's way more than Adium.
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[User Picture]From: scosol
2007-08-18 12:41 am (UTC)
> Comments welcome!

You asked for it ;)
This is eBay->Y2K all over again-
A social networking site and an auction site both have the same trait of their worth being solely dependant on the size of their userbase.
For about a year, the auction sites were sorting themselves and actual businesses were built around tracking them all and aggregating all the information from them in to one spot.
Then eBay got a bit of a lead, took over, and you've never heard of any of the other competitors or the aggregators since...

Same thing will happen here- one service will take over and everything else will become irrelevant.
(see Google)
My money's on facebook- once they add the luser profile-pimping wizard things, it's all over.
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[User Picture]From: memegarden
2007-08-18 04:25 pm (UTC)
Facebook is run by the CIA. Some of us will never use it.
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From: ext_57249
2007-08-18 12:52 am (UTC)


I've been a fan of FoaF for ages and was tickled when (i realized) LJ exposed the friend network in that format. I can imagine the problems of just putting data out for other systems to harvest; to make things interesting a harvester/indexer needs to exist. I've been watching sites like ClaimID and peopleaggregator.net and ex.plode.us and Spock as well as Plaxo's new release with fascinating and frustration. Nothing looks scalable yet across countless small specialized social network tools.

Here's a lovely dream: think of how pleasant it would be if un/conferences helped you with your networking -- perhaps sending you a report a week before the event which listed your friends and 2nd order connections who would also be at the event.

good luck!
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[User Picture]From: mtbg
2007-08-18 12:56 am (UTC)
First, let me just say that this is really cool stuff, and I wish you the best of luck with it. I'd like to say that I'd help hack on it, but realistically, that's just not going to happen :/

A few comments/questions:

The words "claim" and "is" figure large in your slides, but you don't really define them in the essay.

What are your goals (if any) for maintaining currency?

Is the glue bottle supposed to be look like it's ejaculating everywhere?
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From: selfmade
2007-08-18 02:19 am (UTC)
Good approach.
Gonna publish link to svn repository?
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[User Picture]From: iamo
2007-08-18 02:51 am (UTC)
As a development manager at a regional social network, this is all pretty interesting. I'll have to keep an eye on it. There's not a lot of activity on the google group, though.
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[User Picture]From: ibneko
2007-08-18 03:48 am (UTC)
Ah, so interested. Now to figure out how to balance school while getting involved as much as possible.
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[User Picture]From: adamthebastard
2007-08-18 05:08 am (UTC)
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone would drop their users table and used OpenID to provide authentication. Setup the OpenID providers to track relations to other OpenIDs. The user could define groups of friends (school, work, random internet persons, stalkers, etc.). Then let the user specify ACLs for each social networking site.

If a 'friend' uses their OpenID on a new networking site, when your OpenID provider next scraps your friend's data your provider will notify you and ask if your want to allow the new site your friend is using read access to your relationship.

One identity, one place to maintain relationships. Unfortunately that also means one SPOF, unless someone smarter than me can fix that little problem.
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[User Picture]From: skreyola
2007-08-18 04:29 pm (UTC)
I think OpenID is a great thing, but I wouldn't be comfortable using OpenID to login to LiveJournal. I like having a separate login here.
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