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Dave has a rich piece on the problem with closed social networks. He concludes:

Eventually, soon I think, we’ll see an explosive unbundling of the services that make up social networks. What was centralized in the form of Facebook, Linked-in, even YouTube, is going to blow up and reconstitute itself.

In my terms, he’s talking about social information going miscellaneous: Lots of it, detached from any particular app, a seedbed of emergence. There have been attempts to make this happen before — FOAF springs to mind — but they attempted to get us to write things down about ourselves independent of any application. FaceBook et al. make writing things down worth our while. So, the data is there. We just have to (a) get it everywhere, (b) provide strong user control over it. (A is likely to happen before B does. But you never know. At least I never know.)

Dave also wants more-better metadata, especially with regards to the types of relationships these sites capture. Jeez, do I agree. For most of my friends at Facebook, the available categories are inadequate. A folksonomic approach would turn up far more interesting relationships. As it stands, FaceBook requires us to reduce this richest of social information. [Tags: ]

One Response to “”

  1. on 21 Jun 2007 at 11:54 amKevin

    Facebook has an application called Extended Info that allows you to add additional fields to your personal information. It’s pretty slick way to add additional metadata.