....social software of the Friendster/LinkedIn sort necessarily get social relationships wrong:
First, social relationships aren’t transitive: If A knows B who knows C who knows D, there is no sense in which A knows C much less D. We do, however, have a social convention for first degree relationships: A is entitled to ask B for an introduction to C. But not to D.
......real social networks are always implicit. The ones constructed explicitly are always — yes, always — infected with a heavy dose of social bullshit. It’s like thinking that the invitation list for your wedding actually reflects your circle of friends and relatives. No, you had to invite Barry-the-Boozer because he’s your cousin and you couldn’t invite Marsha because then you’d have to invite her husband Larry-the-Ass-Grabber and her daughter Erin-the-Snot-Flinger. Explicitly constructed social networks not only lack the differentiation that makes relationships real, they are falsehoods built to reinforce spectral relationships and to avoid ending shaky ones.
Absolutely spot on. There's something about this Social Software which is phoney, and David Weinberger describes it succinctly. Interesting, that Julian Bond, developer of Ecademy, comments on the article. I'm thinking of leaving Ecademy, because though good, I'm not happy with the quality of the content, or the fact that I'm remote to the meetings which go on in the UK. And here's another reason with suggestions as why Social Software isn't working, Finding The Ebay of Social Capital
And there's a second entry from David Weinberger, Ideas For Social Software, and funnily enough, someone else in the UK contacted me with a similar idea, of how can you really make friends or recommend a local service over the Internet. The problem is, it gets corrupted by things like this,
May I have an endorsement from you please for my work on building up ****** since 1998?
****** would like you to endorse the work you do or did together, with ******* holding the position: ****** at ******.
An endorsement is a short public comment about one of ****** positions, which will appear on ****** profile at LinkedIn. It's an ideal way to help ****** make professional contacts.
This isn't a real endorsement, it's someone hunting down recommendations and then using it for their own devices. It's a scattergun approach that will appear to create an endorsed person, but I think it's false.
I was a great supporter of Networking and Social Software but I'm beginning to become a dissenter. I think it works for some types of things (like MeetUp for a common interest), or for some types of people (who play a large numbers game), but for most of us, if you want to get at the real social networks, you’re going to have to figure them out from the paths that actual feet have worn into the actual social carpet.
Oh and one other thing, my copy of Small Pieces Loosely Joined arrived from Amazon today.