Recommend: “Thoughts on the Social Graph”

An hour ago, my brother recommended me this short reading: “Thoughts on the Social Graph” by Brad Fitzpatrick and David Recordon.

Well, I think this is a really great article!!! They talk about “social graph” and they gave an interesting idea about how to solve the problem of many social websites as well as how to advance on this social future.

“Currently if you’re a new site that needs the social graph (e.g. dopplr.com) to provide one fun & useful feature (e.g. where are your friends traveling and when?), then you face a much bigger problem then just implementing your main feature. You also have to have usernames, passwords (or hopefully you use OpenID instead), a way to invite friends, add/remove friends, and the list goes on. So generally you have to ask for email addresses too, requiring you to send out address verification emails, etc. Then lost username/password emails. etc, etc. If I had to declare the problem statement succinctly, it’d be: People are getting sick of registering and re-declaring their friends on every site., but also: Developing “Social Applications” is too much work.”

They also mention some ideas on how to decentralize this idea that nowadays is running in just a few servers (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc):

Ultimately make the social graph a community asset, utilizing the data from all the different sites, but not depending on any company or organization as “the” central graph owner.”

They talked about the importance of having a good API and open source standards to achieve those goals:

Establish a non-profit and open source software (with copyrights held by the non-profit) which collects, merges, and redistributes the graphs from all other social network sites into one global aggregated graph. This is then made available to other sites (or users) via both public APIs (for small/casual users) and downloadable data dumps, with an update stream / APIs, to get iterative updates to the graph (for larger users)”

As a final word, they gave a deep idea for different points of view that make this article more interesting: they mention the advantages of the social graph for companies, developers and end-users.

Just read this amazing article on: http://bradfitz.com/social-graph-problem/ and add your two cents here if you want to.

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