Using Open Standards to Free the Social Graph

The social graph is bullshit. It means nothing at all without context. If you graph me today you’ll find me on hundreds of sites – some of them because they got me curious – others because I thought they might be a potential competitor to a client. Still others that I actually use.

The context for each is vastly different. Until we figure out how to manage context then social graphs are just blurry images that don’t impart any really useful data.

Give me useful tools that allow me to define the context of my online relationships and you may be able to build a useful (and accurate) social graph. Until then you are just providing data built on assumptions that will almost certainly be completely erroneous.

Because you never asked ME how valid the data for my graph is.

David Recordon of SixApart (very recently of Verisign) has posted a manifesto on the need for exposing the social graph (Radar post). He also demonstrates SixApart’s willingness to put their weight behind it. As he states in the opening paragraph:

* You should own your social graph
* Privacy must be done right by placing control in your hands
* It is good to be able to find out what is already public about you on the Internet
* Everyone has many social graphs, and they shouldn’t always be connected
* Open technologies are the best way to solve these problems
* We’re going to release code and demos soon

Using Open Standards to Free the Social Graph