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The hottest thing in the last 12 month in the Silicon Valley was Social Software,    with Friendster, LinkedIn,    Tribe all getting big rounds of venture funding.    The whole space got into a feverish pitch the last two weeks since Google opened    theirs for beta testing: Orkut. (They require    that you are invited to join. Let me know if you would like to do some tire    kicking and I will invite you.)

Here are some comments and experiences I stumbled upon over the last days:    Cory,    Marc,    Dana,    Christopher,    David    and Doc.    If you want to find more check Feedster    or Technorati.

Darian Patchin of Tribe    describes in an interview where he sees Social    Networks in a couple of years [highlights added]:


Tribe’s vision is that the social maps will be open so that Internet      users can connect with each other regardless of the Social Network they are      using. I compare this to the opening of instant messaging clients where you      can contact your friends regardless of the service you use. The telephone      industry is a good analogy: wouldn’t it be strange if you could only dial      friends that had your same phone service? Consumers won’t put up with that      kind of limited proposition.


I think people will want their social networks connected to a lot of      different sites/services. The social network is valuable not as an independent      function but as a tool for getting trusted contextual information-essentially      “helping people get things done.” If I go to Amazon to purchase      a book or a CD I should be able to see what my friends (and their friends)      think about a particular item (if they’ve purchased and or commented on the      item). [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] and    I were talking about SDN, which in our opinion is a very specific social networking    site. Would it be beneficial for this community to make friend relationships    explicit? When I got an invitation to join Orkut, my first thought was: No,    please I don’ t want to fill out yet another profile, I full them out halfheartedly    anyhow.

imageSDN    is one of the ‘different social network sites’ that one day will be interconnected    to other sites/services. There is a good chance, that the link between these    will be somewhere along the lines of the Friends    of a Friend project, that is creating a Web of machine-readable homepages    describing people, the links between them and the things they create and do.    Here an excellent introductory    article to the concept.

Marc Cantor is one of    the biggest proponents of FOAF, he has a whole    category on his Weblog about it. Especially interesting the social    networking as a webservice post.

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