I found this online today at http://www.ambiguous.org/archive.php3/2004/01/30#quinn2004130.1.
I have a Tribe.net account and I don't really do much with it. It's a neat idea but Livejournal.com really fulfills most of my “social software“ networking needs and I've found many of the features offered by Friendster or Tribe aren't even as useful as LJ. I do hold some hope but these days I'm concentrating on creating intranet-like spaces for my immediate friends or the spiritual and political groups that I work with. That's much more useful. Some of the ideas below mirror thoughts I've had (but less concretely up to now).
and now, content...
Fri, 30 Jan 2004
0. change your tos. you don't own anything. you barely own your own ass.
1. get rid of cool, and trustworthy, and sexy, and fan. that's all stupid and doesn't mean anything.
2. get rid of testimonials. oh sure, i loved them on friendster, but i was just making up funny shit to say about my friends. it's cute for a second, but it serves no purpose. also, i should mention that yoz doesn't actually sleep with sailors. or at least not as many as i implied.
3. download the source to waste. you'll have to modify it a bit, but it's probably not a bad starting place.
4. hook it up so that friends are in the same file-sharing group. this is a bit weird, because you'll need so many file sharing groups. encourage people to share things like bookmarks, email archives, text files, word docs. make sure the search feature is easy to use, and loads up from a webpage on the local drive. in later versions you can allow friends to annotate each other's hard drives. allow communities to share separate resources from friends groups. finally, friends will mean something and have some use.
5. index nothing. really, index nothing. that's just a field of shit you don't want to cross.
i've long wanted to be able to search my friend's brains, which is the kind of social networking that matters. there's no technical reason i can't, just no one has built me the app. i still haven't figured out the solution to the socially awkward "actually, you're not my friend, why are you saying you are?" problem, which is why i quit orkut. but maybe you can raise the value of the app so that people will put up with that, and maybe its ok to say "actually i share some pretty intimate stuff, so my circle is kind of tight." as a reply- i don't know. the point is, people will put up with problems in proportion to the value they derive from a system. right now orkut and friendster and the like are mostly fun for people that really enjoy filling out webforms and uploading pictures of themselves. and maybe as dating sites, but as i don't really date i don't know. for useful social networking being in my social network has to mean more than being out of it.
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