The clarity challenge

Some assignments for Social Graph Foo Camp is my latest at Linux Jounal. The camp starts today. Some bottom lines…

  Social systems are as old as humanity, and among the most complex and subtle topics of human existence. To call a Twitter following or a Friend list on Facebook a “social network” is a simplification and a distortion. Same goes for the social graph, so far.
  It’s early in the path of progress here. We have much to learn as well as much to do.
  …And by Monday I hope to see a new Social Graph entry on Wikipedia: one that any civilian, and not just geeks, will understand.
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One Response to The clarity challenge

  1. Tom Morris says:

    What would increase clarity? Getting rid of the phrase ‘social graph’ would be a good start. It means sweet F.A. as far as I’m concerned and serves no purpose except to help spread ambiguous waffle. Case in point: ‘OpenSocial’. It’s a widget platform, but the way that the bloggers covered it you’d think it was the second coming.

    I have seen no use of the phrase ‘social graph’ where simply replacing it with ‘social network’ would have reduced the meaning a jot. When I see someone use the phrase ‘social graph’, I tend to think “what are they trying to obscure from view?” It’s a marker for dishonesty in a way that actually describing the technology (microformats, FOAF, RSS, OpenID, APIs, widget platforms etc.) isn’t.

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