Thursday, December 20, 2007

Time To Treat Social Networks Like Marriage, and I coined the word "sociospam"

Monogamy is better! I was reading Alec Saunders, a blogger whom I read regularly, who blogged today about that he has been playing with a Social Network named Spock. I have visited spock, which looked to me a centralized FOAF network. I like the idea of people searching. It is just not people searching but search results will let you know about the connections that you might have to the person. But your social connections, you already know all these information. I will join because I like to explore social networks.
But the reason for this article is that Saunders invited a certain close friend of his to join and the reply he got was;

"Unless every other way we have to communicate has broken, I am not joining another Social Network. Sorry. All these do is generate more and more email."

I had a feeling that it could be Andy Abramson because of the past experience of the two. (I read both their blogs regularly because of my VoIP Interests.). I did think of nothing until I ventured over to Abramson's blog, VoIP Watch. Yes it was he who refused Saunders.
He is wondering if he is becoming anti social and yes he was the person who refused Saunders. I am very happy to learn that I know my authors, even if they are only blog authors.
I think Abramson is refusing to become multi social, and I am certain he is not anti social. But he brings out problems that all of us are facing toda, filling up our email with sociospam. They are not spam yet prevents you from attending to emails that you really need pay attention to.
But then Abramson's post sent me back to Saunder's blog to learn about spock's not so honest recruiting methods.
I was sad to read in comments of the latter post that only way you could make sure that information about you is correct by joining, because they aggregate you even if you are not a member. Yes I did search and a bunch of Andy Abramson(s) there including the one I refer! Sociospam!!
Time to bring my academic FOAF server Out!!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see nobody yet has commented here, so I'm glad to be the first :)

you say about Alec that he has been 'playing with a Social Network named Spock' <- I think Spock is less Social Network than any other SN here around, it's a mix b/w People Search Engine, an Online Identity Management tool and yes, a Social Networking experience. But it's not just like that- 'I am not joining another Social Network', abs agree with the friend of Alec, S. Networking has become very time consuming and requiring lots of efforts to maintain all these networks actual.

About 'becoming anti social' of Andy Abramson, I think there is some good explanation, but I'll go discussing with Andy about this.
I think that simply SOCIAL is something evolving quickly, so on the level of logic- none can support forever smth constantly changing, if this one isn't evolving himself.

The 'sociospam'- yes, it's a problem that comes from the Social Networking world of today. But I have a doubt if it is correct to link the term "spam" to "social", to present the what we mean under "sociospam". But yes, we are overflowed by e-mails from another people, our friends or just social friends. I think the most important is to understand that the invitations/ updates/ etc are generated by PEOPLE, not by software.
When you receive a next invitation to 'just another social network', from somebody Mr. X who is your friend, you think "but that man is crazy, I am not going to sign-up also there!". However it's Mr. X who has invited you there, right? Or via Address-book import (mass invite), or personally, however it was him to desire to let you know about this new place to visit on the Web.

The software has made our socializing more easy, it's all can be done now in one click... but the click is done by humans. So should we call it xxx-spam?
Everyone of our friends can take part of tons of different social networks. those friends together know tons of probably not crossing Networks. and most of them are sure it's a GOOD thing they do to invite also the friends to the places where they like to be :)
So it's a social smth, but I'd not call it xxx-spam :(

another important issue mentioned here is 'about spock's not so honest recruiting methods'. here I can only hmmm...
From what do I know about Spock, following it for the month and being its heavy user all this time, invitations are user generated via Address Book Import utility, and that it very clearly states who you are potentially inviting to Spock, plus opting out of e-mails is easy via the unsubscribe link and that opting out of Spock is also easy. 'recruiting methods'- well, somebody likes strong metaphors, I understand :)

the last thing is about how aggregators work, and that it's the only option to join to correct the information. I do not really understand why it's wrong? Have a look at another people search engines, like ppl.com and similar- they exist, it's clear soon it will exist lost of such kind of web sites, 'coz it's the feature required by all Web Users- People Search! So, if the other search motors allow you only to see what do they bring to you (and anyone else who's looking for your keywords), and Spock allows you to join to be able using it for your happiness ;)- so why it's wrong?

I look at this from another point of view- for me Spock is a tool to monitor my digital identity. I am very happy I can learn everyday from Spock any changes to my search result done. I can know what the other people think about me, what links do they consider important about me etc.
but the most important issue is that I CAN change what the others will see when they type on Spock, or well on Google, my Name+Surname. So if tomorrow Spock will become the same commonly used as oGogle :), a tool for People Search, the fact that I can control the information that will be provided by Spock to the requester- it's a very cool improve in respect of another People Search Engines.

you may want to have another opinion, but I found all most arguments about 'bad spock' quite doubtful. nothing personal. I hope that after my intervention, after having seen 'another use case' about Spock, you'll be able to make your own conclusion.

See you on Spock! :) Have a nice time,
Andrey Golub- a happy Spock user, evangelist and blogger