W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-socialweb@w3.org > April 2012

Re: Re-org of chart

From: Blaine Cook <romeda@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2012 22:08:08 +0100
Message-ID: <CAAz=scmWmLgVrv=5fR0LBw0t-1MSyh5gcqBbyP3o0YQggjdpVQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Lloyd Fassett <lloyd@azteria.com>
Cc: public-socialweb@w3.org
On 25 April 2012 19:36, Lloyd Fassett <lloyd@azteria.com> wrote:

> Blaine,
> I think the re-factoring makes sense in terms of re-translating the org
> chart, but I'm still hazy on what assumptions are implied about use cases.
>  The technical aspects could probably become a lot longer, but the data
> layer is not fleshed out at all yet and I'm wondering if that's the main
> issue after all because of the use cases I'm assuming. I do want to check
> those assumptions with the group too to see that I'm not off base.

The data layer isn't fleshed out not because of any intent to de-emphasise
it on my part, but simply because I stopped before I got there – there's a
lot of work to do on all the layers yet. As such, my comments below
shouldn't be taken to suggest otherwise! ;-)

> One use case scenario could be like Yelp which might be thought of as a
> social network between restaurants and people who eat at restaurants.  In
> that scenario, we're linking people through restaurants, so getting the
> data layer correct is primary which Yelp solves in a silo'd fashion i.e.
>  the people and ratings do not apply off their system.   If we're about
> making the web social, then they should be.
> I think there's a layer of networked data that I think is the compelling
> issue where the profile would extend beyond the silos like a Yelp.  'Social
> networking' and restaurants to me is where do my friends eat.  A networked
> data layer could answer 'where is the best churrascaria restaurant for me.'
> because my friends don't know what that is and my wife is a vegetarian.

The word 'social' to me is a red-herring.  I think this is more about
> 'networked social data' or 'collaborative environments' because the
> compelling use cases to me are about solving a problem external to what my
> friends and family that I already know are doing.  What does make sense to
> me is to consider 'social' to be any human input.

I suspect we're coming from very different worlds. My take on the social
web is that data comes *after* you have social interactions. I'm probably
more extreme in this view than most, and I explicitly worry about projects
like ActivityStreams because of their focus on classifying data before any
data has been exchanged.

So far the most complicated application we've ever created that both works
in a decentralised way and takes into account users' identities is email
(SMTP). The promise of XMPP has been, in large part, a failure. If we start
off simple ("I'd like to share this link only with my friends."), we can
create an ecosystem that developers can extend. If we attempt to describe
the linked data world that might exist before it exists, I'm not sure we'll
be able to get developers (or users) on-board.

Open data is certainly valuable, and the kinds of questions that we could
answer with access to corpuses like Yelp are certainly interesting.
However, social is not a red herring – indeed, the Yelp data exists only
because they started with a conception of identity. That conception was
(and remains) closed, within the walls of Yelp's silo. So long as that
remains true, it's my belief that any attempt to build open data sets will
be fruitless.

>  Another potential use case of networked social data would be enabling
> foodies to comment on particular items in a grocery store.  That would
> create a network of items, locations, and people that could suggest where
> to get it, what else is like it, what recipes to link it to, or even who
> will bring it to an event that's linked to.   Foodie comments could travel
> to be used by any outlet for the product, not just the place it was
> captured.

> It seems to me the main stressors of creating a successful system of that
> kind is analogous to creating better spam prevention from when smtp was
> created, as well as replicating the value humans put on html by linking
> items together as a valuable signal about quality. Perhaps the block chart
> needs some ideas baked in about how to enable better, more spam resistant,
> human signals than html or smpt had when they started.
> The other issue is to what extent a working data layer is possible.
> I think we're talking about the value of things at the data layer where
> human activity is added.

I think we agree –  I want to enable those sorts of things, too. However,
my work over the past few years has focused on how to make social
interactions on the web usable for real people AND possible in a
decentralised / open way. If we only worry about the data, and approach
identity or the interaction model for exchanging and creating that data as
a side-note to the data formats, I strongly believe that we'll fail at both.

Received on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 21:08:58 UTC

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