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What is a social network?

From: Christine Perey <cperey@perey.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 15:53:20 +0200
To: <public-xg-socialweb@w3.org>
Message-ID: <A479FBD1AC3C45F2A1D0377058CD5821@T60>
I was asking myself, when populating the list of 30 popular community
services: What defines (for those of us in this W3C XG) a service as being
unequivocally on the list and why? 
 
Do we all have the same definition of social networking? Judging from the
services on the first list on this wiki page [1], probably not. 
 
I suggest that we take a stab at a W3C Social Web XG 'accepted' definition
of scope. 
 
Playing the devils' advocate here: 
 
One of the problems with a public/published W3C definition of "social web"
or "social networking" is that it may need to be examined regularly and
modified/updated. Where will the boundaries every end? 
 
Social networking ("community") features are beginning to permeate many
other (previously non social) digital services. There are already and will
be more social "features" added to everything.
 
Some examples: 
 + a music (or any entertainment content) service where people rate the
tunes, movies, etc 
 
 + a weather service in which you can see the weather near your friends, 
 
 + a local nightclub search service on which you see where your friends have
already congregated, 
 
 + an auction service on which your friends or taste neighbors offer
opinions/advice before you conclude a purchase
 
Take this out into the distance and what you have is an infinite list of
socially-aware services. Everything is social...
 
[1] http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/socialweb/wiki/TopSocialNetworkingSites
 

Christine 

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Received on Tuesday, 9 June 2009 13:54:00 UTC

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