Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Thursday, March 10, 2005day link 

 The PeopleWeb
Mark Pincus on The PeopleWeb, via Marc Canter:
i believe we are close to the point where people will start to be organized online into a 'peopleweb' where browsers will surf and search through people not pages. i will attempt to describe the what, how and why below.

what is the peopleweb? as more people take on 'open' identities online, that can be crawled, found and linked to with bits of semantically organized data like 'profile', 'about me' or 'my tribes or groups', there will soon be an ability for search engines to organize people into relevant groupings. the key relevance here will be based on two intersections; people's group affiliations so that i can quickly find experts in flying bonanzas in baja and people's credibility which may be estimated in a number of ways from how 'linked' you are to who you're linked to to slashdot type ratings if they evolve to work in an independent fashion.

how will the peopleweb happen? along with my vision of the revolution of the ants, the big portals will all succumb to their audience's desire for openness and transportability of online identities. people will no longer choose to invest in a profile that is locked into msn or friendster (or tribe). just like email had to be free and compuserve lost out to aol, so too will profiles. we already have this with blogs. my company, tribe.net, will soon be launching open profiles which will let people compbine elements of their blogs with social and community networks. this will occur with virtually every site, where users will decide who has access to what, whether it's by degrees of separation or group affiliation. this wont be decided by my company, friendster, linkedin, yahoo's new thing etc...

what will the peopleweb enable? well, imagine a future where the network acts as one database. you will tell the web that you are single and what your dating criteria is. your dating profile will only be shown to those people (so no more daily humiliation of your sisters and friends snickering that you describe yourself as a tall dark handsome romantic). kinda unhappy with your job. no problem. tell the network you're available for jobs paying over $150k, vp level, and maybe you want to limit to a few companies or block them. wanna organize a poltical revolution without leaving your home? just tell the network you are into 'emergent democracy' and 'legal revolution' (possibly through group tags) and you will automagically be connected with all the other archair revoultionaries.
I was just starting to get really bored with the various online social network I'm a member of. As in that I almost never log into them, except for occasionally when somebody sends me a message, which usually is some guy networking for business whom I have nothing in common with. OK, my lists of friends in each network is great, but it doesn't really do anything for me. Nothing I particularly can use it for on a daily basis. But that could all be different if the features were better. Yeah, I shouldn't have a redundant profile in a number of different places. I should control it myself in one place. And the tools should be smart enough for me to use it for finding stuff I need in my network, and not just sit and enjoy how large it might be. It hasn't really happened yet, but, yes, it probably will. When somebody makes the right tools.
[ | 2005-03-10 20:43 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Internet as a weapon against terrorism
Dan Gillmor is in a working group on terrorism and the internet at the International Summit on Democracy, Security and Terrorism. This is some of what they've come up with:
1. The Internet is fundamentally about openness, participation, and freedom of expression for all -- increasing the diversity and reach of information and ideas.
2. The Internet allows people to communicate and collaborate across borders and belief systems.
3. The Internet unites families and cultures in diaspora; it connects people, helping them to form civil societies.
4. The Internet can foster economic development by connecting people to information and markets.
5. The Internet introduces new ideas and views to those who may be isolated and prone to political violence.
6. The Internet is neither above nor below the law. The same legal principles that apply in the physical world also apply to human activities conducted over the Internet.
OK, and then a number of points related to terrorism, which are good. Specifically that decentralized networking might be the best tool for combatting decentralized networks doing bad things. And that the best response to abuses of openness is more openness. In other words, the response to terrorism shouldn't be increased censorship and control and secrecy. The antidote is widespread open collaboration and sharing of information. The internet can provide a connectedness that can far outweighs the divisiveness that terrorists might hope to create.

Here are commentary from John Perry Barlow who's in the same working group. He's not sure it is going to make all that much difference at that conference.
[ | 2005-03-10 20:44 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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