jamescarlyle <jamescarlyle at t...> jamescarlyle at t...
Wed Dec 18 15:46:31 UTC 2002

Another closed FOAF system, like Ryze and SixDegrees:
Friendster is operated by Friendster, Inc., a privately held 
corporation, headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA. The company was 
founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Jonathan Abrams.

I agree wholeheartedly with Dan Connolly, who said 
"One other thought that occurred to me... I'm probably not the first 
to think of it... but the sixdegrees web site has some pretty nifty 
features and I encourage folks to take a 
look at it for inspiration. The only thing wrong with ,
of course, is that it's a closed world. I'm excited about a web-ified 
(i.e. unconstrained) foaf system..."

The thing that pissed me off about Ryze was that even after I'd 
contributed time to my profile (admittedly not much), the site 
usability experience was destroyed by constant in-your-face 
incentives to upgrade to paid membership, such as the pivot feature 
that allowed me to see who else had similar interests. And Ryze 
owned my data, even though I had contributed it.

Several thoughts come to mind:

0) How far do the FOAF founders want to see usage of FOAF grow?

1) In a discussion about Friendster earlier today, Ian Davis 
suggested evangelising FOAF rdf to Ryze and Friendster, at least as 
an export format. Since they are likely to resist diluting their 
aggregated data value, could they be persuaded at least to allow the 
export of personal profile data as FOAF?

2) What opportunities are there to take some leaves out of Ryze's and 
Friendsters books w.r.t. viral marketing? Looking at the 
F***edCompany comments surrounding the demise of SixDegrees, it's 
clear that social network spamming was abhorred. But what about 
something slightly less intrusive, such as a simple application that 
notified an existing FOAF publisher that someone else had nominated 
them as a friend and would they like to reciprocate?

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