[rdfweb-dev] Warren Ellis writes about personal network systems

mb at picdiary.com mb at picdiary.com
Sat May 24 07:44:36 UTC 2003

----- Forwarded message from WarrenE at aol.com -----

Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 20:30:33 EDT
From: WarrenE at aol.com
Subject: BAD SIGNAL: Moblog Two
To: badsignal at lists.flirble.org
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(This is all random bits I may try to connect up into something
coherent later.  Work with me here.)

Friendster sucks.  I mean, Friendster is a crappy website and a
crappy system.  I'm sorry.  Partly, it's not their fault -- their
servers seem to be massively overextended, and the thing
just grinds, even on high-rate ADSL.  Partly, it's that the execution
is just dumb.  The idea is that the people joining and selecting
each other as friends makes you part of a huge extending web
of friends and friends of friends etc etc.  Your Personal Network.
The problem is that there's no way to visualise it.  It's just, woo,
here's the first ten of the 13,000 friends in Your Personal Network,
page one of seven hundred and eighteen... and this on a system
that loads up like you're connecting at 14,400.

If I felt like surfing my Personal Network, I'd want a web that I
could stab pins into at random, or something along those lines.
Something more organic.  And if I was looking for specific
selected skills or interests, I'd want to be able to do a directed
search of the Network.  I'd need it to be fast, low-graphics,
because I'm on a phone in the middle of fucking nowhere and
the spidergoats are coming over the hill for me and I need to
get hold of someone who either knows how to subdue a
spidergoat or someone who knows how to turn my female
companion's car into an effective fuel/air bomb.  I want the
person with the skills and I want to know how many people
connect me to her.  How many phone calls do I have to make
to get me to the person who knows how to turn a Datsun into

There are one thousand and one people on your Personal Network.

Some of you will get that, some of you won't... 

Friendster is partway there, but it's really too dumb, slow and clunky
-- and what it presents should really be part of the functionality of
something else.

Imagine, perhaps: finding someone on your Personal Network who
lives and works in Tokyo, and placing a message to him on your
Network Message Board that *also* publishes through to his email-
enabled mobile phone, asking for a photo of a used-panties vending
machine.  Which he takes, on his mobile phone, and send back to
the message board, which *also* publishes through to your
mobile phone.

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