Since I have been with the team and interact more closely with /. I have come to the conclusion that this platform is really one of the original and best sites for social interaction and media. One of the key points that I have noticed though is that we have done a poor job of making it easier for people to communicate and create interaction.
First of all the registration on /. helps to create a community and causes us to be accountable for our words and deeds. If you are gonna say it, at least stand behind what you say. Second, those that are not familiar with the concept of Friend & Foe, should look into the friend feature on the site. Registered users can click on any other registered user account and choose to mark those people as friends or foes on the site. The cool part about this is that you can then see your friend's comments on the site as well as any other potential friend relationships. My experience with this is that I get a broader view of opinions from friends and from folks who are not friends too.
What I envision is not something sappy or invasive as Facebook or the many other "social media" sites, but something that allows me to more easily see and create these relationships so I can see and participate better in conversations with my friends and their friends too.
My question to you is, Do you see social ties on /. helping you get a better world view of Nerd News?