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PeopleAggregator - An Open Source Social Network 263

prostoalex writes "When Orkut, LinkedIn, Friendster, Zaibatsu and just don't cut it, meet PeopleAggregator, an open-source, PHP-written, FOAF-based social network. There's the site and there's the source in case you decide to launch your own. I found out about PeopleAggregator reading this interview with Mark Canter on Read/Write Web today." I wish such sites would provide profile-conversion tools to encourage jumping ship from one to another.
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PeopleAggregator - An Open Source Social Network

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  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by panxerox ( 575545 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:54PM (#8720906)
    Another (better?) method to avoid coming in physical contact with other people.
    • Re:Wow (Score:2, Funny)

      by boarder8925 ( 714555 )
      Another (better?) method to avoid coming in physical contact with other people.
      AIM, Slashdot, and phpBB just were't enough.
    • Re:Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

      At least with an open-source community, we will not have our socieities social structures dictated by large corporations. Face it, using the internet as our primary means of communicating is inevitable. We should at least try to keep control of our communication rather than pass control over to some corporation who treats their bottom line as more important than society as a whole.
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

        by the argonaut ( 676260 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:10PM (#8721774) Homepage Journal
        Face it, using the internet as our primary means of communicating is inevitable.

        Please tell me where I can get off whatever train you're riding on, because I don't think your world is or will be a very nice place to live in.

        75% of the communications I have with people are still good old fashioned face-to-face conversations, and I would venture a guess that for most people the number is not much different. For most people the internet is replacing the ways we would communicate over long distances (phone call, snail mail), but it's not, nor do I think it ever will be, a suitable replacement for real physical interactions. And if I am somehow proven wrong, please shoot me before it happens.

        I agree with everything else you said. Developers have already decimated our town squares, traditional shopping districts, and other public spaces and replaced them with malls and other quasi-public areas, where the only speech and the only activities allowed are the ones they deem to be "appropriate". Why should we let them fully enclose our virtual commons as well?
        • Re:Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

          by digitaleus ( 654331 )
          it's hard to turn something as huge as communication into a scalar.

          The most meaningful communication generally happens face-to-face, and this is unlikely to change without some seriously dystopic biotech. However, in terms of the time I spend communicating, much of it isn't face to face, given that I sit in front of a PC all day. Rather, MSN and weblogs commenting forms a large chunk of my daily "chit chat".

    • Geography matters a lot for physical contact, and nothing for virtual.
    • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:37PM (#8721210) Journal
      Sad bastards who get marked funny on slashdot are well known to have no contact with people let alone physical contact with either sex.

      Thank god I am not one of those.

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by l1_wulf ( 602905 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <fluw1l>> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:38PM (#8721592) Homepage Journal

      Social networks are only as useful as your own perceptions. While not a proponent myself, I've seen valid declarations for and against them (in general), open or closed (to the public), etc. It seems that those that look to them for substitutions for an actual social life are typically disappointed since male to female ratios are nominal at best. On the other hand those that look to these networks as opportunities to meet people (or keep in contact with people) from varied backgrounds and locations who share interests or needs (programming help, contractors, games, etc.) generally have much better luck than say randomly talking to someone in a bar.

      If these networks were to try and cater to the lonely hearts out there, they would be no better than dating services, except they would likely prove to be disappointing in that regard, little better than just jumping into any of the myriad chat rooms out there. Perhaps this is validating invitation only networks (ala Orkut), who's to say?

      A drawback to social networks is end user propagation and activity. Maintaining, checking, browsing and so on seems, to me at least, like a time consuming activity. One which I lack the desire and the time to follow. I tend to be a bit of a hermit, often times putting my IMs as away just to concentrate on the task at hand while I sit at my computer. I suppose when the "killer" social network comes along, I'll sign up and stay, until then they remain little more than academic interests in a field that is reaching oversaturation and little innovation.

  • Looks like (Score:5, Funny)

    by xSquaredAdmin ( 725927 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:55PM (#8720920)
    it aggregated too many people.
    • by frenetic3 ( 166950 ) * <> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:05PM (#8721012) Homepage Journal
      Looks like a sausagefest too. Marc? Ben? Roland? Sean?

      I need Charlenes here people. Claires. Colettes. Tortured twentysomething souls who lean forward in sleazy web cam shots just to show a little cleavage.

      Work with me here! :)

    • Future ideas (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Trejkaz ( 615352 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:30PM (#8721164) Homepage

      So true. And whereas this was an obvious Slashdot Effect joke, there is some insight hidden behind the idea.

      Obviously the concept of a social network site where the entire network has to register with one site is going to be doomed to failure in the end.

      The first problem is that in order to build a social network big enough to fit everyone interested in being registered on the network, you need a cluster big enough to store every user on the Internet. By my guess, Orkut is the only one with access to this kind of cluster size, because it is hosted by Google.

      The second problem is that as soon as you have two social network sites, you have a problem where someone wants to be on both sites. Then you add a third site and you have a problem where that person wants to be on three sites. How many social network sites are there now?

      This is the same problem we already see with instant messaging, and is why the newer, more sophisticated IM systems such as Jabber allow the servers to intercommunicate. You can be on whatever server you want, and have contacts on your list who are on whatever server they want.

      So here is my idea: distribute the social networks. A user joins the server they want, is allocated a user id which is, analogous to a Jabber ID, and they can add people to their network who exist on other servers.

      Communities would work similarly with, people join a community by registering their user ID on the server which hosts the community. For instance, the Slashdot community might be

      Now, if all these communities can export FOAF and RDF and agree on how to do any other kind of data manipulation, any program can easily merge cross-site data together to form larger networks if they need, and the work won't have to be done by a single server, it can be done on the client at the user's leisure.

      And more importantly, the solution will actually scale.

      Who's with me?

      • Re:Future ideas (Score:4, Insightful)

        by frenetic3 ( 166950 ) * <> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:39PM (#8721215) Homepage Journal
        a friendster or orkut would have no incentive to do this.

        their critical mass of millions of members is their biggest asset (and the thing that is hard to acquire -- the tech part is relatively easy; witness all the knockoffs); opening it up to all other comers (i.e. their competitors) would be foolish, just as it would be foolish for AOL/AIM to open up their user base to MSN, their biggest competitor (unless both user bases were equally sized, in which case they would both benefit equally, or the smaller network paid the larger one for access.)

        • Re:Future ideas (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Trejkaz ( 615352 )

          Did anybody say Orkut and Friendster had to do it?

          Look at the situation with instant messaging. You say AOL vs. MSN are in competition and will never cooperate, but who cares? Everyone who cares about interoperation can use Jabber, and it works. We have a fully distributed IM system, which works, which AOL and MSN are just not a part of but hey, who cares?

          In the same way, every non-Orkut, non-Friendster social networking site in the world could implement this distributive feature, and the distributiv

        • Re:Future ideas (Score:4, Insightful)

          by oliverk ( 82803 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:13PM (#8721444)
          I agree with you both...FOAF doesn't work without interconnectivity and there's a huge disincentive for FOAF providers to open their network because the positive network effects are the entire reason behind doing this. That, of course, brings me to the open source issue.

          The backend code for Slashter and PeopleAggregator are both GPL'd. That's great and very much in the flavor of "information wants to be free." The challenge is that the relationships here are the real information, and until this is all opened up there's really no freedom.

          I met with a few MSFT reps to talk about the possibilities of Passport, and one of the diagrams they showed us had these relationships between user id and every connection you would want to make (web sites, email, chat, credit cards, online shopping, bill pay...pretty much all of it). Don't bother with the anti-MSFT stuff...I'm already a convert. But consider the big idea behind it: have one public id and one private id and free us to exchange with whomever we want. That's true freedom from the Yahoo!'s, AOLs and MSN's of the world.

          We spend a huge amount of time thinking about platforms and software that we can give away for free but maybe that doesn't really matter. I don't care so much that all of these different open source word processors work...I care that they allow me to fulfill the task at hand and share my work with others. I don't care if I use Photoshop or Gimp, but I DO care if I can share high-quality images with my clients. And I don't care if I use a Yahoo! account or a Friendster account...what I want most is to just connect with services and people and let the rest of this all be transparent. And from my perspective, this sounds like the next big opportunity for true open source work. Replicate Passport, make it bulletproof and use it to power all of these services. Then you finally take away the power from the big corporations.

          Of course, funding this indefinitely could be a problem. But you could argue the same thing about there's a solution in there somewhere.
          • funding isn't a problem when your end results in one of the most complete and constantly updating tracking databases on earth.

            Microsoft shouldn't care how much they lose making passport work because if someone else does it, they will have to pay bank to buy them anyway.

            That said, does anyone know of CRM systems that integrate with a web logger that tracks IP and Mac address along with cookie values of some sort (like a user name).

            also, anyone know of utlity that can preload content. I mean, as long as
        • by PatientZero ( 25929 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:16PM (#8721463)
 was invented and a widespread standard before the web appeared. Seriously, all the cool new applications on the net are completely fractured, competing with each other for eyeballs to bombard with advertisements.

          I can only hope that we, the net citizens, will eventually push back on these mega sites to get some standards produced.

          Imagine if each ISP ran a standards-compliant IM server for its users. No more "Do you use Yahoo or MSN? No, oh well, we can't chat." Instead, each IM server vendor would compete to have ISPs install their server but work with all other vendors' products instead of segregating users into disparate networks.

      • by TyrelHaveman ( 159881 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:00PM (#8721344) Homepage
        Sounds interesting. I'm too busy reading slashdot all day to implement such a thing, though.
      • This is precisely what the Mailbox Reputation Network [] does.

        It uses DNS to publish friend relaions between identities in mailbox format ('user@domain'). The is even a hosting service for those without good DNS servers.

        Just join the mailing list and start impementing!

    • Re:Looks like (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuperBanana ( 662181 )
      ?it aggregated too many people.

      Friendster's got 'em beat. Their technology is so good, they don't need a slashdotting to go under.

      A few weeks back they implemented an emergency "how many degrees of separation do I want people to see" feature, and the default was pretty low. They had to do it because their MySQL database was choking for weeks to the point that you could log in, but any further activity would hang until the applet returned a connection-timed-out error.

  • *cough* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkHelmet ( 120004 ) * <mark&seventhcycle,net> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:55PM (#8720922) Homepage
    Slashster []

    Slashster is an Open Source PHP / Mysql based FOAF.

    Congrats to PeopleAggregator for making Slashdot though. Dunno why my site didn't make front page... Heh.

    • No Kidding. I saw this about a month ago. That is a pretty cool project. And I could have sworn that I got the link to it from your .sig...and on an investigation of your posting history, I realized that I in fact have. I guess you decided not to have your .sig this type, because it would be redundant, because of your message.

      Unfortunately, I do not have that many geek friends (or friends at all, really *sigh*), just a few. If I did, I might check it out.

      • Oops, I forgot. Slashdot doesn't show .sigs when you click Reply. Which makes it really hard to reply to .sigs (I've been guilty of that once or twice).
  • Even though opensource is a good thing, why make it so anyone can install it. If it's not certizilied, it's not going to make many hits or matchs. If it was two people like over /. or a message board, that would be different because you aren't looking for a stranger.
  • by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:55PM (#8720925)
    Warning: mysql_pconnect(): Too many connections in /usr/web/peopleaggregator/env_production/lib/adodb /drivers/ on line 251

    Warning: mysql_pconnect(): Too many connections in /usr/web/peopleaggregator/env_production/lib/adodb /drivers/ on line 251

    Session: connection failed

    Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /usr/web/peopleaggregator/env_production/lib/adodb /drivers/ in /usr/web/peopleaggregator/env_production/lib/main. php on line 36

    Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /usr/web/peopleaggregator/env_production/lib/adodb /drivers/ in /usr/web/peopleaggregator/env_production/lib/main. php on line 36

    Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /usr/web/peopleaggregator/env_production/lib/adodb /drivers/ in /usr/web/peopleaggregator/env_production/lib/main. php on line 37
  • by dealsites ( 746817 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:57PM (#8720939) Homepage
    What ever happened to people meeting at the mall, bars, concerts, school, etc...??

    I hate to admit it, but I imagine most of these social-network people are the nerdy type. Not that I'm saying that's bad, but most of us probably already have some nerdy friends. Why not get out and meet people in real life to havae a well-balanced friend social network?

    Although the open-source project is cool.

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    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:08PM (#8721034)
      What ever happened to people meeting at the mall, bars, concerts, school, etc...??

      You don't belong here.

    • by tepples ( 727027 ) * <{tepples} {at} {}> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:10PM (#8721044) Homepage Journal

      What ever happened to people meeting at the mall, bars, concerts, school, etc

      Not everybody knows how to drive an automobile. Not everybody drinks alcohol. Not everybody can afford tickets to those few live performances offered at venues friendly to those who either by choice or by statute do not drink alcohol. Some students ride a bus to and from school and thus do not have time to meet beforehand or afterwards.

      In addition, electronic FOAF systems are much cheaper than inter-city bus fare or airplane fare for meeting friends who have interests that aren't all that common in smaller cities of 50,000 or so.

    • Learn to Dance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:31PM (#8721172) Homepage Journal
      What ever happened to people meeting at the mall, bars, concerts, school, etc...??

      I'll second this.

      I'm a nerdy, basically shy person myself.

      Learning to dance saved my social life -- talking ballroom dance here, swing and waltz and foxtrot.

      Women go for that stuff, trust me on this one. The fellow who knows how to waltz has got it made. You get to approach strangers, make conversation with them, lead them onto the dance floor, put your hands on them, your arms around them ... move them rhymthmically around the dance floor ... and they love it.


      • Re:Learn to Dance (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Welsh Dwarf ( 743630 )
        I'll second that, though my stuff is traditional Celtic, but where I live, you go to an evening (called Fest-noz, or night party in Breton), and you've made half-dozen friends by 2am, generally of the opposite sex (you need a partner for quit a few of the dances after all). It's not even a case of being a great dancer, or takeing someone home with you, it's just a case of doing something together, and having fun. And that's one of the first steps towards a social life.
        • Joy of Dance (Score:4, Insightful)

          by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:14PM (#8721797) Homepage Journal
          It's not even a case of being a great dancer, or takeing someone home with you, it's just a case of doing something together, and having fun. And that's one of the first steps towards a social life.

          Good points.

          You make friends, you have fun.

          Sure, it can be part of a courtship ritual -- yes, you might get laid -- hell, you might even get married: I did! -- but all that stuff can seem very secondary, when the dance is swinging just right ... it's a joyous thing to do.


          PS - Note to newbie dancers: stop worrying about it, nobody is staring and judging. It's not that you're invisible ... but in my experience, people go dancing to have a good time, not to be "better" than other dancers. Even really good dancers! Some of the best dances I ever danced, my partner was a professional dancer, way more experienced than my amateur self ... and she made me feel like I had all the right moves. Go on, try it -- you'll like it.

          PPS - THE BIG SECRET: learn to lead. (Talking ballroom dance here -- it's different in some other forms of dance.) It's not really about steps! It's about leading ... which means, the leader decides what to do, and the follower follows. Yes yes, the way a follower follows does influence how a leader leads ... but there's the mystery, my friend: there's no way to explain leading a priori ... you simply have to do it until you get it. And when you do, the world's your oyster, mate!
      • Re:Learn to Dance (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Angry Pixie ( 673895 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @01:18AM (#8722502) Journal
        Women go for that stuff, trust me on this one. I can validate this comment. We do love men who know how to dance, and it doesn't have to be a trendy hip-hop or house style. You can waltz, tango, or practically anything else because it shows you have a cultural side.

        But if you really want to earn points:

        1. Know something about wine. All men. ALL MEN should know about wine. At least understand the types of wine and how to evaluate a wine's flavor/

        2. Ditch the false bravado. Machismo is attractive initially, but it quickly wears.

        3. Take an interest in your date. Don't let her walk all over you, but show her you appreciate the time you're spending with her.

        4. Be clean. Shave. Use cologne sparingly. Make sure you shoes and your belt match.

        5. Be passionate about something. Have a social cause. Love poetry or literature.

        6. Open doors for ladies, but don't order our dinners without our permission.

        7. It's okay to be a geek. Geeks are sexy. They think about things, but don't brag or act superior because you know more about a subject than your date. Let her know that your geekness includes aspirations.

        8. Pay attention to our non-verbal signals. Women average about 150 non-verbal signals every minute.

        9. Don't be late, but be forgiving if we are.

        10. Above all else, do not end the date with a heart-felt, "Gawd, I'd like to finger you" while escorting your date to her door.

        And as a bonus for you college guys: don't do her homework for her, do offer to help tutor her if you'd like to help. And when you take her out on a date, don't take her to see a movie. 2 hours of silence in a theater isn't going to help her get to know you. Take her to dinner - it doesn't have to be a fancy restaurant, but it should be better than a fast food restaurant. If all you can afford is a corner dive, well, tell her. And tell her that you would (and will someday) take her to someplace much better. At least she'll know you're not just cheap, but that you are hoping for future dates. If she is worth her weight in RAM, she'll appreciate the honesty and be understanding without being judgemental. Go for a walk around town. Sit at an outside cafe and have coffee or ice cream. Go browsing through a department store 45 minutes before it closes. Buy her flowers. These are all good things.
        • Make sure you shoes and your belt match.


          How exactly do you match a belt and a pair of shoes? What if I don't wear a belt? ;)

        • 11. Feel free to break rules 1-10 when appropriate, because, you know, not all women are the same. Although, if your goal is to get laid rather than form something meaningful, learning to fake 1-10 is probably a good approach.
        • by No-op ( 19111 )
          most of your suggestions are spot on, but ALL MEN must know something about wine? that's rather off base. there are huge numbers of people who don't drink, so you're making some large assumption that people should know and care what sort of alcoholic beverage goes with what sort of meat, etc.

          for that matter, we men don't demand that women be able to differentiate between a hefe weizen and a lager, so maybe you should relax on that one :P

          the only member of my family who knows anything about wine is my gay
    • All of the friends and acquaintances I know who use social networking are NOT geeky (but then i have few geeky friends, all of whom don't use social networking). All of the people I know using these sites are totally not geeky and are mostly somewhat trendy if a bit on the counter culture side of it believe it or not. I'm 19 however, and people of my age are significantly more tech savy. Perhaps as you get into older people technophobia creeps in.

      Just go on friendster or myspace sometime and you'll notice the fact that most people there are not geeky at all, and that there's probably an even mix of boys and girls.
    • dude, i'm the nerdy one in my group of friends (those from high school) and i was the last one to join friendster, and it was only because they were all on it. It's like IMing, it used to be a nerdy thing, now is just a young-person thing...
    • Why not get out and meet people in real life to havae a well-balanced friend social network?
      Here are a few reasons:
      • I work. My wife works. We have two kids.
      • There are a lot of nice people in my neighborhood, but we have nothing in common with them.
      • There are a lot of nice people I work with, but they all live 40 miles away.
      • I like ultimate frisbee, but how do I find people in my area who want to play? The internet was the only way I could find.

      Note that meeting people through the internet doesn't

    • by God! Awful 2 ( 631283 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:55AM (#8723230) Journal
      Although the open-source project is cool.

      Yeah, with a name like PeopleAggregator it sounds *so* cool. I bet they spent a whole 5 minutes on that one.

  • by alan_dershowitz ( 586542 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:58PM (#8720949)
    hearing about technical people writing "social networking" software.

    How do you tell if an engineer is an extrovert?

    He looks at YOUR shoes when he's talking.
  • XFN (Score:5, Informative)

    by cgranade ( 702534 ) <cgranade AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:58PM (#8720950) Homepage Journal
    An open-source social protocol already exists... not a site, but an XML protocol for marking links as having a social significance. The recently announced Nvu [] supports links with XFN [] information. I would love to see if this network supports XFN, so that it could tie into other XFN-compliant networks and sites.
    • Re:XFN (Score:3, Informative)

      by pldms ( 136522 )
      FOAF [] (which PeopleAggregator uses, as do many other sites) and it's relation to XFN are discussed here [], and in depth by Leigh Dodds []. It would be pretty hard to make something like PeopleAggregator using XFN since it's concerned with typing relations, not describing people. FOAF and XFN don't really compete. (btw, FOAF came first)
  • by Neil Blender ( 555885 ) <> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:59PM (#8720962)
    You don't need a program, website, or even a computer to make friends.
    You just open the door, go outside and...OH MY GOD, the SUN, it BURNS&..&}=20 ]} } } }&..}=3Dr}'}"}[NO CARRIER]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:59PM (#8720964)
    A bit OT, but while the friendster code may not be open, sure looks like they love it on the backend

    They even use an acronymn, LAMP, to refer to Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/PERL/Python
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:00PM (#8720967) Journal
    Can someone build a PeopleGoAwaytor (tm)?
  • by David Hume ( 200499 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:04PM (#8721002) Homepage

    Steal This Book []? No, steal this business!

    And programmers wonder why they're unemployed. :)

    Listen, this is great. I mean, I like receiving a gift as much as the next guy, but...

    I always wonder what people are thinking when they start a business like this and then immediately open source the code and make it publicly available so that anyone and everyone can immediately compete.

    Oh, wait. They're going to make their money on support. Or is it custom applications?

    And just how do you explain this to the VC? How do you word this on the prospectus?

    • The value in friendster is not the technology really -- witness the number of open-source ripoffs (there are several more besides this one, even -- slashster and others have been mentioned) and so on. It's the critical mass of millions of users they've attained.

      You can have the slickest and fastest social networking site (or IM client, or p2p client, or "portal"...) in the world but without users (no, being open source is not a "feature", end users don't care), a killer feature/gimmick, or an insane market
    • I agree, it's getting completely ridiculous.

      There's a store near my house. Well, there are several, but one in particular is interesting. Half of the stuff they sell is self-replicating! Some of it even comes with everything you need to begin the replication process in the package. The rest has been deactivated, but they're only kidding themselves; you can buy the basics needed to begin replication in a lot of places. Can you imagine; they're trying to sell tomatoes when any fool can get some seeds and sti
  • by gregwbrooks ( 512319 ) * <> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:07PM (#8721026)
    ... but it can be one hell of a business tool, too. I've met people I'd never meet otherwise and gotten projects I'd never have heard about simply by starting up conversations on LinkedIn.

    If you're a cubicle rat, then yeah, I guess the whole FOAF thing seems a little too much like high school dating logistics. But if you translate introductions into opportunities and know how to write a compelling message, then some of these social networks are godsends.

    • Seems to me like these sites are more useful for managing your social network than building one. Like I imagine you were getting plenty of projects before you joined LinkedIn, it just improved what you were getting.

      I'm graduating in a few months and planning on moving to a city where no one I know lives. I'm sure I know some people who know some people who know some people there, but I can't navigate the network casually enough. And without the network, it'll be much harder for me to be so lucky as to have
  • by illuminata ( 668963 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:08PM (#8721031) Journal
    Anybody want to be my friend :) :) :) :)??? Post below ;)!

    ... :(

    Experiment failed.
  • Six more degrees (Score:3, Interesting)

    by digitalhermit ( 113459 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:15PM (#8721079) Homepage
    I've been carrying out an experiment over the past few months to get in touch with a famous author/mathematician. He's written on the subject and it just absolutely fascinates me. The idea is to send a few letters to friends and see how quickly it can reach the destination through the hops. Theoretically you could get to the author with just six or seven hops. I sent a few letters to some associates but these got only to the third or fourth level before dying out. I'm going to increase the initial broadcast with a different, more academic oriented group this time. Software like the link shows (well, what I got before the ./ing) is almost perfect to track the results.

    On a related note, a book called "Nexus" by M. Buchanan discusses social and other networks. Decent treatment, but unfortunately no equations or numbers.

  • by bluenirve ( 470125 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:18PM (#8721097)
    In case the site gets taken down:

    Oh hell. We got slashdotted. And the main site wasn't even running the current code revision. Back in a bit. 19:14CST
    • Update (Score:3, Informative)

      by spellraiser ( 764337 )

      20:21 Central
      While we scramble behind the scenes to put things back together, we'll share the slashdot love and link to other sites where you can get more information about FOAF.

      FOAF Info:

      FOAF Tools:

      Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. []

      19:14 Central
      Oh hell. We got slashdotted. And the main site wasn't even running the cur

  • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:21PM (#8721112)
    I've ever come in contact with can hardly read or write (some can't do either) and are not computer savvy and don't have computers. It seems to me that internet-based "society" will be as boring, and as socially stimulating as being a white anglosaxon protestant male and attending a white anglosaxon protestant male boarding school. ie. Lotsa self and group masturbation but no clue what the real planet is about.
    • Self/self-group(the group is the self) masturbation for sure. Everyone just ambivalently "holds" everyone else in the group up: everything is always "postive" and weak. It's like the LiveJournal hordes, and if someone posts something that upsets their soft, narrow world-view they delete it immeadiately instead of trying to learn something. This emerging internet society, instead of being the kaleidoscopic meeting of hundreds of cultures as foretold, is just a banal droning of entertainment and pointless
  • "Damn. Oh hell. We got slashdotted. And the main site wasn't even running the current code revision. Back in a bit. 19:14CST"
  • hmmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:36PM (#8721203) Homepage
    It would be very cool of the Open Source network sites had a way of generating GUIDs for each user and the ability to link together.
  • There seem to be too many social networking sites these days. How many can one person possibly belong to? What would be cool is an open source search engine [], although I don't know if that project is still active. One thing to consider is that open source works well for "products" like GNU/Linux but does not work as well for services like a social networking site. Even a service like our beloved Slashdot may use open source software but it is a commercially-operated ad-sponsored business.

    Create your wireless web site []

  • by azav ( 469988 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:49PM (#8721272) Homepage Journal
    It appears his old baby, Macromedia's Director, just got it's development team dissolved/outsourced/offshored to India.

    Don't know what to think.

  • me also (Score:3, Funny)

    by goon america ( 536413 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:53PM (#8721301) Homepage Journal
    I wish such sites would provide profile-conversion tools to encourage jumping ship from one to another.

    I wish people would go for the common good against their own best interest, too.

  • Bad joke... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:58PM (#8721331) Homepage
    ... an open-source, PHP-written ...

    Good Lord, I'll bet it even uses that PlySkool database, MySQL... It certainly can't be "enterprise" quality... Bahhhh!

  • Since the site is down, could someone explain what FOAF is?
  • I never really saw the attraction in these. I have many non-overlapping "personal spaces" on the internet, but I've never had the urge to advertise that me here is the same person as me over in the Fan Club. If someone catches my eye as an interesting poster here, and I see the name again over there, I might mail/PM them, but I don't want every lurker suddenly deciding they want to be my friend just because of our shared interest in enormous arseholes.
  • Great social open source network with tons of communities for about everything.

    I am like an adict to it.

  • But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    Is Slashdot not an Open Source Social Network?

    I didn't read the article so sue me!
  • by boomka ( 599257 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:55PM (#8721698) Homepage Journal
    The idea behind social networks is that in theory, when everyone participates in a social network, you can easily find people through your connections.
    But once you have so many networks (and the craze is only starting) then even in theory you can't have all your friends on the same network.
    At least I know can't possibly be active on all of them.

    I think what networks are aspiring to do is unachievable because their scope is so small. We already have our social network, it's called Internet and it is successful because there is only one Internet.
  • Missing the point... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kiwioddBall ( 646813 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:58PM (#8721714) Homepage
    The success of a social networking tool depends on the people that use it - it doesn't depend on whether it is open source or not... If you are wanting to meet different beautiful people I suggest you stay away from a social network where the only people who are going to join are your existing group of friends!!
    • Ideally, yes...

      But if this were to say, integrate into a larger organization like a college or university, it would be possible for something like this to be beneficial.

      There are also many separate possible implmentations for this... Pretty much any subset of people who are on the net will benefit from an Open Source Friendster style network.

  • by di0s ( 582680 )
    Fart On A Friend?

    OT I know, but couldn't resist.
  • Instead of trying to aggregate millions of users like friendster, orkut, etc. this could be used by companies, universities and other institutions to build a network of their own, where one's individual profile consists of abilities, skills etc. to make it more easy to build a team for a certain project.

    Imagine you need someone to implement a special algorithm. Normaly either you or a project member could learn it, you ask random colleagues, or you post a message on a company/university board waiting for
  • Simon Cozens [] has written one of these. It's called Flox [], is written in perl using Apache::MVC (also known as Maypole []), and is only 300 lines of code!
  • by Alien Conspiracy ( 43638 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @07:13AM (#8723850) Homepage
    All these social networks would be much more powerful if they could share data using a system like the Mailbox Reputation Network []

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe