September 1st, 2008

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The Monkey Cloud

I've been giving a little thought to online social networking.

The problems I see (and I'm a member of several) are scale and privacy. According the Monkey Brain (I can provide a link if you can't google it), the average number of meaningful social connections a human can have is 100.

So, here is my proposal. You join a network. You can friend up to 100 people, and you can read their public posts. IF they friend you back, then you can read each other's private posts AND the public posts of all their friends. BUT your list of private or trusted or, well your monkeys, is limited to 100. And theoretically your cloud of "public friends" or acquaintances would be limited to 10000. In practice, however, I'm sure that several of your private friends would be mutual friends.

Once you have enough friends for it to be viable, you would be allowed to tag clusters of friends as "art people" or "college friends" or "discount strippers in the greater DFW area" or whatever seems to fit. And you should notice (in one of those cool cloud and connection charts) that several mutual friends of friends who were previously unknown to you are dropping into your clusters. These are people you want to meet.

But still, limited to a manageable 100 trusted friends and 10000 FOAFs.

Other than that, I see it working just like Live Journal, with commenting and such.

Oh, and no RSS feeds of boingboing or Metafilter, just real people's blogs.

Somebody make this for me.