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231 comments

As you can see (5, Funny)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130195)

I will be out to dinner tonight at 8pm, so that will be a good time to rob my house.

I don't want EVERYONE to see my data!! (1, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130271)

WTF? Part of the appeal of many of these sites is that it is restricted in some manner that that current users enjoy.

'Open social networks' is greed-speak for 'easier SPAM access' AFAIAC.

Re:I don't want EVERYONE to see my data!! (4, Insightful)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130425)

WTF? Part of the appeal of many of these sites is that it is restricted in some manner that that current users enjoy.
indeed, called a "password", which is not included with the source code.

Re:I don't want EVERYONE to see my data!! (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130561)

i do believe i misunderstood their use of the word "open"

What? (3, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130875)

No jack-ass, I like the segmentation offered by islands like Facebook.

Re:I don't want EVERYONE to see my data!! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130583)

'Open social networks' is greed-speak for 'easier SPAM access' AFAIAC.

Or worse. I'm far more concerned with things like identity theft or profiling of child targets for other crimes than I am with spam.

Opening up the social networks might be an ideal for a completely open society, but our society isn't grown up enough to be that open yet. Doing it now will just mean that anyone can abuse the system by data mining for their own ends, instead of just the hosting services and their current and (unknown) future owners and business partners.

Of course, some of us removed our personally identifiable data from all social networks pretty early on, precisely because you have no idea who really has access to all that juicy insider gossip about your life and what they're going to use it for, even on the "closed" networks today. Facebook's entire MO is basically to get friends to spy on each other, thus resolving the one remaining block in intelligent data mining of the entire population.

Re:I don't want EVERYONE to see my data!! (4, Insightful)

Iron Condor (964856) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131253)

Opening up the social networks might be an ideal for a completely open society, but our society isn't grown up enough to be that open yet.

No. Even in the most ideal of open societies, I would still want to be allowed to form circles around certain topics. When I log into my arts community, I want to know that I'm surrounded by fellow artists who understand what I'm getting at when I speak of a particular effect that some software was never intended to do. I do emphatically NOT want a bunch of retarded computer geeks tell me that I merely have to reformat my hard drive, install a completely different OS and use this particular specialized software in order to generate that effect.

Likewise, when I log into my fellow-nerd community, then I want to know that my subtle pun on the fine structure constant is actually understood. It would be completely wasted on a horde of uneducated Joes.

Even my network of drinking buddies, which is about as "open" as a social network can be (show up, get plastered, be a member) should retain sufficient limits for us to decide that we just don't want to hang out with some given person. That dude that showed up to that party and started shouting racist crap when he was drunk - I'd rather not have him show up at the next party. I think we all made that known to him, but he didn't quite give me the impression of getting it.

There are social networks that are filtered by virtue of their nature - my circle of co-workers is necessarily composed of certain hardware wonks simply because of the nature of my employment. For all the other ones, I'd prefer to maintain a certain amount of control over who I associate with.

(Incidentily, I consider Facebook "wide open". It's not exactly hard to get an account; it's not exactly hard to join some network. And what is Myspace if not the widest open social networking side possible?).

Re:I don't want EVERYONE to see my data!! (0)

Praedon (707326) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130723)

I could take this opportunity to make a major plug-in to Geekalize, but I will spare you SPAM. Basically, Social Networks, imho needs to be genre related. FeetBook is open to just about anyone, while PedoSpace is, well, open to everyone and Pedophiles. Appealing to specific genres will in turn keep the hormone raging teenagers seeking dating opportunities at bay, while maybe gamers and programmers find their own place to hang out. Open standards should only be useful to people like us, while those pedophiles, hormone raging teenagers, and people who don't know what FUD means, can play in their sand pits of doom called FeetBook and PedoSpace.

Just because it is "open" ... (1, Offtopic)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130791)

...as in non-proprietary, does not mean that there are no access controls whatsoever.

Of course any reasonable open implementation would allow you to make certain things visible only to certain people.

Re:As you can see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130885)

I am a British Secret Agent, dashing, handsome, and skilled at all forms of fighting.

I know about fine wines, gambling, and can speak most languages.

Can I meet you at the mall in half an hour?

6 Billion users.... (4, Informative)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130213)

I wasn't aware almost everyone in the world had internet access....

Re:6 Billion users.... (1)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130239)

the little kids in africa are getting dial up finally! 1 dollar per month access!

Re:6 Billion users.... (-1, Redundant)

rbochan (827946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130387)

Yeah, I was curious how that figure came up with myself, then I noticed that he might be right and most of them have a myspace page so flashing and ugly it'll make you want to punch babies.
"their content is not available to everyone"?
Who the fuck would want it?

Re:6 Billion users.... (1)

AiToyonsNostril (1082283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130759)

Yeah, I don't think Mr. Gilbertson is aware of all those other countries that are not the US, Canada, or the UK. It's a common misunderstanding.

That, or he hasn't heard of the phenomenon of sockpuppetry.

Adopt standards (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130237)

Ok FOAF isn't really up to par with facebook, but I think it gives the right direction. RDF would allow people to create networking sites that'd be open to everyone, encryption might enable information to be available only to member of special groups etc. The key idea is to decentralize information.

I agree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130245)

There's still no truly great way to stalk people anymore!

knock yourself out (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130247)

I'm not sure what the complaint really is here. Market forces and web site design combined to create places like Facebook, people signed up, and it was successful? Alternative ideas are better, but haven't worked?

The article raises interesting points but I'm not sure there's any "there" there. If you build it, they will come. If they like it.

Don't discount some of the suggestions in the article will emerge, but market and social forces prevail. As long as these social networking metaphors are popular and users come and go of their own free will, life is good.

I'm not sure the sublime or transcendental solution Wired seeks exists, or should. The internet is a network, electronic. It's a powerful tool. (..., the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes.(!)) I'm not sure life was meant to be played out on the internet, anyway.

(For the record, I'm no big fan of these web sites... I think they're more fad than substance, but I embrace others' freedom to participate.)

Re:knock yourself out (5, Informative)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130333)

After reading the article, it really looks like it's just this guy whining about being really lazy.

Therein lies the rub. When entering data into Facebook, you're sending it on a one-way trip. Want to show somebody a video or a picture you posted to your profile? Unless they also have an account, they can't see it. Your pictures, videos and everything else is stranded in a walled garden, cut off from the rest of the web.

Honestly, how hard is it to sign up for a facebook account now. You don't even need a school email, just an email. Everyone could have access if they wanted to, in about 5 minutes.

Re:knock yourself out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130647)

Forget sign up, what this guy needs is simply his own webpage.

Re:knock yourself out (2, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130687)

On top of which, you can create a MySpace account and leave it open to the world. Or, gee, maybe create your own web site and/or blog yourself or one of a billion services. I don't get what problem this guy thinks exists.

Re:knock yourself out (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130695)

Frankly, I think closed is a desirable feature in this case. Aren't people already complaining about a loss of privacy from use of social networking sites? Opening up that data could automate that whole process, allowing for automated spidering of user pages and wholesale data aggregation.

Data monkey that I am, I'd be interested in playing around with that stuff, (e.g. "The phrase "Hooked Up" is 32% more common on the pages of male users than female users") but I don't for a second think that anyone who used that service would be thrilled about it.

I think closed communities are inevitable, and I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing. Data lock in is a necessary part of that; you can always copy your stuff out the laboriously slow way, but the lack of a quick automated way of doing it protects the average schmo whose password security is bound to be a laugh.

Re:knock yourself out (1)

MSG (12810) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130711)

how hard is it to sign up for a facebook account now.

Why should you have to? There's no good reason to require that I have an account on every damned social web site, for the privilege of seeing what my own friends want to share with me.

I'll say that again: the customers of the web site want to share things with their friends, and the current structure makes that hard. Social networks aren't providing their users with what they want.

I'm all in favor of using a distributed identity system like OpenID [openid.net] so that a facebook user (for instance) can name their friends regardless of whether those friends are also facebook users, and allow those friends to see their profile/blog/videos/whatever.

Re:knock yourself out (1)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130775)

But the fact of it is, facebook has been pretty successful so far without having a more open scheme. If your friends really want to share stuff with you online with the convience of you not having to sign up for anything, they can grab a MySpace (or any other social networking service that allows anon access) and share there. Just saying Facebook needs to open up because doesn't really make for a great argument. I would agree with you, if there weren't currently other sites that allow this, but there are.

Re:knock yourself out (3, Informative)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130811)

Facebook and Myspace allow you to share content with unregistered users. They also allow you to restrict it so that only your friends can see it. This is a good thing.

I think the only thing networking sites could do to be more "open" is to become interoperable: Allow Facebook users to add MySpace users as friends. Of course, that sounds like it would be a royal PITA and would require a whole new standard be developed, but hey...open is good, right?

There's nothing wrong with things as they are today. If you want to make your information public, get a blog. If you want to share something with just a few friends, use whatever networking site they use.

Re:knock yourself out (1)

LucidIconoclast (1138991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130725)

I salute your embracement of these fads and will personally extend my own embrace to your freedom to participate in this fad they call the internet. It really lacks substance and I predict that it will fade away within several years once these teenagers collectively come to their senses!

Well... real-life social networks aren't open (3, Interesting)

Yold (473518) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130289)

Something that I was actually thinking about this morning is why are people friends with some, and not with others. Its because most people use their friends to feel better about themselves. I'm not saying they abuse their friends, I had a shitty weekend and sitting around laughing with my buddies on Sunday night at the bar made me feel amazingly better.
  My point is, I had this feeling of "this is us, these are my friends and this is where I belong". It took me about a year and a half to become a fully-accepted member of this social group.
  It wouldn't suprise me if the future trend of social networks is to become more and more closed off and exclusive. Like having to do interviews and personality tests to see if you are accepted into the group.
 

Re:Well... real-life social networks aren't open (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130399)

Concur. To drop an example, I like the fact that LiveJournal has a slightly exclusive feel. Quite a bit of actual dialogue going on.
/. occasionally lets in a bit of information, but is more often a source of belly laughs.

Re:Well... real-life social networks aren't open (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130637)

I don't think the suggestion is that these sites be "open" in the sense that anyone can view and participate in your "social group". Rather, the suggestion I think is that these things should be able to interoperate, so that your profile didn't "belong to" Facebook or Myspace. As in, you could have your one profile that could be used in any social network you want. At least, something more like that than what we have now.

Re:Well... real-life social networks aren't open (1)

countalmaviva (1136343) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130891)

I whole-heartedly agree, too. It is exactly the closed (albeit weakly) nature of online social networks like Facebook that make the users comfortable. On second thought, however, I do find it interesting that people I barely know ask to be my friend. Then, when I say "yes" I have to watch the boring details of their lives roll by on a newsfeed. Hmmm. Do I really need to know that Micah and Joel are now friends? But yes, I think that the closed nature of any social group adds value to that group.

Its the "club" syndrome. (5, Insightful)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130303)

I think part of the reason these sites are so popular is because they are *not* open. People like feeling as if they art part of a group, no matter how open that group may be in reality, if there is even a hint of the "velvet rope" effect its generally enough to make people feel special.
And the general public likes to feel special.

Re:Its the "club" syndrome. (1)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130569)


Congratulations, you just scored the big truth fish! Y'all can go home now, because this forum's officially closed!

(and I happen to agree, too)

Re:Its the "club" syndrome. (1)

tmittz (260795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130805)

That's precisely the appeal. I know I've been a lot less enthralled with facebook than I was when it was college students only. Back then I'd actually browse my friend's friends and consider meeting people, and it felt like a cool, tight-knit social club.

Plus the privacy thing - when it required a college email, I was much less worried about employers tracking me down. I could actually leave my profile open so people could view it and get to know me. I mean, it's college, the point is to meet new people. But now my profile is locked down tighter than NORAD, because I have to worry that some zombie in HR is going to freak out that I had a beer once.

Mod parent up! (1, Offtopic)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130963)

I mean, it's college, the point is to meet new people. But now my profile is locked down tighter than NORAD, because I have to worry that some zombie in HR is going to freak out that I had a beer once.

I was out of college by the time MySpace and Facebook got popular (so I still don't really *get* them), but I *have* seen employers do this. I saw a girl lose a position because someone found images of her posing topless with her sorority. Apparently the pic was pretty well known on Facebook. She almost certainly never knew why she got passed over, but having someone on the inside killed her job prospects.

The whole point of Facebook is that it's a "walled garden." "Walled gardens" are walled so that they are safe and trusted places. Sites like Facebook are no different. Not everybody is into full 100% exhibitionism, but many do want to have a place to advertise their lives to people they trust a little.

Re:Mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131103)

But is it even legal for a company to turn you down from a job offer, or fire you, just because of something you did in YOUR free time and NOT during work hours? It has nothing to do with your performance or potential as an employee, so judging you on that reeks of discrimination.

Re:Its the "club" syndrome. (1)

smtrembl (1073492) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130913)

Yeah, this is the gettho effect. The question is exactly "how fun is a gettho after all" when you know that open networks are so much better to structure information and have a valuable learning and discovery experience. FB is not a place for intellec, it's mearly a funny phone book with privacy concerns.

Re:Its the "club" syndrome. (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131179)

"If you ain't never been to the ghetto
Don't ever come to the ghetto
'Cause you wouldn't understand the ghetto
So stay the fuck out of the ghetto"

how about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130321)

.. the appleseed project anyone? The author has been working at it for ages. So there already is an open social network..

umm.... yeah..... (3, Interesting)

Lxy (80823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130323)

I like the comment that Wired "tried to build an open social network, and failed". Makes me think that Wired doesn't have a clue about Social networking in the first place (and why would they?)

The crux of the complaint here is that in order to view someone's profile on Myspace/Facebook, you need to create an account. I guess I fail to see what's difficult about creating an account on a free service. Concerned about privacy? It's easy enough to set up bogus info. I guess I don't see the argument here.

Is this just an advertisement for a new social network? Trying to create buzz around something that may fail for the sole reason that we we have is good enough?

Re:umm.... yeah..... (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130535)

I guess I fail to see what's difficult about creating an account on a free service. Concerned about privacy? It's easy enough to set up bogus info. I guess I don't see the argument here.
It's a pain in the ass, and it's unnecesary.

Re:umm.... yeah..... (1)

TheAwfulTruth (325623) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130961)

If you want to trawl though someones personal social pages then the LEAST you can do is sign up for the service. :(

Otherwise you'll have millions of trollers, bots, data harvisters and everything else nasty on the insternet glomming onto it instantly.

But go ahead and build your open social network and see what happens...

Re:umm.... yeah..... (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131053)

The crux of the complaint here is that in order to view someone's profile on Myspace/Facebook, you need to create an account.

Correction:
The crux of the complaint here is that in order to get someone to view your profile on Myspce/Facebook, you need to get them to create an account.

If they don't already have an account, what incentive does your profile give them to make the effort to create one?

Re:umm.... yeah..... (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131227)


Your sparkling personality? I mean really, social networking sites aren't being used by people to find new friends and create new networks. Most of the folks I know on MS/FB have their list of friends filled with people they know and have met, at parties, at school, at work, etc. There are a couple who accept every single random friend request they get, but they are really pretty rare, at least in my group.

And to all the folks that whine about the information having to be updated in each and every different network, and no way for someone without a login to see the information, there is nothing stopping you from doing it the old fashioned way. Actually pay for webhosting, put your one and only, single site up that anyone with web access can see, and then, if you want to take advantage of the social networking sites, post a link to you webpage in your profile on each one. That way, you only have to update your main site, and for your few friends who care, they can click through and see what you've changed lately.

The reason these sites have taken off, and traditional websites have pretty much failed in the personal, non-commercial realm, is that setting up and changing your info is quick and easy, it's free, and once your particular group of friends settles on a single network, there really isn't a need to be on a lot of different networks.

No it's not (1, Insightful)

Rethcir (680121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130327)

More open social networks -> More sexual predators

Why is this modded troll? (2, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130993)

I agree. One of the better things about MySpace is that a user has a certain amount of control over what is and is not open to the public. This makes it a safer environment for kids who want to have pages and gives both the teen and the parent peace of mind to know that their information the is only available to a select crowd.

I seriously do not see why this is modded as a troll.

BUT WAIT (5, Funny)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130335)

If we open up social networking and make it a community effort, who gets to sell it for millions?!?!?!

Re:BUT WAIT (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130669)

Good point. I'll volunteer to receive the millions, if that will make things easier.

Re:BUT WAIT (1)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131291)

If we open up social networking and make it a community effort, who gets to sell it for millions?!?!?!

*You* can sell it for millions! But remember that once you start raking it in, I'm going to sue you for the cash, because it was my idea!

Software is not the problem (1)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130339)

Hardware cost, bandwith etc. are the things that need to be 'available' to get things like this running. And that problem can be fixed in two ways, with advertising, which created the need to restrict access to the data to 'things which can show ads', or through a subscription fee which usually puts of the users en thus kills the data.

Maybe some P2P system could fix this, but that whould require users to install certain software which generally slows adoption quit a bit.

Or someone should donate a proper serverfarm with sufficient bandwith, surely there will be people writing for it.

Re:Software is not the problem (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131005)

I think that's an interesting angle. A shared hosting sort of thing. Sort of a cross between bit torrent and serving websites. There would be no central website to keep running, (or shut down, for that matter), if everyone is sharing the load of hosting it. I know there are a ton of puzzles to solve to make something like that happen, and it's above and beyond my abilities, but I think if it was going to be a truly "open" network, wouldn't the shared hosting of it make it even more so than having it all on one (or 10) central servers?

I've been thinking about this (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130349)

Part of the reason I've always thought social networking sites were stupid is because it was a weird boundary to keep-- everything has to be on their site. Sure, that makes sense from the point of view of the business running the site, but I don't think it makes sense from a business standpoint.

It would make more sense to me if people were able to create a set of standards for online profiles, access-controlled by something like OpenID, that could be linked from various sites. That way, I could design my own site, my own profile, my own weblog, keep all my data in one place and under my control, and have the linking between these sites be the "social network".

I just think it's stupid that, if you want to participate in these communities, you have to go duplicating your data all over the place. I know people who had a profile on Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, and their own site, and spent a bunch of time trying to keep the profiles in sync. i never joined any because I refuse to take these things seriously until it's an actual open and dynamic way to establish a real social network, rather than a means to generate ad revenue for some creepy company that caters to teeny-boppers and child-molesters.

Re:I've been thinking about this (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130731)

You echo my sentiments exactly: this social networking stuff only makes sense if it saves you time over other forms of networking. Signing up for Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Classmates, etc and filling out the same information again and again is what has kept me from adopting any of them.

It's like instant messaging - unless you are savvy enough to have a product like Trillian, you have to install AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, and now things like Skype to keep up with all your friends on the various services. And even Trillian doesn't take full advantage of all the features of each service.

Compare this to email, which, despite it's deficiencies at least allows me to keep in touch with all of my friends and relatives.

Re:I've been thinking about this (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130947)

Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, and their own site, and spent a bunch of time trying to keep the profiles in sync. i never joined any because I refuse to take these things seriously until it's an actual open and dynamic way to establish a real social network, rather than a means to generate ad revenue for some creepy company that caters to teeny-boppers and child-molesters.
No offense, but for whatever reason, you seem to think that anyone is going to do this for your benefit.
They aren't.
They do it for the ad revenue.

You seem to think that making an appeal to emotion (child molesters, really?) will somehow whitewash the fact that you want what the companies have, for free. Who is going to pay for your "own site, my own profile, my own weblog"? If the answer isn't "ads on the internet" then I guess it'll have to come out of your own pocket.

P.S. The internet is just a reflection of life, so all those child molesters and teeny boppers exist in your meatspace. I imagine you filter them out in real life, is it really so hard to do the same online?

hmm (3, Interesting)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130385)

I think sites like MySpace and some of the others need to focus more on user security before they go all "Facebook". I can't tell you how many people who have come to me with complaints that their accounts got haxor'd because they didn't take precautions and got phished. A good social networking website will be genuinely foolproof before moving on to third party apps.

Re:hmm (1)

changling bob (1075587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130521)

A good social networking website will be genuinely foolproof before moving on to third party apps.

Unfortunately, fools tend to be quite ingenious in very limited fields; mostly the fields involving screwing things up.

Re:hmm (1)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130553)

I think sites like MySpace and some of the others need to focus more on user security before they go all "Facebook". I can't tell you how many people who have come to me with complaints that their accounts got haxor'd because they didn't take precautions and got phished. A good social networking website will be genuinely foolproof before moving on to third party apps.
Perhaps once this is done, they can share the technology with banks [banksafeonline.org.uk] , the IRS [cbsnews.com] , Blizzard [ezinearticles.com] , and everyone else using online authentication.

Re:hmm (1)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130737)

Never mind foolproof, we're talking MySpace user-proof here.

You could probably call them Fools 2.0.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130923)

If you can figure out a way to make people stop being idiots, please let us know. Sincerely, The Internet

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131295)

Whilst myspace security is still not good (I'm not even interested in "hacking" it and yet I know 2 different exploits that have worked for months), the underlying problem is that you only have to direct the average myspace denizen to a fake login page and they will often supply their credentials. Of course you can never eliminate this entirely on a site meant for the masses, but they should at least fix the widely-known linking exploits and have considerably more obvious / frequent security warnings. Point-and-click phishing packs have been around for quite some time, which are generally employed for mass trolling ... it's got to that point, it's a routine mildly amusing activity that takes no skill and almost no effort to do.

You'd think they would be better at stopping all the obvious comment spam for "gift cards" etc too, I don't know how that's being done but it's pretty widespread.

"Open" social networks fail at its users (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130419)

While I'm all for the ancient hacker creed of data wanting to be free, it does not work. It simply does not.

This would first of all require people to actually accept freedom of speech as the freedom of someone whose opinion or attitude they do not agree with. Try to start an open, unmoderated discussion group on a controversal topic (needn't even be abortion or capital punishment, emacs or vi already does the job) and within minutes you'll drown in opinionated, information-twisting and "FACT: I AM RIGHT!" messages.

Do you want that in your discussion group?

Not to mention that not much later (or maybe even sooner) you'll drown in important information where you get your penis enhancing products and that Lilly really wants you to see how naked she is on her webpage.

If people did "behave" in social networks and be civil and rational, it could work. People aren't, though. And for this reason, I reserve the right to choose who may read my messages, who may discuss with me and who I do not want near any place I frequent.

Re:"Open" social networks fail at its users (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130717)

Congratulations, you just invented Usenet!

Re:"Open" social networks fail at its users (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130893)

If anyone tells MS, I'm sure they'll file a patent for it before you can say usenet again.

Re:"Open" social networks fail at its users (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130739)

Statistically, something like 1 in 30 people is a sociopath.

There you go, I just killed the idea of successfully running a fully open social networking site any time in the near future, right there. Sorry about that.

Missing the point (1)

Tyrsenus (858934) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130421)

It's basic human psychology that social networks become more robust by exclusion rather than inclusion.

Facebook opened itself to high schoolers and eventually to the public, much to the dismay of its original college base. Facebook's revenue increased at the cost of its perceived "integrity" by the original members.

Its the SOCIAL network ... (2, Insightful)

Tjp($)pjT (266360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130433)

"Specifically, the problems with today's networks, says the author, is that their content is not available to everyone."

It is a social network not the augmented expose of my life to everyone including the people that may wish me harm network. Dang social engineers think they know better but this is market and society driven. WE CHOOSE as a Social Network the places we want to expose ourselves and how much and most importantly to whom we will expose our information, and in some sites liked Linked-In some people see more than others. I LIKE IT THAT WAY. (sorry shouting at an ignorant pseudo-pundit, he may be smart but he is still clueless)

The article doesn't address privacy (3, Interesting)

rascher (1069376) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130437)

The article does not address the issue of privacy. Facebook and myspace, and xanga, allow users some amount of granularity to control who can view their personal data, which is one of the draws of these websites. Let me start a blog, post my home address and phone number and who I'm dating on it, and let google index it for spam-harvesters and identity thieves to come get? I don't think so.

Re:The article doesn't address privacy (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130829)

Why would you expect that to be any different in an open system?

Re:The article doesn't address privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130939)

Not being an exhibitionist, egotist, voyeur, gossip, sadist, masochist, HRM, spy, lawyer, teacher, principal, nor a member of any other psychologically defined group with a compulsive need to place my personal thoughts or business in everyone else's faces nor have a job which might require me to check up on employees/potential employees/students/customers/potential customers/blackmail victims/citizens/etc, I have never wasted my time visiting Facebook, MySpace, and so forth. In fact I wish to remain as close to being an Anonymous Coward on the internet as possible. To me it seems a strange fetish to want everyone with an internet connections noses up your ass. Communication with understanding and doesn't offend someone is a difficult enough task in limited groups, even one on one conversations.

From what has been shown in professional media and from comments on the internet, many people have put stuff on those websites that are almost as bad as shining a spotlight on themselves in a war zone with snipers in range. So apparently for many who wish to use this kind of thing, privacy is Paramont Studios and not paramount.

Time For The White House: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130439)


to open up

Why bother when you have the support of DemocRATS?

Cheers,
George W. Bush [whitehouse.org] .

This is a feature, not a bug (3, Insightful)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130451)

Facebook, at least in my experience, is free of spam -- unlike, say, e-mail. Opening up the network would allow all the problems that currently plague e-mail (and, in my much briefer experience prior to deleting my profile, MySpace), thus reducing the value of Facebook to its users. I also trust, within reason, Facebook to not display my personal data to anyone except those on my friend lists. I don't want the "content" available to everyone, which is the whole reason Facebook took off in the first place -- people I want to see my profile can (friends, classmates), and everyone else can't. This article is a call to fight a problem that doesn't exist and that the author will create.

Social Network Content Not Available To Everyone? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130487)

Thank Thor! I never want to access a social network...

Re:Social Network Content Not Available To Everyon (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131165)

>
You will if you run out of wet paint to watch.

Oh really? (0, Redundant)

Noose For A Neck (610324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130537)

My impression of social networks is that too much information is already available to everyone. The privacy concerns created by Facebook et al. are staggering; I can't believe that someone in the open source community seriously supports making such information even more easily available.

Did anybody say WWW? (1)

jmerelo (216716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130559)

The WWW is already full of standards, right there for anybody to use: FOAF (mentioned before), microformats, and, yes, hyperlinks!

My original comments (3, Interesting)

edmicman (830206) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130567)

Since they cut my comments off of the article summary :-)

Personally, I don't use either Facebook or MySpace, though I have friends that do. I host my own blog, and communicate with friends via email, IM, and forums. I run my own blog and pic hosting. I've just never really jumped on the social networking bandwagon. Yeah, I'm old school.

As for this article, I can see both sides. Part of the point of the Facebooks and MySpaces is so that *not just anyone* can view what you put online. Nevermind that I don't really get why you'd post something *private* online in the first place if you didn't expect the world to see it. But the private social networks foster and clique or group mentality where if you're not in the know, you don't know.

What the point of the article is, though, and which I tend to agree with, is there needs to be a better way to round up your online "identity". Why should I have to sign up for Facebook to keep in touch with some friends, and MySpace for others? Why should I have to be a member of multiple IM services to keep in touch with different people? I have multiple email addresses for different purposes. I have signed up for probably dozens of mailing lists and discussion forums, and have been an active member in more than a handful. Heck, I even signed registered on Slashdot so I can make posts and comments non-anonymously. Why should my online "identity" be fragmented so?

Of course, the flip side of that is is that due to the fragmentation of my online identity, I still maintain that air of anonymity. I think that actually may be at the root of a lot of the issues going on. By having different email addresses and aliases, I can appear to some audiences as one person, and to others as someone totally different. Even on Facebook and MySpace, would most of those users publish in a real life semi-public place the photos, musings, and thoughts that they write on those sites? Perhaps we would ideally like the convenience of having a central identity, but don't want the accountability of being tied to that central identity? /blockquote

Missing the point of Facebook (3, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130611)

Seriously, the best thing about Facebook is that it's closed to everyone but specific people that I want to allow. Nobody but my friends (or people in my network, Facebook offers a variety of privacy options) know what I'm up to, can see my favorites, or see my wall postings. I don't want random people to know specific things about my life. However, Facebook still allows you to do broad searches on specific fields in specific networks, but you can't access the real information until you become friends.

Re:Missing the point of Facebook (1)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130657)

Mod parent up, this hits the nail on the head.

Missing the point of the article (2, Insightful)

shish (588640) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131139)

The point is to make APIs so that you can access the data with a defined protocol rather than with a web browser -- one can change the transport, and still keep the same authentication / data limiting~

"More open" is better? Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130615)

I'm not familiar with Facebook etc., but I am familiar (and use) mixi, the most popular Japanese SNS. One of the reasons it got so freakin' popular was because it was "closed." You can't see the content unless you're a member, and you can't be a member unless someone invites you to become one. It sort of played on whether you were "in" or "not in", the social ego we all have to a certain degree. Highschool cliques all over again, except this time the geeks started it off.

Many other Japanese players have tried to gain market share, but they all fail, because they ARE open wide to anyone that signs on without an invitation. "mixi" was one of those things that was in the right place at the right time, when people were sort of getting tired of idiots that wandered in and made comments on their blogs, or even worse, a spam-bot that kept working around circumvention efforts. A single person being "closed" doesn't work so well, but an entire community, perhaps like a gated community, was a pretty good call. In the beginning, everyone used their real name because everyone was "invited" by someone with a real name and face, thus it was relatively safe to disclose personal information. Things have changed over the years a bit, and disclosing personal information is probably no longer a good idea, but it still has a much more "closed community" sense where netiquete is taken a bit more seriously than other places. It's kinda nice, you get to keep in touch with people, find long lost friends, and so on so forth.

I find it mildly amusing that how "open to all, available to all" internet sites that made the internet so popular to non-geeks in the first place took a turn and the "not so available to all" was found to be rather cozy.

Videos and profiles (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130619)

> Want to show somebody a video or a picture you
> posted to your profile? They have to have an account.

Yup, but that's an enabler, too. For example, you can have an app that allows for conversations to develop around a video [facebook.com] . Rather nice.

Disclaimer: I helped work on that one, tech details here [blogs.com] .

I prefer social networking in the workforce (1)

mtmra70 (964928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130627)

I'm sure what is so hip about Myspace or Facebook, but I prefer professional social networking. I prefer LinkedIn.com for my social networking. It allows me to link up with current/past coworkers and friends. I would rather not have a Myspace/Facebook account and have something more professional showing who I work and relate with. To be honest, I have never felt the need to 'blog' or show questionable photos on the internet....maybe thats why I stay away from those sites.

FYI, this is not a SPAM for LinkedIn, just a comment on the site. Being employeed in a global company, I'm actually surprised by the number of people that have a LinkedIn accounts (even executives).

Sweet! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130645)

> Specifically, the problems with today's networks, says the
> author, is that their content is not available to everyone.

No, they're a huge success. Your problem (you, "the author") is that nobody wants to invite you to be their friend. I wonder why?

No thanks Wired (1)

Petey_Alchemist (711672) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130673)

Internet detectives are successful and creepy enough as it is even WITH "closed networks."

Nevermind the fact that he's wrong and you can make your Facebook page (or at the very least your photo albums) open to the whole web. I found this out after mine was accidentally indexed in Google.

Re:No thanks Wired (1)

British (51765) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131241)

That's my biggest beef with Facebook: the social norm is to put your REAL FULL NAME there. Oh, and you can put your address, phone number, etc in there too. It's prime identity theft hunting grounds.

So privacy, according to the author, is nothing (1)

techiemikey (1126169) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130691)

I remember back when it first came out facebook was nicknamed stalkerbook. As a matter of fact, www.stalkerbook.net still forwards straight to facebook. Now, why did it earn that nickname? Because all of the information was "public" in that anyone who was your friend could see all your information and see whenever it changes. They would know when your classes are, when your going to be at a party, when you'll be studying, with minimal effort. In addition they would know 20 different ways to contact you from AIM to your Cell number, to possibly where you are living at the moment. And remember, this was all on a "one way street" as the author had put it. All the viewing of the information had to be pre-approved in one manner or another. Now, the author is proposing that we essentially get rid of that approval process and have all sites work with one another. It would essentially castrate social networking sites, not for the "exclusiveness" that others have been preaching, but rather because all of the information would be extremely vulnerable. IMO the better project, which the author did touch upon, would be the opening instant message clients to work with one another. Allowing AIM to contact MSN, or my Jabber account to contact either of them would be great, even if it will never work due to corporate mentality.

Closed? A Good Thing! (3, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130719)

After seeing what most MySpace pages look like, I think it's not such a bad thing that the content on social networking sites is not freely available! And with the API having been opened up to allow the launch of a million and one chintzy and loud page gadgets, I'm not too worried about Facebook being closed either. Besides, wasn't the allure of the social networking sites hanging out and sharing with a few (hundred?) friends, and not the whole friggin internet?

Ted Nelson called... (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130745)

The future of social networking isn't about telling everyone what you had for dinner, well, not in the Twitter [twitter.com] way anyway, it's about deriving content from the experience, in other words, writing a review of the restaurant you visited and making it available for syndication, more like Technorati [technorati.com] but with attribution and maybe even reward, or indeed what the original idea of the world wide web was, at a deeper level - where the link was the basic principle of Sir Tim's version of the Web, it becomes the article, or indeed the video, the song or the slideshow. Hmm, I sense another website coming on...

Re:Ted Nelson called... (1)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131019)

Uhm, you are taking away the "social" aspect of social networking, and making it into a blog. I can't predict the future, and I certainly can see this happen. After all, a "blog" is what used to be called a regularly updated personal homepage. But if blogging now suddenly gets named "social networking", well what phrase would you use in the future to describe what we nowadays call "social networking"?

Re:Ted Nelson called... (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131279)

What the article talks about is the aggregation of social networks, which certainly won't work because Facebook, MySpace, etc etc need eyeballs to pages to generate revenue. I'm probably in the wrong demographic to appreciate the true value of social networks as I'm old and I hate everyone but the only value that I can see of any of these sites is the interconnectedness of small groups of people - Facebook has reunited me with a couple of old friends, which has been nice, and it is the one site that may serve as an aggregator of sorts, but all ready there's an air of 2. ? 3. Profit! about it.
The case of FriendsReunited [friendsreunited.co.uk] , the UK schoolfriends and social network site (which started before the term was coined) is a good one: it was bought by ITV, the UK commercial broadcaster, for a hefty sum three or four years ago with the obvious belief that it could generate content for ITV as well as advertising: it took until last year and a blatant copy of a BBC series about celebrities tracking their family history to actually do something with it, which probably isn't a good return on £130 million.
So to be viable, there has got to be something more: the Web 2.0 of social networking has got to meet the Web 2.0 of content, or we will all just end up chatting about what we did at the weekend.

Millions of People disagree (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130769)

Without even reading TFA, it's obvious that the author doesn't have clue.

The point of Facebook and similar networks is that access is controlled. The concept of a Friends list is what makes it work.

A lot of people want a place that will allow people to find them, to even follow what they're doing in their lives, but where they can also restrict who sees how much data. Facebook provides that.

Critical to understanding this is to realize that our ideas about privacy [community-media.com] are changing rapidly, and different people have different expectations and comfort levels with respect to what they want to share, and who they want to share it.

What I place on my web site is different from what I blog, and is different from my Facebook profile [facebook.com] and a Facebook group about a current romance. [facebook.com] And each of those reaches a different population, some by chance, some by design and control.

No, the author lacks an understanding about all of this.

Yes, then everyone will be Tom's friend. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130783)

Keep MySpace off of it. Not because MySpace is awful, or that the users are idiots. But because they insist that everyone know "Tom." Either there'd have to be a list of accounts various systems use for maintenance, or everyone will just put up with being in everyone else's extended social network thanks to fucking Tom.

The "social network" does not replace Geocities... (1)

_14k4 (5085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130859)

Does it? Is myspace / facebook the new "geocities"? Think about it. They were designed, from the beginning, to represent "circles" of friends - either with the open myspace or the closed "forced network" of facebook.

But people keep crying that they aren't exactly what they could have if they just looked elsewhere - that is to say, a webpage. A personal webpage, with a network people use. (Which is where geocities failed back in the 90s. (among other reasons...))

I have only ever used myspace or facebook to reconnect with people once or twice and have always brought the conversation with them into a better medium - chat, email, "lj" (Blog websites are not more like "real" webpages, however LJ actually has a community that works.), or even *gasp* the telephone and face-to-face visits.

To the people that use myspace or facebook and expect to be able to link to individual images so they can show grandma... I say, "you are using it wrong."

It's Time (1)

johnwbyrd (251699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130865)

While we've largely outgrown the limitations of closed platforms (take e-mail or the web itself), no one has stepped forward with an open solution to managing your friends on the internet at large.

While we've largely outgrown the limitations of reality, no one has stepped forward with an open solution to managing your friends in reality.

Not all problems can be solved through programming.

Social networks are successful precisely because they are closed. You have no business in my little black book, and I have no business in yours.

It's a feature not a bug! (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130925)

Therein lies the rub. When entering data into Facebook, you're sending it on a one-way trip. Want to show somebody a video or a picture you posted to your profile? Unless they also have an account, they can't see it. Your pictures, videos and everything else is stranded in a walled garden, cut off from the rest of the web.

This guy doesn't get it. That's the whole freaking point of social networking, and why facebook is so popular while MySpace is now languishing.

I like the fact that when I enter my cell phone number and upload photos to facebook only my approved friends can see those details.I like the fine-grained permissions that allow me to say people in my univeristy network can view my email address, but not my home phone number.

If I want everyone and their dog to be able to see my photos I'll upload them to a public Picassaweb album or any number of other photo sharing sites.

The reason "open" social networks would never work is you couldn't control the information properly. There would be no way to enforce these types of permissions properly with any kind of reliability.

Re:It's a feature not a bug! (1)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131143)

Is this guy stupid, or has he never heard of Youtube?

One word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130955)

Finger.

Finger was pretty much a social network, before the concept existed. It had your personal information, some personal space, and a little place for you to log what you were doing (.plan). Community messaging? E-mail. Finger addresses pretty much mapped to e-mail accounts.

I was recently considering setting up a finger server for myself, basically because I liked the retro idea of it. I'm too young to have actually used it (aside from reading Carmack's info a couple of times) at it's prime, so I've always kinda wondered about it. It sounds, though, like the perfect way to start up an open social network.

Erm What? (2)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131023)

So apparently 6Billion out of the 6.6Billion (Ref [census.gov] ) people on earth have interweb access! Some how overnight the Internet usage went from 1.1Billion (Ref [internetworldstats.com] ) to 6Billion overnight!

To debunk this author just a little more, Facebook has a comprehensive developer system [facebook.com] which allows anyone to program features in to facebook. And the beauty is, facebook controls the style of the interface so it doesn't look like myspace does

I see face book or whatever... (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131117)

>
looks like a plus to me.

Content for all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131157)

I signed up with Facebook precisely BECAUSE my content isn't accessible to all. I don't want it accessible to all - I want it accessible to people I choose to make it accessible to.

Of course not vailable for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131235)

The content is not available for everyone?

Of course not! That's what makes it social network.
I want to control my own personal data to the social segment that I want to open up.
I want to define what and to whom I am allowed into my social circle.

Social splintering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131239)

I'm very happy to see someone finally make the point that I've been mulling for what seems like eons now. I see many of the points made by previous replies, but my primary beef is: duplication of data in various "networks". This is exactly why I've never really "gotten" this social networking thing in the first place. I flat-out refuse to spend the greater portion of my free time keeping various profiles in sync. Its moronic.

If an open standard could be established, I think some really amazing things could happen.

But I also think the point is well made, "Then who would make millions off of it?"
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