Social Networks and XFN


After a rather odd post from me last time about the ring-fence, non-privacy that is Facebook (perhaps a d.construct fuelled blip) here's something as an alternative.

Since reading this article on the Digital Web Magazine, and more recently Tantek Celik's presentation at d.construct the possiblilty of an open social network has been once again running through my mind.

Potentially XFN has the power to give meaning to what we have and do on the web. If I were to sumble on to my blog, I'd be able to know that I've a presence on Last FM, and Facebook, and I built Pigeonbasics, and F1-Fans, etc, and vice versa if I were to start from my Last FM profile.

Where before you only had the details given on that specific site, now it's about the bigger picture, my presence on the entire web.

Mind there are some questions; do you want everything you do on the web to be accessible so easily? How would you block some parts from others - with confidence? How would you handle privacy? Or actually is anything we do on the net private?

With confusing conceptions about privacy, and security amongst the average net user, while I think XFN is useful, and good, I am sure there are a thousand that would find it scary and intrusive.

Having data on the web (having lots of it) and then having a meaning attached to that data is a big shift, and I think it'll take a very long time for it to be accepted (or even understood) amongst your average user.

Comments? Tweet me @mealybar, smoke signals, or homing pigeon, or something :)