There's a growing number of Web sites which try to utilize Stanley Milgram's SmallWorld
hypothesis for such sundry purposes as making friends, making business contacts, or dating.
- FaceBook [http://www.facebook.com] is the most widely known social networking site.
- Foaf [http://www.foaf-project.org/] based on ResourceDescriptionFramework (see also FoafWiki?: http://www.worldwidewiki.net/wiki/FoafWiki)
- Friendster [http://www.friendster.com] is mainly focuses on making friends. It gained massive popularity and a large user base quicky. It had scaling problems which may be resolved by now. GoogleInc wanted to buy them, but they refused, so Google started Orkut. Frienster has become popular enough to spawn a parody, Introverster [http://www.airbag.ca/introvertster].
- LinkedIn [http://www.linkedin.com] is a business-friendly social network that uses your connections' connections to help you make business deals and find jobs.
- Orkut [http://www.orkut.com/] is invite only. It shows Friends of Friends of people associated with GoogleInc. MeatballWiki discusses OrkutVsWiki.
- ReferNet [http://www.refernet.net/] is a business-to-business networking Web site for aspiring entrepreneurs and small/medium-size business owners.
- Ryze (http://ryze.com)
- Six Degrees [http://www.sixdegrees.com] was one of the earlier sites, and seems to be mostly used to harvest email address for spam purposes. Other people can sign you up and you cannot remove yourself from their database without adding at least three email addresses of other people. It seems to be defunct.
- Patterns At Six Degrees was an attempt at creating a six degrees group of people interested in Patterns:
- I just(991011) created a group at Six Degrees called Patterns in Software Development intended to be a discussion forum for patterns use. It is not intended as WikiWiki competition but rather as another way of interacting. Check it out and tell me if it sucks. (You have to be a Six Degrees member to get involved. I bet some of you already are.) I think the Six Degrees environment may be productive as a common workplace when working on, for example, patterns. -- FredrikRubensson
Some of these sites may be following the Six Degrees method of selling addresses to spammers. If you still want to have a go at them, SpamMotel
and other SpamSolutions
might be of interest.
I would add in a link to: Why Some Social Network Services Work and Others Don't. (http://www.zengestrom.com/blog/2005/04/why_some_social.html
It says that modeling social services as all about people
fails. The image is: Each person is a dot, and you draw the lines between them. This is: "A social network is a group of people connected by relationships."
That doesn't work, because we do not form a relationship with a person in the abstract, in most cases. Rather, we form a relationship with a person with some role or scenario or situation in mind: what the author calls an object.
If we take a lump of 1,000 people, and say: "Who is interested in talking about Design Patterns today?..." ...lumping people with that interest together- it's probably going to be more interesting than asking: "Who are your friends' friends?" It may be casually interesting, but nothing is really going to come of it.
Relationships seem to follow from various things, including shared object. But relationships do not seem to flow along lines of relationships. If A knows B knows C, it doesn't really imply that A will want to know C. A knows B because they're both into Design Patterns. B knows C because they're both into motorcycles. But A probably wants to talk Anime with D, rather than motorcycles with C. Knowing the map of lines doesn't help much. Knowing the object that the relationship works around can help a lot though. Even perfect strangers with no friends between will meet around a shared object.
You could work at the same place. You could take the same bus as the other person. You could both share a love of Iguanas, or the Grateful Dead.
Once you have a bunch of people all grouped around the same object, then
you can say: "This is the leader. This is the techie. These two are close friends. This is the silent one. But they all interact together in this situation, this object
between them all."
Note: This is just my understanding of what Jyri Engestr�m wrote. (1) I may have mis-interpreted.