Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Augmented Social Network

Abstract of the ASN White Paper: "Could the next generation of online communications strengthen civil society by better connecting people to others with whom they share affinities, so they can more effectively exchange information and self-organize? Could such a system help to revitalize democracy in the 21st century? When networked personal computing was first developed, engineers concentrated on extending creativity among individuals and enhancing collaboration between a few. They did not much consider what social interaction among millions of Internet users would actually entail. It was thought that the Net's technical architecture need not address the issues of 'personal identity' and 'trust,' since those matters tended to take care of themselves."
I haven't read the full white paper yet (75 pages) but it was interesting to read the abstract after reading the article on Reed's Law. I haven't paid much attention to the recent development of social networking software, but the authors of this paper are suggesting that the Internet's capacity to facilitate social networks is far more significant than what was imagined by the engineers who developed it.