[Prospective] I also hate Social Software
I fully agree with David Weinberger about social software.
- they attempt to recreate our social network by making us be explicit about it. But our social bonds are necessarily implicit. - they make us be precise about that which is necessarily messy and ambiguous. This not only leads to awkward social moments (Am I a friend yes-no of some person I met once and don't know if I like?). - they inculcate the stupid belief that relationships are commutative. LinkedIn is especially guilty of this. I have been C in a five-term series that A initiated in order to contact E, which means someone I don't know asked someone I marginally know to introduce him to someone I kind of know who maybe knows someone I don't know at all. The formal name for this is "using people." - he fact that they require explicitness in public about relationships guarantees that they will generate inordinate amounts of bullshit.
I want to say to the Friendsters of the world, we already invented a social network for friends and strangers. It's called the Internet. Why are you privatizing it? Why do we need a proprietary sub-network to do what the Internet has already done in an open way?
Incorporated in a MUD or in a MMORPG it's ok but when it's just a social soft... That is why I like to see the blog (+ blogrolling + technorati to tell your the inbound link) as the true social software...
He also says:
I don't like Friendster because, well, I don't like it. I'm not dating. I'm not even looking for more friends. I love meeting new people not a statement I would have made before the Net but I like meeting them because we first engage in discussion about some topic. An email to me saying, "I disagree with your blog entry about X or Y, and let me tell you why" is much more likely to lead to a friendship than one that says, "Hey, I see we're both interested in video games and Peeps art!" That's just the way I am. And I do think it's generational.
I definitely agree with this: asking someone "i want to meet you because you like mario bros and dolls" is unnatural ! But asking someone that you want to discuss about something related with his activity (blogpost, research paper/project) is much more real: the interaction will be grounded ! I think grounding (see Herbert Clark's book about this) is the crux issue !