Link-blog Networking

Cool — just added a feature whereby you can now see who has you in their network, and, of course, you can further view their networks and see who’s in them.

This’d be great to produce social-network graphs, although I daresay Joshua mightn’t be so keen on the spidering load. ;) I’ve optimistically requested some form of dump, anyway.

The social networking aspect of link collection and link-blogging via is emerging nicely; I’m keen to see what’s next in the pipeline.

A few interesting things:

  • Almost everyone who’s using seriously for link collection — ie. applying some quality control thresholds, and bothering to write one-line descriptions, at least — has filled out their ‘network’ by now.

  • It’d be useful to have “groups”, so that we can now assert things like “jm, boogah, n0wak, negatendo, tweebiscuit, leonardr, muckster and torrez form a group”. I’m sure that’d provide useful info, although could probably be inferred anyway. (People are attempting to hack it by using a shared tag on all their postings, like the “irishblogs” tag, but that’s an awful misuse of tagging in my opinion ;)

  • Also, it’ll be interesting to see what’ll happen once Google Co-op figures out a way to incorporate the network data. To be honest, I’m very surprised it wasn’t already in there — it seems like a no-brainer… maybe some Y!/G corporate rivalry is getting in the way.

Anyway, in the meantime it’s producing lots of good fodder for my SpicyLinks feed.

SpicyLinks is an implementation of something that I mentioned in a comment on this weblog entry, regarding future methods of reading weblogs; in essence, it’s an automated blog aggregation summariser. It reads other people’s link-blogs, so I don’t have to, and reports the stuff that proves popular in my personal collection of sources.
(Credit where due: HotLinks provided much of the inspiration, but doesn’t support personalisation, hence the reimplementation.)

SpicyLinks is similar to Populicious, but that app really misses the point, in my opinion. I don’t particularly want to know what everyone is pointing at; I want to know what a selected set of trusted sources (with good taste!) are pointing at.

This aggregation is pretty similar to the ‘network’ feed, but with much lower volume, and a higher signal/noise ratio, attained by dropping the ‘one-off’ items that only one person is pointing at. Initially, that may seem like a major failure, since you miss the ‘fresh bits’ — but as long as you’ve got the right people in your source network, it actually works very well.

It’d be great if this was one of the features implemented in the ‘network’ system…

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  1. Posted May 12, 2006 at 22:37 | Permalink

    ignore ‘on-offs’ does sound neat. i’m also thinking a “what’s popular within friends and friends of friends” feed might be good.

  2. Posted May 13, 2006 at 11:36 | Permalink has had the “inbox” forever and ever, and that’s basically the same as the network is now. In fact, I’m not sure I really understand the difference.

    The whole social network bit used to be exposed in RDF by my FOAFlicious but I haven’t updated it to use the new network thing yet.

    The way my work colleagues and I formed a pretend group is by creating a user called “fred” (or whatever) and then using our own accounts to post links, and marking them “for:fred”.

  3. Posted May 23, 2006 at 14:21 | Permalink

    Phil, btw, I think the “inbox” became the network in order to separate two different uses of the inbox: tracking people vs tracking tags. Apparently the two different forms had differing semantics.

    that fake-user thing is a good trick! still, it’d be nice to have a way to assert membership of a group, as well as targeting links to a group. the fake-user trick doesn’t help there I think.

    also — for the record, I’ve jotted down ideas about getting spicylinks web-based. unlikely I’m going to do anything about them soon, but worth writing them up anyway —

  4. Posted May 23, 2006 at 15:23 | Permalink

    Justin, yeah, I realised some time afterwards the difference between the two, not that I’m really convinced it was worth the split.

    Membership of a group could be implied by who has posted links to the group, but of course that doesn’t deal with people who don’t post.