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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…