Archive for May, 2007

Archive for May, 2007

The State of Distributed Social Networking

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Also known as Portable Social Networking, this is the concept of decentralising the social networking functionality of sites like Facebook so that one does not have to use every service to connect with everyone (previously covered here).

Videntity is a wonderful service for this movement, and one that I have been using as the hub of much of my efforts. Explode seems promising, but they’re down for upgrade.

So let’s talk about my list from last time:

  1. hCards and Pingerati : For Blogger I have a wizard. Pingerati pings still manual.  For WordPress there is a widget.  Pings still manual.  For even more professional information (such as my resume) there is an hResume WordPress Plugin.  For other websites/services there is always the hCard Creator.  Of course, supports hCard by default.
  2. XFN Friends lists : For Blogger I have a wizard.  This wizard will actually work on any web page or on any service where you can post (X)HTML (including MySpace or Xanga!)  For WordPress there is a nice plugin, although a widget version would be a bonus.  Videntity supports this by default.As far as finding/adding friends goes I have a bookmarklet for Videntity that allows one to add hCards, Facebook results, or people results as friends/contacts.  Bookmarklets for other services would not be hard.  For Blogger we would need an actual blogroll-producing service beyond just a wizard to make this work.
  3. Public/private profiles : Again, Videntity has this built right in (as long as you have the URL that the contact uses for OpenID on the friend list, it does not follow rel=me).  I am working on a solution for WordPress.  Would people be interested in a solution for Blogger/other websites?
  4. Messaging : not sure where I stand on this.  Lots of nice contact options, and creating a ‘wall’-like interface on WordPress would be easy.  The question is : what is the goal of this?  If it is just the address book features then a way to integrate social networking contact lists with email clients / Gmail might be better.  If it is being able to communicate without revealing your email address a protocol/system for that might be easy enough.My brother (and avid Facebooker) says that it is about visibility.  The benefit of Facebook messaging, for him, is the unified notifications area that he KNOWS his friends all check.  He KNOWS that they will see his message.  He is not sure they check their email.

I still promote the idea of supporting rel=tag on hCards.  We need a better hCard search engine, one that takes Pingerati pings, crawls regularly (some of my pings from months ago were never indexed by the Technorati Kitchen hCard search), outputs results as hCards (to facilitate things like my bookmarklet), and recognizes rel=tag.

Perhaps a tagspace could do a rev=tag for members.  If an hCard URL has rel=tag to a page that has rev=tag to it that would give credibility to the category.

Notifications (think Facebook mini-feed) need to fit into this idea somehow.  Events are hCalendar.  Notes/posts/shares are hAtom/xFolk.  Status is something I’ve blogged about recently too.  Services like Twitter are heading in the right direction.

WordPress Plugins on the WordPress Database

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I am moving my primary WordPress plugins’ hosting to the WordPress Plugins Database. This means listings and extra exposure too! Links to their home there will appear on their home page here.

The Videntity plugin already has a home there.

Videntity Bookmarklet Update

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I have made some updates to my Videntity Bookmarklet.  Besides hCards and Facebook links, it now also supports search results from  So now you can search for people and then add them directly to your friends list!

Update to Videntity WordPress Plugin

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I have updated my WordPress plugin for integration. It now includes options to import your friends/contacts or your profile (or both!) from Videntity to WordPress. Just go to ‘Videntity’ under the ‘Options’ tab in your administration interface.

Some notable things not imported in the profile import:

  • Instant Messeging information
  • Video
  • Photo
  • Only the first URL (Website) is imported

The ‘additional name’ (ie, middle name) is imported, but into a field called ‘additonal_name’, which is not displayed anywhere by default on WordPress.

School’s Out

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So I promised that after the move to I’d write more personal stuff again and it hasn’t happened.  Sorry if you’re a friend of mine who once cared and has now given up 😉  I have better email subscriptions now!  And I think my Xanga cross-posting is fixed (we’ll see…).  You must admit, though, I get far more attention on my tech blog 😉  I peaked at 20 subscribers here, and there I have 170 last count.  Ok, still no excuse.

So, what’s up with me?  Well, school’s been out for a week now.  I got accepted into U of W for next semester (yay!).  I’m job-hunting.  That can be nasty.  Still doing volunteer childcare on Wednesdays.  Still coding my brains out.

*shrugs* not that much to say.  Well, there is, but I’m not sure what.  I used to know my audience here — NSA friends.  I’ve lost touch with most of you however, and no one else ever really read this.  Perhaps this post will sail into oblivion (hence why my brother no longer writes personal stuff).

Well, if you’re into it, Facebook me 😉  I’m not a huge fan of the system, but if it works for you I’m on it.

So long for now.