curious thoughts and remembrances

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Pre-work, Blogsome Feelings 

This morning I woke up at 8, and I made myself some scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee. I decided that I would make sure I felt well by taking one of Nicole's Claritin (I'll buy some more, Nicole :) ). A good day's start.

Now I sit at work, having arrived early and let myself in through the back door before anyone else arrived. It's a surreal feeling. The lights are off and I'm the only one around, and I'm hyped up on non-drowsy allergy meds.

Spring break is coming, not for me really, but with it comes SXSW (that's South by Southwest for the unhip). I believe that I will be purchasing a wristband and running around to as many shows as possible. I'm looking forward to that.

Ok, boring post. I'm quitting now. Time to work!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Oh and I meant to include this in my last post... 

When I was walking back from FreshPlus, OJ and Cracker Jack in hand, I saw a group of six or seven people walking down the street together. They were all carrying door flyers, and every one of them appeared to have Down Syndrome. As I past each one of them, they all gave me a very happy smile, and a couple of them lent me a jolly "hello". I got back to my house and found a Domino's Pizza flyer on my doorknob! SHAME ON YOU DOMINO'S.

Sick Day 

Today, I am sick. Perhaps it was the hard-partying weekend, or the long bikerides to and from work, or the fact that my roommate has been sick for a week or so, but whatever it was, I am sick. My whole body aches and I feel really tired. My tonsils might be a little swollen. Suffice to say, I didn't go to work today. Sick Day!

So far my Sick Day has consisted of staying in bed until noon, getting up and eating a tuna sandwich, listening to Squarepusher's "Music is Rotted One Note", and walking down the street to FreshPlus to buy some OJ and Cracker Jacks. That sequence of events has brought now to a blog entry, and beyond this, I will probably work on some web design and music.

Hopefully by tomorrow I will feel well enough to go to my 9:30am court appearance for the NeverEndingTrafficTicket. Damn pigs.

Chowing on all this butter toffee goodness is making my hands sticky. Time to end this entry! Whoosshhhhhhhheeeeerackackackackblang!

I am worn out from my busy life. 

Today I was thinking about Friendster, and the capabilities it lacks. It all came to mind because today is my friend Fabi's birthday, and I assume she posted something to the Friendster bulletin board about it, but you never get notified by e-mail about those posts, only about personal messages. So I thought, "Why doesn't Friendster allow you to send a personal message to a list of people?" This thought led to the next, "There are so many other features that could be available on Friendster, but they'll never happen... or if they do, they'll probably cost money."

This train of thought led me back to a familiar idea of mine that someone needs to develop some sort of free, open-source Friendster. I haven't done the research, so maybe there's one out there. Friendster should be like blogs. Anyone can start her own blog, for free. There are sites (such as blogspot(!)) that offer free blog services in exchange for the right to post an advertisement at the top of your blog. There needs to be something like this in terms of online social networks. People should be able to start their own networks, and make them however large or small they want. Smaller, tighter networks such as these would allow people to share more personal information, such as their phone numbers, or addresses, etc. I think it would be great if you could log on to your personal network and grab your friend's phone number because you left it at home and now you're somewhere else.

If such a system were created in an open-source fashion, it would also allow people to develop the capabilities of these networks at will. One feature that comes to mind is some sort of online calendar that you could keep, and give your friends access to, that listed significant upcoming events that you would like them to know about. MUCH better than a lone post that gets lost in the Bulletin Board Sea. That's just one idea.

As I mentally expounded on this concept, I realized that one problem that would arise is that, if people could start their own networks, one individual could find herself belonging to many networks, and to keep track of them all would be inconceivable. So, then I thought, maybe there could be services out there that people can just keep a personal profile on, similar to the idea of a free place to keep your blog, except this would be a free place to keep your personal info, pictures, calendar, etc. Granted, it would have to be secure. So, people all keep their individual profiles on these different sites, and there would be some established protocol for developing links between them. I'm not sure that this kind of protocol could be de-centralized (i.e. not have some Big Brother Friendster central coordinator), but at least you could establish some sort of centralization that had no inherent commercial interests.

To back up, the problem I see with Friendster is that it is a single company harvesting a huge amount of information on a large set of people, and allowing them to access this information on only the company's terms. I know that I am not the first person to think about this, by far. There's no way that some small group of people out there could come up with a good idea on how to improve Friendster and actually see that idea come to fruition in the context of the Friendster network. There are sites such as blogpod.com that have initiated their own style of online social network, but that network is still specific to the BlogPod site. It is a closed system (to my knowledge) that allows no room for outside improvements.

I wish I had some time to devote to this concept beyond just blogging about it. Maybe in the future I will. It sounds like the type of project that could get you into a nice grad school. And, it would be an interesting step forward in the realm of people communicating and connecting online. I put these thoughts out so that the ideas may spread. Hope they do.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?