Tag Archives: socialnetworks

Opening up the social graph at the WebCamp workshop on "social network portability"


A WebCamp “Social Network Portability” workshop has been announced to be co-located with BlogTalk on 2nd March 2008. You can view the wiki page for this event.

“Social network portability” is a term that has been used to describe the ability to reuse one’s own profile and contacts across various social networking sites and social media applications. At this workshop, presentations will be combined with breakout sessions to discuss all aspects of portability for social networking sites (including accounts, friends, activities / content, and applications).

Topics of relevance include, but are not limited to, social network centralisation versus decentralisation, OpenSocial, microformats including XHTML Friends Network (XFN) and hCard, authentication and authorisation, OpenID single sign-on, Bloom filters, categorising friends and personas, FOAF, ownership of your published content, SIOC, the OpenFriend format, the Social Network Aggregation Protocol (SNAP), aggregation and privacy, permissions and context, and the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP).

You can register for this workshop in conjunction with BlogTalk 2008. If you are interested in speaking or otherwise participating in the workshop, please add your name under the Speakers or Participants headings on the wiki page at http://webcamp.org/SocialNetworkPortability.


After the WebCamp workshop on social networks


A great day by my account at least (and by some others that I overheard!) was had at the WebCamp workshop on social networks held at DERI, NUI Galway yesterday.

Considering the short notice of just nine days, there was an impressive turnout of between 50 and 60 people, and as well as six talks in the morning we had some interesting “birds of a feather” discussion sessions in the afternoon.

All presentations from the day are available at SlideShare. We hope to publish some of the day’s videos to YouTube during the next week. Thanks to Conor and Uldis for their help with organising the event, and to Ina for recording the videos.

John Breslin – Introduction / overview

Conor Hayes – Topics, tags and trends in the blogosphere

Jill Freyne – Collecting community wisdom: integrating social search and social navigation

Andrew Page – The demand for search in a social network

Gabriela Avram – Where is the knowledge: reflections on social networking in corporate environments

Mark Tarbatt – Successful campaigns on the Bebo social network

Valdis Krebs – Social network analysis: 1987-2007

Klostu – a super social network for bulletin board sites

My friends at Pidgin / BoardTracker have recently launched Klostu – a site that unifies bulletin boards from around the world through a central access site and unified login system. Klostu allows you to find thousands of bulletin boards in one place: you can make friends via their social network functionality or browse / search through millions of forum topics.

Klostu was recently demonstrated at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco where it generated a lot of buzz, and not surprisingly as there are very few companies operating in this space, despite the potential benefits that connecting bulletin boards offer (see my previous post on a “Technorati for bulletin boards“).

I’ve been demoing Klostu this week, and so far it’s great. Here are screenshots of the main page and my own personalised profile page. The drag and drop features for moving around blocks and customisable tab groupings for blocks are a nice touch. You simply have to double click on any block to edit the properties / features of that section. You can add as many RSS feeds as desired, comment blocks, shared files, etc., and there are many more customisable blocks on the way…


I could say more but it’s best if you try it out for yourself, just signup at klostu.com (Edit: You’ll need to request a beta test key on the signup page). Ron and the team at Klostu will be releasing modules for various bulletin boards shortly, allowing board owners to integrate the Klostu single signon system into their own sites (demo here).

vBulletin Social Network Visualisation

I’ve already blogged about graphical social network visualisations for boards.ie; I’m now adding to my wiki the scripts used to pre-generate the XML for Prefuse graphs of these networks (i.e. user networks of vBulletin mutual buddy links). These are similar to those used to visualise the blogosphere on Planet Journals as well (just using blogroll links instead of buddy links).


boards.ie Circle of Friends

The circle of friends graph view on boards.ie appeared today, showing a person’s friends and friends of friends (buddies of buddies!) on the site. There are 14201 links from 3810 users to 4533 other users.

Here are a few pictures of the overall network, but since my user ID is the lowest the first one centres around me. Everyone isn’t connected; there are some bunches of people (clustered in the top left of the first picture) that aren’t interlinked with the rest.


The last images are zooming in on the force-directed version of the overall network graph, where the hubs or nodes with the most links will gravitate towards the centre of the universe.


Bullybo Tactics

Bebo is now attracting press for all the wrong reasons; on the RTÉ2 news last night there was a snippet about the use of Bebo for bullying and obtaining pornographic images. There was little mention of yesterday’s Irish Independent article (Teen student’s tragic hanging link on ‘cyber-bullying’ website), but some notes of caution were issued by Jerome Morrissey from the National Centre for Technology in Education.

20060419a.png You can download the news clip here (20060419a.avi, 2 minutes, 5 megabytes, XviD AVI).

Gareth Stack Explains Bebo, and Very Well Too!

In my NewsTalk 106 interview today, I referenced psychology student Gareth Stack‘s excellent article on Bebo for tuppenceworth.ie, where he compared the browsing and location of friends on the site to slot machine gambling. I thought it was a great quote, so had to mention it.

Continue reading Gareth Stack Explains Bebo, and Very Well Too!

And Another Interview for NewsTalk 106

I followed up my previous media appearances this past week with a more serious interview about the advantages and disadvantages of social networks (and Bebo in particular) for “Lunchtime with Brendan O’Brien” on NewsTalk 106.

You can also download an MP3 of this interview here.

This topic has received such coverage this week there must be an increase in the pocket jingling noises in Bebo’s San Francisco HQ… Mark Tighe was interviewed on Dave Fanning’s Monday show, and our director of Computer Services Kieran Loftus was on Today FM’s The Last Word with Matt Cooper the same day. I also got a call from 2FM on Monday asking some questions about social networking – crazy!

Interviewed for Spin 1038 / Daily Mail Ireland Copy, Paste and Edit

Following on from the Sunday Times article about Bebo and various colleges blocking the site, I was interviewed for about 5 minutes by Jack and Ali on Dublin’s Spin 1038 at 1:10 PM today.

You can hear the clip from the show here.

Related to this is the fact that the Sunday Times article appeared in Monday’s Daily Mail Ireland, re-written by someone called Enda Feeney. From what I could see (apart from one extra bit tagged on near the end), it was almost entirely lifted from Mark Tighe’s Sunday Times article the previous day. Perhaps this plagiarism (or is there a special industry term for this I don’t know about?) explains why the tabloid is only 30 cents…

Edit: Mark talks about this and other stuff on his new blog RoboHack.