Social Networking Software

Recently a friend found out about “social networking software” (not that he called it by that name)… It was yet another implementation of the whole “Six degrees” idea. I first saw it with the “original” SixDegrees.com. It was a craze that hit in my 3rd/honours year at varsity. Everyone linked up… But then the network is only as good as the people that join, and when one person registers with two different usernames and links to different people on both names it starts to get messy. I was pleased to see that “The Scobeleizer” thinks similarly in his blog “Social Software still not impressing me“.

On SADeveloper.Net we had a discussion a while ago in one of the forums about a kind of “social networking software” which could be used for doing most things. In a nutshell, it worked as follows:
···1. I establish a group of friends
···2. I rate them
···3. Everyone rates products/people/skills/companies/etc…
···4. I get to see an aggregated rating for any product/person/skill/company/etc which is formed based on who I trust and how much I trust their rating of a product.

For example… I have some friends… Charlie, Sean, and Matt (all in the computing field). Lets say that I hypothetically think that Charlie’s ranking of a developer’s skills is overstated (i.e. he over rates them), so I’d automatically adjust any rankings he gives to a developer’s skills to 75% of his original ranking, for Sean I’d adjust to 80%, and for Matt I’d adjust to 110% (in this hypothetical situation, Matt undervalues people’s skills). Now lets say that Charlie rates Jon at 95% on Web Development, and Matt rates Jon at 60%. I’d translate those to 71.25% (via Charlie – 95%*0.75) and 66% (via Matt – 60%*1.1). So my aggregated value for Jon’s web development abilities would be 68.625%. So if I was looking to hire Jon, I’d at least have some idea as to his abilities based on my trusted friends.

You could expand this to then include institutions in the systems, so if my old university (Rhodes) was rating people I would have another way of ranking people. I could specify how much I trusted that institution’s rankings, which could start to apply to any institution.

And the rankings could not only be limited to people’s skills, but movie preferences, any products you want to purchase, dating, etc.

Of course, now that I’ve linked to the Scobeleizer, this idea is pretty much going to be seen by the whole world. To see what I mean, check out this blog of his. Especially when you consider that “everyone in London[paraphrase]” reads his blog.

So if you’re reading this, you like the idea, you build it, and you make a few million dollars off it… please be so kind as to donate some of it to me. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Social Networking Software

  1. I would just like to set the record straight and let everyone know that I do not overate myself when it comes to developing 🙂 – hehe, jokes, I know I was just used as an example in your plans to take over the world <evil laugh>HA HA HA</evil laugh>, but as long as you say something good about me in your next blog, I’m happy. – I have to run now, but I will comment on this topic tomorrow, since I always have a lot to say about everything… except developing tools of course, everyone knows I’m overated ;P

  2. Woop, I take back what I said in my previous comment, since I didn’t read your post thoroughly enough, you are actually quite acurate in the fact that I would overate people’s developing skills. but still, I don’t mind if you say something good about me in your next blog just for the hell of it.

    I guess with this whole rating thing you wouldn’t really know who rated what for who, I mean I guess whoever is administrating would know. Because otherwise if I knew you thought I overate people, I would then just compensate and rate them higher, because naturally I would think my rating is accurate.

    It is an exellant idea Paul, I must admit, who did you steal it from? hehe ;P

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