[FoRK] Seperation of the Concerned

Simon Wistow <simon at thegestalt.org> on Tue Feb 5 08:07:18 PST 2008

So, a while back Luis (I think) asked where the Six Apart Open Social 
Graph crawler was. Clearly we had the code. I posted saying that it was 
being ported to be asynchronous and that it'd be coming soon which was 
*sort* of true. Then Google released their version and lo! the 
blogosphere did rumble into life and pick sides.

So whilst it was true we were porting it to be asynchronous (and ended 
up designing a whole new bit of infrastructure in the process), I wasn't 
being entirely forthcoming ...


Given the sharp minds and strong opinions of the FoRK collective I 
wondered what y'all had to say. I know Rohit was at sg-foo last weekend 
(which I missed because of visa issues) for example.

I'm sort of torn - the bluntly pragmatic geek in me says "Well, the 
information is out there so people should expect what's coming to them" 
but the other part of me says "Yeah, but that's not the way the world 

In some ways it reminds me of Deja News (and subsequently Google 
Groups) and the fears people had of that - that old stuff said and 
forgotten long ago in a completely different world would come back and 
haunt them. One mailing list I'm on deliberately doesn't have archives, 
private or no, so that people are free to express opinions without fear 
of long term repercussions.

On the other hand the predicted armageddon from Deja News and Groups 
didn't manifest so ... is there a lesson to be learnt? At least when you 
can map the Social Graph you can see how your personas are connected and 
take steps to disassociate them where possible.

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