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Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007, 02:33 pm
All around me are familiar faces

Social networks. Kind of like Pokemon - gotta catch'em all, ya know.

Same people, same faces, different website. LJ, Vox, Dopplr, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Orkut.

Wouldn't it be handy if there was some tool for managing them all?

It was supposed to rain yesterday and it was the London leg of the Tour De France, the British Grand Prix and Wimbeldon - perfect conditions for a solo hackathon.

Except it was sunny so I went and hung out round the river instead.

However, when I thought it was going to rain I started thinking about hack projects. Rather than sensibly looking at an existing project - applying outstanding patches, fixing bugs and adding new features is so passe - a conversation a few days ago prompted an idea. A site where you can input all your known aliases at various different web sites (LJ, Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, Jabber) etc etc and it goes off and fetches your friends from the various sites and then correlates them and then suggests which of your friends on one site is a member of another site but isn't your friend there or suggests people that you may like to befriend. For some sites it can even auto add friends for you.

To be honest, it seems a fairly easy task so it should have been easy enough to do in an afternoon. I may still work on it this week anyway. I have some questions to ask of the LJ lazyweb first though -

  1. Ideas for names - unfortunately also.at, alsoknown.as, the.se (so you can be <whatever>[at]the.se) are all gone. Bonus points for TLDs that don't charge 400 USD per annum and also for domains that don't have vowels missing.

  2. Ideas for features - beyond the ones mentioned above, OpenID and FOAF file generation are the obvious suggestions. Someone's already suggested XFN.

  3. Probably should have put this first actually - this idea seems way too obvious. Surely there's a site out there that does this already. Please find it and force me to do the right thing and finish one of my other projects.

At first I was was going to make it possible for a person to add in other peoples' aliases without them ever signing up but, on reflection, that seemed like a bad idea.

Another issue - if you add you@twitter.com but don't want to associate that account with your more professional life as you@linkedin.com.

I think a fairly broad solution would be to sign up for multiple accounts - a professional and a personal one but I'm pondering on whether it'd be better to have a more complicated structure which allows you to have multiple personas tied to one account instead.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC)

A name I immediately thought of was congregate/congregator but of course they're taken.

Nice idea though, let me know if you need any help.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)


Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)

Gone :(

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)

That would indeed be handy.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)

Whatever you come up with, I'm confident it would be considerably more useful that ProfileFly, which is the only site I've seen even vaguely along those lines, but extremely primitive, no friends listed, only the very basic listing of sites. But the search page does give a decent list of different SN variants, which is reasonably comprehensive.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)

Ah! Handy.

Also, your icon is t3h awesome.

I hear they're making a US version. I'm hoping this doesn't make baby pandas cry.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)

Oh, the inhumanity! I fear for baby animals everywhere. But then, the US Queer as Folk I really preferred... so cross fingers, I s'pose!

Incidentally I am sure I mentioned to you some time when I was in SF that I'd met a guy at Burning Man who apparently was the real life origin of Moss. It was so uncanny I mentioned it completely out of the blue to him: turns out he used to know one of the writers on the show. And wanted to kill her. Heh.

Also, his name is actually Roy. Which is cute.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)

A friend of mine was the geek consultant for the IT Crowd (and also for the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy film) and the writer is tied in with the London Geek morass (which has far more stand up comedians than the SF crowd as far as I can see) so I can totally believe it.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)

There's also socialURL, which, when I last checked, also just allowed you to list all your various accounts, but not add friends to other services.

Wed, Jul. 11th, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC)

Hmm, had not seen that one before...

Seems Google has some stuff under their wing other than Orkut, and Yahoo has plans also, this just coming up on Metafilter today.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)

You know this is exactly what I've been working on and talking about? :)

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)

I always seem to have the same ideas as you but just that leeeeeeeetle bit after. And not quite as well executed.

Ahah, just spotted this post - I must have missed it for some reason. Probably booze related.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)

Let me send you a presentation I've been passing around here. I might recruit you for the 6A group working on this, if you're interested.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)

Very, very much so.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)

Any objections to .name domains? If not,


are all free.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)

Ooooh. Nice.

I owe you a chilled glass of Lambrini when next we collide Ms Bunny.

Mon, Jul. 9th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)


Now that's class.

Tue, Jul. 10th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)

we need to create a country, quickly, with a .ka tld, then you can have a.ka. perhaps if we find oil somewhere...

Sat, Jul. 14th, 2007 08:50 am (UTC)
kevo_thomson: me++

I too have been thinking along these lines. In fact Billy (AKA Cowfish) pointed me this way.

I was thinking of a name more along the lines of:

Read once, write many or Has and belongs to Many (or too many as the case may be) :)

would love to help brainstorm if there aren't already too many cooks in the kitchen.

Sun, Aug. 26th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)

Since this stuff has been my life all year, let me know if you are still at this idea - love to hear your thoughts and share mine.....