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 -
- 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.
- Ideas for features - beyond the ones mentioned above, OpenID and FOAF file generation are the obvious suggestions. Someone's already suggested XFN.
- 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 email@example.com
but don't want to associate that account with your more professional life as firstname.lastname@example.org
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.