free html hit counter The Social Graph - John Battelle's Search Blog

The Social Graph

By - August 20, 2007

PageRank was based on a big graph: the links that make up the web. The next breakthrough, many argue, will be based on the social graph, the links between us all. Facebook is clearly based on this insight. If you are interested in this issue, and feel it’s important (I do, in particular, who owns and profits from this information), read this write up from Brad Fitzpatrick who, it turns out, started at Google….today. Also working on this is David Recordon, who is going to Six Apart to work on these ideas. Interesting!


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5 thoughts on “The Social Graph

  1. John says:

    Does anyone else find this to be a bit intellectually dishonest?

    Is Google trying to weaken Facebook’s growing strength by sponsoring the development of an open source social graph or not?

  2. Jordan Mitchell says:

    To me, this effort seems akin to the attempt to centralize “attention data” and give all profiling/control back to the users. I’m trying to understand why today’s popular social networks would open their social graph as a community asset, thereby enabling new social network apps to immediately piggy-back. Registration and re-declaring friends on a new site is a problem, yes … but this represents a very large barrier to market entry, which I’m not sure the big boys want to see taken down.

    The problem with siloed (non-user-owned) social graphs is the same as siloed (non-user-owned) user profiling. In my opinion, we’ll see neither “fixed” via collaboration among the oligopolies. Only a major disruption to the market can bring the siloes down.

    Jordan / http://kickstand.typepad.com

  3. dave mcclure says:

    i don’t think it’s intellectually dishonest… i think it’s great that someone’s actually competing with Facebook.

    up until now, hasn’t been anyone even close to challenging them, at least in terms of implementing a functional social graph, social event stream, and application platform.

    Plaxo has made some initial moves with Pulse, but they’re a very distant #2. LinkedIn, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5 are likely planning responses, but will take a LOT of work to provide a reasonable alternative.

    So far not much out of Yahoo or Microsoft, and this is the first notable effort from Google.

    great to have competition… altho right now it’s Facebook game to lose. looking forward to seeing how it develops, and what others have to offer ;)

    - dave mcclure
    http://500hats.typepad.com/

  4. John says:

    Dave, you make my point for me.

    He took pains to point out that his isn’t an effort to compete w/ Facebook. He doesn’t even admit that he’s working for Google, we had to find that out from Battelle.

    He’s wrapping this up in an altruistic wrapper when all it amounts to is one Web giant attempting to destroy a potential competitor by diaggregating the social media space. I’m fine with Google playing it like that, but let’s call it what it is.

  5. SEO BB says:

    I recall when Myspace started my suspicions about it were seemingly confirmed when there was some suggestion that Myspace could be the owners of copyright to content generated or displayed in the Myspace environment. I think maybe this was an attempt to do in a Web 2 way what Google are arguably doing with their employees, letting them use their facilities at Google to develop their ideas. The idea behind that would seem to be that Google will own the ideas, or their execution, or whatever pretty language the lawyers assign to the concept. Develop an idea in Google, Google own it, co-write/develop a song with your Myspace friends, Myspace owns it – what then of Facebook? Develop ideas to revolutionise world paradigms in the Facebook environs and Facebook then owns the concept, or rather the applcation of it?

    One has to wonder if I’m at least getting warm here :-)

    BB