Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Friend Classifications

A colleague of fine was mentioning recently that it's "hard to keep contacts separate (work/friends/family)" on all the different social networking sites. I couldn't agree more. This is made additionally hard by the fact that each "social network" site imposes their own "classification" of friends. These classifications are not mine and I have to morph my view of my contacts into these imposed rigors.

I would much prefer to be able to manage my contact classifications as "tags". Taxonomies force me into specifying that a contact can be in only one group. I have work colleagues that are also friends. If I could "tag" all my contacts with my own classification scheme and then use that when interacting with social networking sites, life would be much simpler.

I guess this is the "promise" of the "Open Social Web".

1 comment:

salexander said...

"Friending" in general is a broken term, and we might all do better to organize the way we talk about relationships in terms of the data that we're sharing.

For instance, even though they're your friends, when your social network ends up on Dopplr, what they really are are your "fellow travelers". Maybe on Brightkite or FireEagle-based services they're 'locals' or Flickr would do well to have 'fan' or 'stalker' tags :)

I think that taxonomy-ing contact lists is great, and it would be a time to start getting more specific on how these relationships are actually sharing data between people on different sites