There are many possible social graphs
By Dave Winer on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 7:40 PM.
The best blog post I read today was on TechCrunch, written by Naval Ravikant, an early investor in Twitter, and Adam Rifkin, who I once knew, a long time ago, when he was starting a wonderfully-named company called KnowNow.
I wrote poetry about the name of the company, here on Scripting News.
Anyway, this post had a single idea that’s worth repeating, and remembering whenever you think one of the leading platforms has it wrapped up.
The idea is this: There are many possibe social graphs.
The thesis of this piece was that Twitter’s graph has different value from Facebook’s because its structure of a relationship is more meaningful in some ways.
In Facebook a friendship is symmetric. If I have a connection to you then you must have a connection to me.
In Twitter, you can have a connection to me, but that does not say that I have a connection to you.
Facebook has labels on friendship arcs, I can say you’re my lover, wife, or just a friend — or I can decline to say what our relationship is. But I can’t say we have a relationship unless you agree.
Facebook relationships represent reality. Twitter relationships represent aspirations.
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