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The oldest man on MySpace Uncategorized

Besides being the title of a song by the band of geek pop junkies called ‘Lemon Demon,’ I’d like these words to act as a vehicle for tech musings.

You have probably heard of the wave of social networking that’s sweeping the internet right now. Sites like facebook.com, myspace.com, digg.com, and 9rules.com are each examples of social networks in their own form (Some folks from the office know of these sites).

Commercial web sites are being called to empower the web-surfing public with social networking methods. What could happen when the wave finally reaches RIT? Are brick & mortar institutions going to become obsessed with the risks without considering the rewards?

By this point you’re probably wondering exactly what ‘social networking methods’ are. In its simplest form, a social network is a collection of folks bound by social familiarities. The ‘methods’ part of that simply represents strategies for melding a social network with the World Wide Web.

What? You had a Dad? ME TOO! You should totally add me as a friend on Myspace. (< -- example of a social familiarity) Moving on, let's imagine some examples of how the social networking culture could invade RIT's web systems. Let's see...

– We could wikify the student bulletins for more refined course descriptions & better prereq details

– University News could create a user-moderated wanted ads site (a la craigslist.org)

– RIT could create a user-powered events page that allowed folks to designate what events they expected to attend
OK. So these aren’t particularly creative, but I’m sure social networking is on its way into the infrastructure of cutting-edge institutions like RIT. Keep your eyes peeled for the next five years. If you have any better ideas, by all means, lay them on me.

  1. Silandara
    Jul 26

    There's also LinkedIn for business/professional networking. The problem I have with all these sites is that I have to go and check individual ones to find out what folks are up to. Who has the time?

  2. Pete
    Jul 26

    I agree that there isn't time enough in the day to keep up on everything. I believe that folks are trying to address this problem through the use of microformats. Basically by formatting personal information, dates, events, images, et cetera in a standardized way, we can pull information from web sites w/out having real access to the data (that is, w/out the use of RSS, database connections or heavy-handed coding tactics). Some of the suggestions for the new RIT site involved the use of microformats for events.

    more on microformats:

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