“What about structure & relationships?”


 Kyle Jones asked the TTW gang in an email:

“We talk about the social web in terms of visible relationships being made, but we shouldn’t overlook the structure underneath these relationships. I stumbled over this while looking at the new WordPress 2.7 interface: http://gmpg.org/xfn/ Just ponder it if you have a second.”

I did think about it. Nice to have some convo over email. We do this a bit (Michael and Katharine too) and some turn into a post.

Garfield talked about citation analysis. I really think he was talking about how to express connections. I always like thinking about how to express connections. Finding, creating, and combining interesting methods for showing connections and structures is a wicked cool idea. What we may find, as an example, are underlying structures that look like the intertwined supportive, connective roots of the Slash Pines. During fierce storms the Pines interwoven roots support each other. Their network of roots are impressive. Singularly, they are strong. But their indomitable strength is found by how uniquely they are interwoven among their community. Created one-of-a-kind social representations of something greater than ourselves may show profound unknown connections. These underlying structures which are relationships to other people could be a status of one’s physical mental, moral, ethical or spiritual health. It could speak to a rich life or something else…It may just be a way to find new connections.

Connections and ways to represent them: is that where it’s at? Maybe but I think there’s also something intangible too. I’m not saying people with the most myspace, facebook friends or people who can show FOAF or XFN relationships have the most unique lives and deep connections to their aqs, friends and families. It could show though human relationships in a new light and inform our understanding of how better to connect to each other. If nothing else, I find the fact that I can continually meet and come across fascinating people absolutely something to get excited about. It’s just cool. Puts the serendipty back into the finding process. I’ve heard that lamented quite a bit about libraries. I wonder if people are reallly just missing that from their own lives period.

Expressing human relationships. Fascinating. Part of the next stage for libraries. I really like the idea of XFN. Kinda seems like a way to build an organic LinkedIn.

After this exchange Michael said, “take or find something that says: human connections.”

The photo is of a Houston Tweetup. That’s a physical meeting of Twitter folks.  This IRL (in real life) is crossing with VL (virtual life). But really, it’s about how we can make connections through technology.

Don’t forget to share those holiday photos on Flickr.



Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mojodenbowsphotostudio/
Used via CC license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en