Moving to

I'm moving to Mostly.

I plan to use that site as a "self-marketing website" of sorts and to manage content in a way that I would otherwise not be able to do on blogger alone.

This blog will stay, ostensibly for more provisional ideas prior to refinement. I'll be gradually moving content (I still like) over to the other website. =)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Towards P2P Social Networking

Today I found an invitation to a Facebook group "We will not pay to use facebook, we're gone if that happens".

I guess this echos the sentiments of a generation that believes that it should get stuff for free. But really, can this really be so? Facebook, google, yahoo, etc can only survive given revenues that may be used to cover costs. Web portals with mounds of data are not easy to maintain.

On the other hand, people are concerned by the concentration of huge amounts of personal data, especially with the social networking sites. Who owns the data?

Privacy aside, the P2P infrastructure may work reasonably well for social networking. The idea is for the network to be built up in overlapping pieces. Each indivdual stores his own information and those of his/her friends. The informing of others that information has changed may be done through a series of pings.

Naturally, a big issue is that of the storage and transfer of data. A LOT of data may have to be stored for each contact. Furthermore, one has to ask oneself to what extent does one desire to be a conduit for people to contact one's friends and how much bandwidth one is willing to dedicate to that end. Another is that of "closed cliques" being inaccessible to the world.

The latter problem would probably be solvable after some brief thought, but not the former. People are selfish by nature, and the amount of storage space and bandwidth demanded by such an application would be non-trivial.

Well then, is Facebook's current setup as near optimal as we expect? It's hard to move away from a central repository. It makes things so much easier. We can decentralize a little though... Who knows?