Good, interesting reflections on social networking software by David Weinberger:
"They attempt to recreate our social network by making us be explicit about it. But our social bonds are necessarily implicit. Making social relationships explicit uproots them, distorts them and can do violence to them ... (They) make us be precise about that which is necessarily messy and ambiguous ... they inculcate the stupid belief that relationships are commutative ... the fact that they require explicitness in public about relationships guarantees that they will generate inordinate amounts of bullshit ... Look, I want to say to the Friendsters of the world, we already invented a social network for friends and strangers. It's called the Internet. Why are you privatizing it? Why do we need a proprietary sub-network to do what the Internet has already done in an open way?"
"FOAF and LOAF add value to the Net, enriching it with voluntarily disclosed information about who we are and who we know. In this they are unlike Artificial Social Networks that capture the conversations between us but make them inaccessible to other applications."