I have been active on Facebook the past couple of months. Forming groups, inviting friends, interacting. And I do a bit of the same on LinkedIn and Sulekha and in my Yahoo Groups and Google Groups (even though the social interactions in groups is limited). Is there a way to simply store my connections to people and objects so every one of these social applications can get it? Graphs are the answer. Graphs are nodes and connections. The nodes can be people or places or things. The connections? Well, the connections will evolve into more than mere links. We need several graphs – a Social Graph, an Interests Graph, a Work Graph and so on. Some of it may be private. The other parts may be shareable. Tim Berners-Lee: Giant Global Graph got me thinking.
Biologists are interested in proteins, drugs, genes. Businesspeople are interested in customers, products, sales. We are all interested in friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances.
If we can address these resources on the web uniquely, we can talk about them. We can connect them to other related resources.
if only we could express these relationships, such as my social graph, in a way that is above the level of documents, then we would get re-use.
A simple link between one resource and another is just a starting point. We need to enrich these with additional semantics in a way that any application can understand.
It is about getting excited about connections, rather than nervous.
In the long term vision, thinking in terms of the graph rather than the web is critical to us making best use of the mobile web, the zoo of wildly differing devices which will give us access to the system
Social Networks like Facebook are just the beginning. It is all about connections and context.