This Screencast presents an idea I am working on called "Faceted Social Identities" and an open web service that would power it.
Text from the voiceover is below:
Welcome to this screencast “A Sketch. of OFace”.
What I am presenting is an idea I have been working on called “Social Identity Faceting”.
Okay, so what’s the problem? Lifestreaming and Social Networking sites create information overload. I might follow someone because I am interested in their ideas about programming, but they will pollute their stream with drunken rants or tirades about football.
Individual sites let us be more polite to our readers by creating tags or categories. I can follow someone’s delicious bookmarks by tag and this helps the issue, but when we look at cross site publication it fails. There is no easy way to channel your content to the right audiences.
An example of a Lifestream application is Friend Feed. It let’s you keep up to date with your friends. What have they been doing? Friend Feed slurps in your, Blog posts, Bookmarks, photos, etc.
Maybe what we need is to make our “Social Identities” first class objects. Erving Goffman helped us understand that people have many social identities. The idea of this experiment is not about hiding things from people. The fact that a dominant facet of your life is the Furry community is something you can better capture with this service, but not something you would be able to cloak. This is about being polite and helpful by creating channels of activity across the various facets of your life and your communities.
So here is a simple “social identity switcher” where you can switch your current facet. Patty here had been wearing her Family hat, while she was uploading family photos on Flicker, but is going to get back to work so she switches to Web Div.
If patty looks at her own FriendFeed stream, she will now only see things she did while wearing her web div hat. If she disables OFace, all the items are shown. Too much information girlfriend. Turning OFace back on she can switch from web div to family or art. This is because between the Tweet we see and the bookmark we see, there are 5 items hidden. A family, followed by 3 art, and lastly another family item.
She chooses to switch her facet to family. Now we see three new posts which were hidden. This is switching that is integrated into the page instead of the stand alone facet switcher we saw earlier. Again patty has switched facets into the artsy side of her life. If another one of Patty’s friends was using OFace and FriendFeed and they came to this page with their art hat on, this is the stream they would see. The wouldn’t be bothered by her family or web div items, unless they wanted to also see those.
So OFace allows Patty to explicitly tag why she create this photo or that Twitter message. It was for her art posse or her work crew.
So that’s the sketch of OFace. Some chunks are built and other’s were faked and it’s going to probably need a better name than OFace.
I am slowly chipping away on this because I think it might be a viable solution and because I need to finish a Master’s Thesis.
Please let me know what you think and if you’d like to be part of building this service.
Give me a shout out, in email or find me on the web. shout at ozten dot com.