Home > Archive >  2007 >  September >  23

Morning monkey roundup

Sunday, September 23, 2007 by Dave Winer.

A picture named monkey1.gifTechMeme really likes Friday evening's Monkey piece, it's been #1 for almost 24 hours. Even if people still use the Social Graph term, it may have done some good by asking the question -- what's the difference between a network and a graph? In math there is no difference, a network is a graph and vice versa.  Permalink to this paragraph

I got one thing wrong, apparently the term came from Facebook, presumably as a way of separating what they do from their predecessors.  Permalink to this paragraph

Dan Farber reported in May. "Zuckerberg describes the Facebook core function that the new third-party applications can tap into as a 'social graph,' the network of connections and relationships between people on the service." Permalink to this paragraph

Google Trends comparison of "social network" vs "social graph." Permalink to this paragraph

Google News archive search for "social graph." Permalink to this paragraph

Fred Wilson posted a comment pointing to a post where he wondered what the graph thing was all about. His post was one that inspired me to write my piece. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named monkey2.gifBuzzwords and phrases are useful if they describe something new. Permalink to this paragraph

For example, I remember when platform was new, but I didn’t object to it, because it explained a concept that we needed a word for. Today it's still much in use, and there's little or no confusion about what it means. Permalink to this paragraph

I was doing audio blog posts before we had the term podcast, and I totally got behind it because we needed a word for what we were doing. Permalink to this paragraph

But social graph is not needed, it makes something simple sound complicated, and we totally need it to sound simple if the problems are going to get solved. They’re not trivial problems, they’ve been there since the Internet outgrew academia and started being used for commercial purposes. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named monkey3.gifAnother problem with new names for old things is that it tends to push aside the pioneers and makes it sound like newcomers are not also-rans. Fred had a reasonable gripe as a backer of Wasabe when Mint started getting credit for being a first mover. At least they didn’t have the chutzpah to try to make it a trend and give it a buzzword.  Permalink to this paragraph

Someone is being pushed aside with the term “social graph” likely some competitors of Facebook like MySpace and LinkedIn, and some pioneers are going to lose credit for their innovation if it takes root. It may still take root, but I felt I had to say something. Permalink to this paragraph

BTW, the title of the post contains a grammatic error because I changed the title to monkey from something else and didn't look carefully at the resulting title.  Permalink to this paragraph

© Copyright 1994-2007 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 9/23/07; 11:30:37 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.