Morning monkey roundup
Sunday, September 23, 2007 by Dave Winer.
TechMeme 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.
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."
Google Trends comparison of "social network" vs "social graph."
Google News archive search for "social graph."
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.
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.
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.
Another 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.
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.