Social Graph is Plural

“Social Graph” is not just a singular noun.

“The Social Graph” is a popular misnomer that has plagued the social networking portability conversation ever since Brad Fitzpatrick catalyzed the blogosphere with a vision about the Global Social Graph.

But in fact, “The Social Graph” has little real value outside of computer science elegance. Nobody but Big Brother, the TSA, the CIA, and [insert surveillance agency of your jurisdiction here], actually want that single, monolithic view of all the relationships in the world. That’s The Social Graph.

In contrast, my social graph is hugely valuable to me. Your social graph matters to you. And it might be interesting to discover where our graph (plural) overlap. But neither of us actually care about The Social Graph.

A few fishAt the VRM Workshop 2008, here at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, it came out that “social graph” is actually plural.

Like fish.

The Social Graph is a misleading distraction, a handy buzzword we can all slip into our cocktail conversations. But the real value is in the personal, independent social graph we all have. Plural.

If you think about it, that’s the only way you can really make sense of it in our user-centric, user-driven world.

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One Response to Social Graph is Plural

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