Tech Life Personal?

Current Addiction: Friendster

With a painfully lame name such as Friendster, you’d probably never visit this domain unless someone threatened you, yet, this social networking site has gone viral with my group of friends in the past week.

The competitive differentiator for Friendster is that you can’t see anyone on the network until you add an actual ‘real’ friend. Once you’ve added someone, you inherit all of their relationships — this means that networks grow amazingly quick… I’ve added 8 friends and my personal network (personal?) includes over 8000 people.

I’ve been wandering around 2nd order friends for a day or so… these are people one step removed from my 1st order friends. I believe the theory is that there is a high probability I should get along with these people.

[3/22/03 Update]: Like any good virus, Friendster burned hot and rapidly burned out. The servers are consistently unreliable and now that I’ve established a group of “friends” there is no real compelling reason for me to go back… which I can’t… since the servers are so damned slow.

18 Responses

  1. memory 21 years ago

    Hm, already did a longish rant about Friendster; rather than repeating myself, I’ll just link:

  2. Stonewall Jackson 21 years ago

    I was wondering – how you could have got involved. You said that you needed to have one real friend to establish a node to node link on the social network if you will. Please explain.

  3. rands 21 years ago

    I was invited by a world famous cartoonist who is a close friend of mine. I then discovered two other friends who were already part of the network, one is current an ambassador to a small African nation and the other is a reasonably famous publisher based in Southern California.

    The next six were a mishmash of friends and acquitances mostly based in the north bay — two of whom have been nominated.. multiple times. They’re fabulous.

  4. Stonewall Jackson 21 years ago

    I’m not sure if you knew that the joke I was making was that you don’t have any friends, but that’s actually quite interesting anyway. The obvious problem here is that all this networking takes place over and because of the internet, that is to say, your internet life and real life have to be one and the same (ie you use email with all your friends) for it to work well. It would be interesting if you could input phone records or something.

    Do you think they’ll start doing analysis of the community as a whole? For instance, could they tell you what person you are least likely to get along with? Some diagrams of the major social circles? Perhaps advice on what cities you should consider moving too based on the types of people you like? They have a fascinating pile of data that they could be doing a lot of very creative things with.

  5. Stonewall Jackson 21 years ago

    “who connects to who” is interesting data. It’s all the data you’d need. You don’t need to know the how or why of it. It can learn through observation, you know? Given n new friends user becomes chummy with these x people who are friends with such and such.

    Trillions of calculations later, we have diagrams of the whole community – who connects to who to who to who etc. If there is an overall pattern, that would b interesting. If there isn’t, that would be even more interesting. USE YOUR IMAGINATION (<-like that??).

    Now as far as this being information that’s useful for you, yes, that’s a stretch. I wouldn’t want a computer mucking about with who my new friends should be. At best it could make amusing predicitions, which would probably be wrong, and if they were right, would be somewhat unnerving. It would make you feel like a cog in a social machine. The point of all this is that they have a very unique pile of information about something very interesting and it doesn’t look like they’re doing anything with it.

  6. Stonewall Jackson 21 years ago

    Oh, and try implementing some of the slashcode on your blog here. I want to be able to moderate people’s comments +2 pissed on.

  7. rands 21 years ago

    I can’t tell if it’s a joke unless it’s in UPPERCASE PAL.

    I doubt they can derive really interesting data from the network other than who connects to who. It’s far too difficult to quantify people and tastes… that’s kind’a the point of Friendster, I think, leave the matching up to the people who are more likely to get along?

  8. friendster has already came and went with my crowd.

  9. rands 21 years ago

    “friendster has already came and went with my crowd.”

    I find this comment interesting because I think it’s a flaw in the friendster model… there’s no reason for me to go back when I’ve got all my friends linked. Sure, I can wander the friend tree, but they don’t make it easy… Friendster should be throwing tons of new people at me and shouldn’t be showing me the same people twice.

    Also, there should be some type of event planning or other socially thing that gives me a reasont to go back.

    Testimonials? Yawn.

  10. There is no real reason to go back for several reasons.

    I’m already in a stable relationship.

    I’ve got no urge to boost my ego (or whatever) by trying to get more and more friends listed. The person who connected me has 84 friends. Without trying, I have three. *twirls finger*

    Coming up with non-retarded testimonials is hard.

    Friendster the site gets really slow sometimes.

    It is kind of cool seeing pictures of people of whom I only know of by name or by IM/email/whatever. Also, it appears I’m only four hops away from Rands.

    What is friendster going to offer? Dating services? Don’t need it. Blogging? Hurf, I could use slashdot or set up something myself. (I’m not the target blog audience, obviously.) Community/group chat? That could be enticing depending on how they pull it off, but how much time am I going to want to spend doing that? What’s to stop me from meeting interesting people and then use IM/email?

    Where’s the money in it for friendster?

  11. Just read your comments on friendster. You might be interested to know that they have fixed their performance issues, and the site’s running fast again.

  12. Rand (not Rands) 21 years ago

    Naw, the damn thing is slow again. They continue to have performance problems and will need to address the issue before people become addicted to the site.

    Also,what is the inducment for someone to invite their friends on? I mean, if you want all your friends to know you are basically signing them up for a dating service.

  13. I found Everyonesconnected a better site. Much more feature rich and it has something to keep you occupied and keep you returning to the site. I have been logged on to for some time now and the site is definitely growing. New features are always being added and it has functionality to suit most users. from fun with friends, to dating and making new friends. There have even been some parties throughout the UK.

  14. Mark Brooks 21 years ago

    I think Andy works for EC as I’ve seen this post a few times as I’ve been circumnavigating the web. I should point out that I am connected with Friendster in so much as I am running the Friendster Exposed parties in the SF Bay Area in June and have just started

    So, that said, here’s my 2 cents. There’s some GREAT feedback and commentary here btw. I started using Friendster and took a couple of weeks to really get into it, but now I’m hooked, I have 70 friends in the system and am linked to over 15,000. The best way to meet people is through your friends and Friendster does a good job of allowing this to happen online. It’s next generation matchmaking but without the stigma of matchmaking. You’re just meeting new friends. Consequently I’m very impressed with the high response rates from messages and also by how many people have their photos online. Very unusual. Friendster is going ‘hotmail,’ right now, only because Jonathon took his time in thinking it through and got it right first time with his design of this awesome system. Way to go.

  15. sam jones 21 years ago

    now i cant even log onto friendster… what is wrong with this site????

  16. I’ve noticed some people posting the same thing all over the web. But how do I get to a Friendster Exposed? Friendster is slow for me too.

  17. Just a little more evidence for people researching. I have a cable modem split to two comps through a linksys router…on is a mac and one is a pc. when i go to the site on my mac it takes forever to log on to go from one page to another anything!!!…when i go to my pc i log on and every page flips with ease. My mac is much faster than my pc in general.

  18. 3/10/05 19 years ago

    when i log in to friendster the whole page doesnt show up… ever