I have my profile on the Wronka murder. It presents in the requested file format, such as XHTML or RDF. I've started micro-blogging via Jabber. You can see everything at the social aggregator. My photography is over at Focoro.

For posterity, my pre-2015 content:

Social Networking Sites

From time-to-time I get talked into signing up for social networking sites. I can't be bothered to fill out the same information time after time, so I end up linking to this page. Too many have come and gone, none of them interact with each other consistently, and they have mostly redudant information between them. There's a better way of doing it.

I have pretty much whatever information you could want, including the general stuff in the FOAF RDF file above, which is a standard XML format (if you care, read the schema information in the file). Ideally, all of these sites would recognize this format and allow linking to it. I consider this The Next Best Thing.

You can use either your favorite RDF viewer, or something specifically designed for FOAF files (the FOAF Explorer being the cannonical web-based viewer, I suppose).

Feel free to play around with CORK and generate your own FOAF file, and link to it in your web page. If you have your own Web-connected computer, I suggest using murder, which creates profile pages and FOAF files for local users. FOAF is designed to do all the things that social networking sites do, but without a single point of failure or control.

Related link about privacy (control) and these sites. "Autstic Social Software" an essay about social sites and how they encourage symptoms of mental illness in otherwise healthy people.

CORK isn't sustainable, time's moved on and it's reached the point where it's best handled with a full rewrite. Murder has the problem that it requires installing on your own PHP server. The latter is the same problem implementations like diaspora* have faced (among other, design, problems). Social networks break into two main categories:

TypeOutward FacingInward Facing
  • Public-focused
  • Designed to share/publish indiscriminately
  • "Write-only" or minimal interaction and conversations
  • Shallow, if broad, content
  • Private-focused
  • Access controls to restrict access
  • Conversational or interaction-rich
  • Most popular sites like: Twitter, Linked-in,, GNU Social, Yelp!, TripAdvisor, Flickr
  • Professional or corporation focused, like yammer; Everyme, PhotoCircle, FamilyWall.

There are of course hybrid social networks which are ostensibly public, but provide private groups. The billion-user gorilla in the room comes to mind, although I'd lean it towards the outward facing group given its information-poor focus on public bookmark-sharing (what it calls likes). The main characteristic is that the Outward Facing group is information and communication poor, while the inward facing is designed to foster communication by encouraging rich interaction.

Both have their place. If your goal is to propagate ideas to a wide audience, the firehose approach of the outward facing networks provides a means for distribution. If your goal is rather to build a close network of like individuals—bound either by relation, by proximity, or by shared interest—these networks are a poor fit. Public discussions invite those that lack the context shared by your group, or worse those that wish solely to disrupt your conversation. Often, you will feel more reserved when outsiders have access to your group, and this may restrict sharing and the bond of closeness with your group.

Outward facing are much more visible, and that's one of the reasons they're so well known. We know millions, even billions, of people are posting to them, and the volume of data is loved by search engines who see lots of pages of text. This serves to increase their brand, and fall neatly into Metcalfe's and Reed's laws which value the networks based on the number of members they contain.

Inward facing networks on the other hand, are by their nature, less visible. Their content, hidden away from the miscellaneous rabble, is shown only to those whom the sender considers relevant. These networks might still hold the greater value (cf. Beckstrom's law), as the interactions that take place over them may hold greater value for the participants than messages they might send on a public network.

I mention at the top of the page, my outward-facing networks. Through them I share my contact information (via my murder), arbitrary public thoughts and meanders (via, and re-postings of interesting things that I've read (via Electronic mail is still the most powerful Internet-based social network in terms of private connections, but it has its limitations. Because of this, I've caved-in, and started using (sc. creating) as my private social network of choice. Let me know what you think; it's a work-in-progress, but I hope to keep it growing.