Social Software Development
This site is for the development of new software. It complements the main Social Technology site.
What is Social Technology?
Briefly, Social Technology is technology for social uses or technology with a social basis. Facebook is a conspicuous example.
The Status of Social Technology Software Today
As explained in many pages on the main site, the important thing is to make the right social connections, to the best available people, job, and other aspects of a person’s Social Environment. It is the right connections which must be sought, not simply a large number of connections. Indeed, having a large number of connection is actually harmful — it decreases the signal to noise ratio. Much of current social technology is actually harmful , I believe, rather like surgery in the days before the mechanisms of disease were understood.
As the WWW has become almost a necessity in many people’s lives, it has also become part of the problem. As search engines like Google have become extremely popular they have also become part of the problem. They may increase the gross or total amount of communication in a person’s life, but often interfere with what can be called the net, meaning profitable, communication, the amount of information that is actually absorbed and used. It was actually easier to reach out and find people to discuss things with before there was more people than content on the net, so it was easier to catch people. Now a vast amount of the valuable information on the web pages are lost in a sea of information which is even beyond Google’s ability to index. I use the play on words Net Net-Bandwidth as opposed to Gross Net Bandwidth to describe the continually shrinking signal to noise ratio on the Internet and more importantly on the Social Network.
How much useful information flows between people? I argue that it is much much much less than it could or should be. Bandwidth has a great deal to do with interpersonal compatibility, though that is not the only consideration. I believe that most people spend most of their time and effort communicating poorly with incompatible people. I have written a lot about the harm this does to society and the benefits of doing something about it. I feel this should not require such extensive explanation, but even with it people do not seem to get the point.
How Can We Measure Progress?
We need to be able to measure progress towards the goals of increasing net net-bandwidth and increasing the signal to noise ratio. We coud do this if we develop a way of estimating the amount of data passed and absorbed in ongoing conversations which are seen as meaningful by both parties — meaningful enough to reply to. Most e-mail that is written goes often into the void and is not answered or receives only the most token answers. Most web pages are rarely visited and the visits generate no e-mails, no conversations, nothing to show that the page was ever looked at.
Primitive tools like hit counters are not reliable indications, it is the consequences of people reading a page which matters. There is no real technology for measuring all this yet, but clearly most net activity has nothing to do with meaningful information transfer — social bandwidth, the actual amount of information composed in person by people, then read and absorbed by others. But this could be measured, or approximately measured. That kind of measuring tool would itself be social technology.
The software to be developed here shall include:
social networking capabilites, like Elgg
Content Management System capability
bandwidth measuring capabilities
software development support
interpersonal matching capabilities for networking
career modelling and matching capabilities