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Open Source Social Networking: The Open Mesh

With Appleseed, Elgg, Mugshot, BuddyPress and others, I’m seeing a lot of development activity around open source social networking.

Following this back to Appleseed, the very first attempt at an open source social networking platform that I personally discovered, brought me to a post on Marc’s Voice blog titled “How to Build the Open Mesh.”

A broad treatise on the subject and a strategic map, the linked post is actually a table of contents to ten detailed chapters on the topic:

“I have created a series of blog posts which attempts to map out many of the issues, constructs, technologies and standards required to build out the open mesh.

“Each post has a chart showing how the particular area I’m focusing on – looks vis a vis one’s ID and profile record. Then I started to imagine what these charts would look like – overlaid on top of each other.

“Each one of the posts maps out who the major players are, who are the dudes and dudesses down in the trenches doing the work and how do I see all these areas meshing together.

“So here is the Table of Content on the series. Please send me any input, feedback, corrections, additional names and players and lets all build the open mesh – together.”

When people talk about “Web3.0,” I imagine this is what they mean. Not just the read/write web, not just a giant semantic database like the Semantic Web, but rather the combination of both those things with a layer of personal human data and relationship graphs. It’s huge, fascinating, and will keep us busy for the next decade or more.

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