Direct messaging in a social web architecture

Ben Werdmuller, Weblog, Mar 31, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Messaging is a persistent problem in work and learning environments, and is not solved by Wave. This means, as Ben Werdmuller suggests, that we need to keep working on the hard problem. I agree that there is a role for social networks to play in networking. If we had an open social graph, then messages could traverse the graph, reaching intended recipients (with the recipient confident that the sender is trusted through a network of trust). Basically, the way we convert social networking systems into a messaging system is a two-step process: "The first is to expand the connection protocol to include a message.... The second is to allow connections to be made programmatically through a custom application." But... it has to be an open social graph. Depending on the black box that is Facebook will not do for a messaging infrastructure.
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