This is another idea I have been thinking of over the holiday season ..
It is inspired from a social network called Ecademy – of which I am a member .
Although I don’t agree with all of its policies , it still has some good members ..
As a simplified view .. There are two forms of members : The orange stars and the black stars. The black stars pay more. They have the privilege of sending messages to all their contacts.
This leads to a whole bunch of sales pitches .. for instance – masquerading as holiday greetings.
I have a very liberal and an open approach to networking i.e. I will try and meet/speak to people if I can. However, there are some who will take advantage of this .. as in the case of these spam messages.
Is there a better way to handle this going forward?
Conventional privacy models lean towards a closed, digital fortress. These can take many forms – linkedin introductions, signed applications, third party trust endorsers etc etc ..
However, these methods don’t fit the current open web ecosystem and more importantly a future web based ecosystem where there is a tendency to give up privacy with a younger generation.
So, what is the solution?
Let us first consider that social networks are increasingly going to be the primary form of interface to the Web for many of us Beyond Web 2.0: The social web or the semantic web ? and the rise of the Umbrella social networks . For many teens, that’s already the case with facebook
Unlike the Open Web, the social network has some form of structure(profiles, messages etc etc)
Hence, the proposition is: privacy and revocation go side by side
Taking the ecademy example, I found myselves ‘terminating’ i.e. blocking these irritating people. (hence the terminator picture i.e. networking like the terminator!)
Inspite of being a liberal, experienced, open networker: it is a nice feeling to stop these people dead in their tracks! And I must admit I kind of enjoy it as well.
This could be a new privacy model i.e. I will be open to contact but in return – I choose to exercise the right to terminate that contact if I need to
This is based on ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ as opposed to the existing digital fortress ecosystem(guilty until proven innocent)
Applying the principles of social networking to this scenario – it could soon become very efficient
Admittedly, the revocation engine may not work in context of the whole web but it may well work in context of a social network.
In a sense, the spam features if Gmail work in a similar way(except Google does the revocation implicitly on our behalf)
I can also see this working well with mobile social networks and for that matter any of the new, emerging social networks – all of which have an ecosystem (open or closed)
So, hasta la vista baby could take on a whole new meaning!
AKA – strengthen the revocation – not the moat bridge .. let people cross freely at the moat but always have the revocation engine as a defence mechanism