Integration of users in a social graph. MetaID Approach

    Social networks have become the phenomenon that brought the Internet to a new stage of development. It is difficult to imagine a modern Internet user who would not be part of one of them. But, of course, this is far from the last stage. And in this article I will talk about how world famous gurus see the further development of the social part of the Internet and how we, the developers of the MetaID project, are trying to put these ideas into practice.

    The disadvantages of current social networks

    In the modern structure of social networks, a contradiction between the interests of their users and owners is clearly noticeable. Owners need to have as many users as possible and not go anywhere, and users need effective communication and the absence of all its limitations. Unfortunately, so far this contradiction has been resolved in favor of network owners. As a result of this, almost all modern social networks have certain disadvantages:

    Links only to accounts in this network.

    This shortcoming is so commonplace that almost no one has any questions - why is this so? Why am I, having an account in one social network, can interact only with other accounts of the same network? It is difficult to explain it only by technical reasons - modern technologies (even widespread) allow much more. But the explanation for this is not difficult to find if you take the place of the owner of the network and think about its interests.

    The need to have multiple accounts.

    This is a direct consequence of the previous paragraph.
    To contact a person registered in a certain social network, you will have to create an account on this network.
    Did you notice how the VP network expanded in the picture? This is exactly what its owners need - more users in statistics, happier investors. Inconvenient to the users themselves? I do not care, because it is everywhere.

    Another account - another person

    Perhaps some will say: “I want to be different people on different people. In one - a business man, in the other - a fun hollow. ” This is normal. And there are all conditions for this.
    But if someone doesn’t want to split into dozens of accounts, but to be one, then the problems begin. Someone creates on my personal page lists of "I'm on the Internet" with a note that everyone else who mows under me is not me. Someone in all of their profiles indicates links to all their other profiles (even this, unfortunately, is not possible everywhere). But most simply accept the situation as given. And this state of affairs sometimes makes it difficult for people to interact.

    Those who did not create an account are powerless guests.

    Even if we discard completely degenerate examples where unregistered users are not allowed to go beyond the index page, the situation is disappointing. Even in Livejournal, the founder of which is also the author of the OpenID idea, guests who log in using this OpenID themselves are equated with anonymous users, although they have several more features (like their own avatar). On other sites, until you go through the tedious registration procedure (and sometimes fill out a profile), you do not even have the right to indicate your name, not to mention taking any actions on the site. Why is that? This question is already easy to answer and the answer is the same as in the previous paragraphs - it is beneficial to the owners of social services. networks.

    Rejection of the transition to better opportunities.

    How many times have you heard such a dialogue:

    - go to site X - the interface is more convenient there, there is more space for pictures and it falls much less often than the site Y you are currently sitting on
    - yes, cool, but there are already a lot of friends here, they won’t all go there ... :(

    In the absence of the limitations described above, such a dialogue simply could not exist and this would be beneficial for users in the first place - sites would know that as soon as competitors have better opportunities than they have, users will switch to competitors. And it is not worth talking separately about the benefits of fair competition - it is already obvious to everyone.

    Data duplication

    Any programmer knows for sure, and a non-programmer has a vague feeling that data duplication is bad. When you fill out the profile on the next site for the Nth time, it turns from a “minute job” into a boring and nasty process that is often simply ignored, which, again, spoils the communication and takes extra time to find the necessary information.
    And if you change your e-mail and need to change it in all profiles, where is it listed? It is clear why people try not to register once again, and even if they register, they fill out their data extremely rarely.

    What MetaID offers

    About five months ago, I wrote about the concept of a personal information server (LIS), which would allow a person to become part of a global social graph and no longer depend on any one site and its artificial limitations in matters of communication. And now the initial implementation of this concept is drawing to a close. And here is what LIS will provide users with at the first stage of its development:

    The user's connections do not depend on where the friend’s account is.

    No restrictions are imposed on communication with other people. In order to read what another person writes and to receive information about a wide variety of events related to him, you do not need to register on those sites where this person is registered.

    Organizing all your network contacts into a connected system.

    You can finally collect your network contacts from different sites and organize them into a logical system. In a regular contact book, as a rule, one entry corresponds to one person and this telephone number, email addresses and other data of that person are indicated in this record. This is logical. Therefore, there is no reason why network contacts should be handled differently. The current linking of contacts to accounts, and not to people, is a relic of the past and must be disposed of. Chat with people, not their accounts.

    Communication with a person regardless of what other services he is registered with.

    You do not need to look for yourself where else your friend is registered. LIS will do it for you. He himself will find the accounts of your friends on the sites where they are registered and you can treat them as a single entity. Of course, while the system is not omniscient and sometimes it requires user prompts. If you don’t want to receive information from some of the person’s accounts (for example, you are only interested in his articles on a certain topic) - you can easily turn off the excess.

    One profile that can be used anywhere

    LIS provides the opportunity to create your own network profile, which will include the information that you want to provide to other network users. This can be both personal and contact information, as well as information about your education, work experience, your projects, knowledge and skills, interests, etc.
    This profile, at the request of the user, can be exported in semantic formats, which are becoming generally accepted on the modern Internet. It can be transferred to another site both with login using OpenID and in the form of RDF data. All that is required from another site on which you want to register is to support several formats of portable data. And he will be able to get not only your name and nickname, but also, say, a list of your friends, your interests or preferences.


    Few people decide to disclose information about themselves to everyone. Therefore, LIS allows you to configure access rights to information for both people and other sites.
    Setting access rights is based on network identifiers of people - i.e. You are setting permissions for some address on the network. Regardless of which site the other person is registered on, you will be able to allow or block him from viewing any part of the information about you. All that a person needs to do in order to prove his rights is to confirm in one of many ways that a certain page (most often a profile on some website) belongs to him. This is easiest to do with OpenID, but there are other ways.

    Using the power of the semantic web.

    The power of the semantic web, which has been talked about a lot lately, is that it allows programs to automatically process information at a level that was previously only accessible to people. Those. it allows programs to understand the meaning of information more fully. Its weakness is that for its work it should be supported by most sources and receivers of information, which is not yet available.
    Now quite a bit of information on the network is presented in semantic formats, but even these crumbs can already be used and get impossible results before. MetaID allows you to try out these opportunities in practice and, possibly, somewhat accelerate the development of the network, because the more people will use these technologies, the more often they will be applied.

    Another social network?

    This is not a social network. This is a tool necessary for a normal existence in a global social graph. Precisely because it is not a social network in its current sense, we do not need to artificially create restrictions for users. And our users will be able to take full advantage of the communication technologies provided by the worldwide network.
    If you are interested in what is described here and you want to be one of the first users of the new generation network, you can apply for a beta test of the service. It will begin soon.

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