FRIENDS: I've been doing a lot of research about so-called Friend Of A Friend systems lately. The main ones; Friendster, Live Journal (a sort of hybrid weblog/FOAF from what I can see), and the one that has spawned the most talk recently, Orkut, all seem to have a lot of problems and don't seem to work that well. The have huge amounts of users though, which means the idea is one that people like. These sites are one of those internet things I just don't see myself getting into. I was never much into chat rooms or instant messaging (even though before I'd heard of ICQ I was thinking over how to implement instant messaging. If I hadn't seen an early beta of ICQ I probably would have written my own client and might have ended up inventing IM). I'm not social, so these types of applications just don't appeal to me (no matter how much grief I get from people for having been on the internet for so long and not being a chat room or MUD user).

The reason for all my research is that I have an idea for a social network system based on finding knowledgeable people. It used to be that if you had pretty much any question you could ask on an appropriate Usenet newsgroup and somebody would know the answer. That's a lot less true now. It's pretty much all Google now. I very rarely ask questions on newsgroups because A) there's too much crap and B) I can probably find it with Google. But sometimes you can't find a good answer, only a question. That's what got me thinking about using social networks to be able to find people with an answer. It's partially based on the main idea of Global Frequency and the reputation system of Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom. If that means anything to you. I hope to have time to work out at least a beta that I can get other people to help me work on. It's going to be more than just a website and even if I don't have time to code it myself, I'm going to detail the spec and see if I can't get some people to work on it. It's a good idea I think. Of course being that I know only a bit about the FOAF/social network "scene" this could be another instance of me "inventing" something which has already been thought of and implemented outside of my sphere of interest. I haven't found anything like it yet though. If you're a venture capitalist and want to hear more in exchange for money, please feel free to email me. :)