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April 09, 2008

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John Canosa

Mike - I like terminology you are using and see it as a useful starting point for common understanding. One thing I would like to do however is extend your definition of an actor to include non-human entities. My company, Palantiri Systems (http://www.palantirisystems.com), is developing a social networking environment for manufacturers of intelligent equipment. The actors in this community are not only the manufacturer's employees and their customers, but the equipment itself.

Think of it this way - a sohpisticated medical diagnostic system or a complex piece of mahinery may have many things to "blog" about to describe the conditions, and events it has experienced during a certain time period. It may want to share its status and contribute documents such as configuration files to the community. Other actors in the community may want to "chat" with the device to gain up to date status information or run diagnotic tests.

In every sense, these devices are equal and active participants in the community. I realize this may be a bit of a niche right now, but I believe it will become commonplace in the future for not only manufacturers but consumers to have their "things" participate in the network. Since these actors are contributing so much to the network I wouldn't want to discriminate against them by definition.

Dinesh Tantri

Mike - I agree with John. While it may be premature as of now, it will make sense in the near future to include "networked objects" in the scope of social networks. I would think of these networked objects to be first class "social objects" akin to shared photos/videos. Eventually, we will social networks getting contextually richer with inputs from location based services, intelligent networked objects/devices etc.,

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