Social Software Hatin’

There’s a lot of hatin’ going on in the social software arena, so I either launched the SongBuddy beta at the best or the worst time. Warren Ellis doesn’t see any value in them. Cory Doctorow is tired of the same old introduce-me-to-a-friend shit. Jason Kottke needs full-time help managing these social sites. So where does SongBuddy fit in?
For Warren, SongBuddy provides a separate value than the standard gallery-of-freaks. It provides a way to explore the music that your friends listen to, that their friends listen to, and so on. If you do want to meet people, though, you can do worse than being able to talk to them about music.
For Cory, all the profile data on the site is available in FOAF format. Example: this is my SongBuddy profile. This is the FOAF file it generates. This is what my FOAF file looks like to the FoaF Explorer. This is what my FOAF file looks like to Plink. This is what my FOAF file looks like as a blobby thing. Also, Cory will appreciate that all that FOAF data is available under a Creative Commons license.
As for Jason, I’m working on it. In the meantime, learn about FOAF and how it can provide a distributed “meta Friendster” with an open format. SongBuddy is a FOAF producer right now, but I intend to turn it into a FOAF consumer shortly. What that means is that you could type in the URL to a FOAF file on another service, and it would create the friend-links on SongBuddy that you have on another site. For example, once LiveJournal supports FOAF you would be able to add http://www.livejournal.com/users/username/data/foaf to SongBuddy, and SongBuddy would put all your LJ friends (that have SongBuddy accounts) on your Buddies list.
Hopefully by supporting open formats and doing something other than the same-old-same-old (in the announcement I wrote “an attractive, smart, well liked person such as yourself already has all the friends that they need”) SongBuddy will be a service worth using. Check it out and judge for yourself.
[Update: Wired agrees that there’s a problem]

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