News, Views, Rants and Raves About Technology and More

Archive for the ‘social networking’ Category

Simple Update Protocol (SUP)

leave a comment »

Paul Buchheit (the creator and ex-lead developer of Gmail) of FriendFeed has suggested a new format – Simple Update Protocol (SUP) to minimize multiple feed polling.

The idea is simple –

  • The feed provider will generate a live or cached feed for ALL recent updates with an ID field to identify the updated entities.
  • The feed consumer will poll this SUP feed instead of polling individual RSS feed.
  • The feed consumer will request only relevant updated feeds.

HTTP header If-Modified-Since does something similar. But, that would still means requesting for each individual feed.

The proposal looks good for both feed generators and consumers, and not very difficult to implement either. However, the format is too vulnerable to feature creep and standardization can be a painful process.


Written by Brajesh

August 28, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Dunbar’s Number

leave a comment »

You learn something new everyday. Apparently, there is a theoretical limit to

the maximum number of individuals with whom a set of people can maintain a social relationship, the kind of relationship that goes with knowing who each person is and how each person relates socially to every other person

and that number is called Dunbar’s Number. The number is a significant value in sociology and anthropology.

There is a very interesting analysis on the Dunbar number in massively multiplayer games in this article – “The Dunbar Number as a Limit to Group Sizes“.

Written by Brajesh

January 1, 2008 at 4:20 pm

What’s next, Jump the shark

leave a comment »

In one of my earlier posts, I had written about a common problem of online social networks (friendster, orkut et al)

We built all those ’social’ networks and then what!

Guy Kawasaki linked to an essay on the “What’s next” problem of social networks. It tries to find some answers.

ps: Another link towards Guy’s Mission Technorati top-ten
[Update] Apparently, the essay is written by Fred Stutzman, co-founder of claimID. FWIW.

Written by Brajesh

July 1, 2006 at 10:17 am

The secret behind success of YouTube

with 2 comments

Paul Boutin at Slate says

YouTube and MySpace are runaway hits because they combine two attributes rarely found together in tech products. They’re easy to use, and they don’t tell you what to do.

And I agree.

Even personally I prefer YouTube much more to Google Video, though Google Video lets me download clips. Besides, Google Video wasn’t even available here in India at its launch ( It is now).

[Google’s] Orkut is one big monolith, which looses its usefulness and relevance beyond a point – the same problem with most of the ‘social’ networking sites. We built all those ‘social’ networks and then what!

Written by Brajesh

April 29, 2006 at 6:38 am