Is Firsht Social Networking’s Godfrey?

A case of a former friend impersonating someone on facebook was decided during the summer: Applause Store Productions Ltd. & Anor v Raphael [2008] EWHC 1781 (QB) (24 July 2008) . The victim was awarded thousands of pounds in damages.

As I write this, there’s still no response on facebook’s news page, but I wonder whether Firsht will be to UK social networking what Godfrey was to UK Usenet. A bit of a wake-up – a reminder that the internet isn’t a consequence-free playpen. I know that more than most – my youthful indiscretions are plastered across the web, if you know where to look. Fortunately, cooperative associates seem to understand that people learn over time and don’t hold decade-old mistakes against me.

Talking of not holding old mistakes against people, LinkedIn is profitting from an influx of bankers since the banks started going bust. That’s going to change the society behind their network – for better or worse?

All of the big name networks seem to be having some growing pains, like the breakdown of the Facebook metaphor and I think the “walled gardens” are ripe for replacement. I’m still listed there at present, but I’m using my account on the cooperativemagazine NoseRub server (now closed) to monitor it and most of the stuff posted to facebook is taken from my websites. I’d like to make NoseRub import and export more things in more formats, but will anyone pay for that work? Otherwise, it keeps falling down my priorities because it’s in PHP and I don’t find that much fun. Maybe I’ll replace it with something more amusing in Scheme or Perl.

Aside: is there a good bot that produces an RSS feed of jabber/XMPP presence messages?

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