Social introverts

Been wondering if I’m a social introvert?

Don’t get me wrong I love socialising and social settings but I also like to decompress alone in my own space. Melinda aka Miss Geeky gave a great presentation at Hacked.io. Some of the things she mentions I can identify with

I realized that most people don’t have a good understanding of what introversion and extraversion is. Typically they think that being an introvert means you’re quiet and shy, while being an extrovert is seen as being social and outgoing. And that’s not exactly right.

For me, introversion and extraversion is all about energy: what recharges you and what drains you? Extroverts find energy in interaction: they recharge by being around people, by interacting with what’s outside themselves. Introverts, on the other hand, will get their energy from reflection: they recharge by looking inwards, by being alone. So this does mean that extroverts will be much more likely to be social and outgoing, and that introverts will be much more likely to be quiet and shy. But that’s not always the case. You can have extroverts that are shy. And you can have introverts that are social and outgoing.

My term for this group of social introverts: social caterpillars.

I can get on board with this… Although most people think I’m a extrovert (ok I slightly do too), most of the things I do tend to match what introverts do in certain situations. Over time I’ve gotten better at being extroverted (without getting loud and annoying) but its not all me. Maybe this is why I can understand the view points of introverts?

Anyway its a good presentation and something I’d like to follow up on, in the future.

An experiment in mobile dating…

OKCupid!

For years now I’ve been dating using websites and speed dating. I have also at the same time been reading people’s accounts of there dating, such as 52 first dates. Every once in a while I moan about the lack of transparency and data from dating sites and if you know me, sometimes over a couple of drinks I swear I’m going to write a book about my dating experiences.

So with all that in mind, I read the blog post “taking my dating life mobile a social experiment” with a lot of interest.

Basically Senior Writer for ReadWrite.com Dan Rowinski is going to use mobile dating apps to gage there success rates in finding love. Of course there is rules…

I have to set some parameters here, or this type of experiment could completely take over my life. So here are my ground rules:

Parameters

  • I will actively use dating apps for at least one month to meet actual people.
  • I will use a variety of apps (Android and iOS) to get a good sense of their depth and variety.

What I Will Do

  • Approach each connection with an open mind and respect.
  • Apply the rule of “half your age plus seven” to how old a date has to be (nobody in their late teens or very early 20s).
  • Notify dates that I am writing a series on dating apps.
  • If I make a meaningful connection and start a fledgling relationship with someone I meet, I’ll terminate the experiment.

What I Won’t Do

  • I won’t actively use the dating apps to just look for a “hookup.” No trolling for sex on my smartphone.
  • I won’t recount much in the way of specific details about my dates. Yes, I’ll share a few anecdotes here and there, but if you’re looking for salacious gossip, click elsewhere.
  • I won’t do anything to endanger my physical, emotional or financial safety.
  • I won’t lie to make myself look better or misrepresent myself in any way.
  • I won’t ignore possible connections in real life that didn’t originate on my smartphone.

The Apps I’ll Be Using
I chose the following apps because they represent a good cross section of new, interesting, location-based, social and traditional approaches. I won’t be using any traditional websites affiliated with the services, should they exist. For instance, when I use eHarmony or Match, I’ll only use those sites through their apps and over email to my phone. Here they are:

  • Let’s Date – Popular new app that allows to browse anonymously for connections.
  • Tinder – Location-based app that allows you to see who’s nearby, their pictures and snippets from their Facebook profiles.
  • eHarmony – There should be at least one traditional dating site in here to provide a counter to mobile-only apps.
  • OkCupid – It’s free and has a decent app.
  • Blendr – Among the several sub-tier dating apps in contention, I’m going with Blendr just because it looks the least troll-y.
  • Martini (if applicable) – Group dating app that just came to the Apple App Store.

Now the question is do I join in and try it out for myself?

In the past I have used Okcupid and Plenty of Fishes mobile apps and its been fun in some cases.

Don’t get me wrong I’m interested to find out what could happen and find out if mobile dating is any good or not. Mobile dating is a different take on the same idea? I did propose this as something different a while ago.

Archiving your social media

Found Recollect via Imran

We archive everything you do online.

There are a lot of great places to share your life online; we know because we use and love most of them. But this means our digital lives are spread across many different services.

It’s easy to get lost trying to find old memories. That’s why we built Recollect, the best place to archive and explore your digital life.

From a Data portability point of view it looks pretty good but its quite limited right now as it only supports Flickr, 4 Square, Instagram and Twitter. 2 of which I don’t actually use and to be honest I don’t really need the Flickr one because I have everything backed up already and I pay another service to archive my tweets.

I am interested to find out what format it saves them all in (I know its Gzipped or Tar’d, but the base format) and also in Twitter’s case how far back the timeline goes back? Does it include Retweets, @replies, Favoruates and other things.

Guess theres only one way to find out…?

The killer application for distributed social networking?

How do we make things move along quicker in the area of distributed/federated technology? Things are moving very slowly although it seems most of the components are in place.

When I wrote the blog about Rebel mouse, I found some interesting links to some distributed solutions which could see the end of the likes of twitter and facebook.

OStatus is an open standard for distributed status updates. The goal is to have a specification that allows different messaging hubs to route status updates between users in near-real-time. This spec took over from the OpenMicroBlogging spec of old.

I remember writing about wordpress’s distributed solution a while ago.

The weird thing is I logged into Diaspora again today and not only is it a ghost town (not like G+, but really like a ghost town) but it got me thinking whats different about Diaspora and G+? Now the hype died down, its time to see some very cool uses of Diaspora. What have they got to loose? Dare I say it, wheres the killer application? Wheres the thing which will make people sit up and take note once again? Heck whys no one doing cool stuff with the API?

So what is the killer application which will tip people over? I have some thoughts but what ever it is, please let it happen soon before we’re all forced to beg twitter, facebook, etc for our data back.

Could Rebelmouse be used in distributed dating?

There is something which has been in the back of my mind for ages. Its the concept of distributed and dating.

It drives me crazy to see how closed the online dating world is and even if one breaks the glass, there sharply put out of business or bought. Wheres the innovation, really? I already wrote my rough idea which I believe could change the way online dating is done for the better (I won’t even point out how useful the Okcupid journals are)

On top of that is the problem of being stuck in a silo or stuck on one platform. Wheres the data portability? Wheres the interchange? Look at whats happening with Twitter and the whole controlling yourself or owning your own words.

Anyway, I was reading my feeds and came across Rebelmouse.

The service bills itself as “Your Social Front Page” and while it currently only offers up the ability to connect Facebook and Twitter to power your Lifestream, it does provide some unique features worth discussing.

So I gave it a try and its not bad, certainly a step in the right direction of what I was proposing with my online dating idea. The problem seems to be is its lack of inputs right now, which there working on. So you can only import from Twitter and Facebook. If they had generic RSS too, that would be great. The best part I like is the ability to control the flow (yes flow rather than creation) of subsets of the data. For example I can set twitter hashtags searches to…

  • save tweets to draft, ignore retweets
  • publish only tweets, not retweets
  • publish tweets and retweets
  • save tweets and retweets to draft
  • save tweets to draft, ignore retweets
  • just show timeline

So you can really craft/curate the page with minimal effort… which means you can’t just insert content unless its coming from somewhere else. Imagine if Facebook or Google+ had the same thing instead of deciding whos going to see it. I would suggest this is the more realistic way to manage a timeline because if its online, everyone sees it anyway (imho). But I digress…

I created one as a test for Perceptive Media…. and you can easily see how I could create one for myself or as a replacement for my dating profile, if I wanted too… So the next stage is to move all the stuff away from a central server and on to my own domain. Something I’ll be looking deeper at in the near future.

Preston Social: Online dating with Ian

This is Tuesday in my busy social week

PrestonSocial

Thanks to Josh I got asked to give a view of the online dating world at Preston Social.

I’ve not really spent much time in Preston before except at the Train station and during hack to the future. A little walk down the street and I was at the venue for the evening. Nice little bar which I assume during the weekend might be busy. That day due to the sunshine and heat, I did wonder what numbers we would get. Talking to the guys behind the whole Preston Social movement, I really got the feeling it was like the early days of the London Geekdinners. They had really good reasons for doing it and were slowly growing it.

We had a brief discussion and we got talking about the whole Dating thing. Seems there might have been some resistance to the whole topic, which seemed kind of funny to me because on the Thursday I was doing Geeky & Sexy which will be much more adult.

By the time I started, we had about 10-12 people which is fine and makes it much more intimate. The presentation below had parts of my presentation at SMC_MCR 2 weeks ago mixed in with my own recent thoughts.

The event went well and we did get into a small question and answer thing for a while.
Over all my points were… how good is the maths behind the popular dating sites? Is the personal filtering and paradox of choice so good that people don’t actually want to commit to going out to meet each other? With Social dating now very much established, whats the difference between that and other social networking sites like Facebook? Will social networks just go the whole way? Finally, can proximity based dating be the future of dating?
I had a great time and there was plenty of really good questions by the people who attended. I certainly would have liked to have spent more time there but it wasn’t to be, specially with the week long of events.
Thanks to John Walker, Tom Stables and his lovely wife for making my talk in Preston a very nice one.

Busy social week ahead

Next week I’m involved in a lot of social events….

Honestly trying not to over do things, but they’ve just creped up…

I’ll certainly make sure I take it easy on that weekend right before my Rollercoaster weekender (interested in coming give me a shout)

Also worth pointing out that Salford Cinema Club has started a Pledgebank to book the Odeon IMAX cinema (real IMAX) for the opening night of the Dark Knight Rises.

Pledge “darkknightimax

I will Hire the Odeon IMAX for The Dark Knight Rises on 20th July but only if 300 other dark knight film fans will commit to paying for a ticket (between £10 – £15).

— Ian Forrester, Founder of the SalfordCinemaClub (contact)

Deadline to sign up by: 20th May 2012

Is it possible to match people with science?

This has got to be one the eternal questions? Maths or science has solved so many of our questions but can it be used for working out compatibility of humans?

That was one of the things which really intrigued me about a year of making love. I assume you’ve seen how it turned in on its self since the production team totally screwed up the process and kept us all in the dark about it. And if you want further evidence do check out the tweets for #yearofmakinglove and #yoml

However because of the total screwup most people are saying its a total failure (maybe very true) but also science or rather maths was never going to work… I can’t disagree specially after the experience we all had yesterday. However basing any judgments off the back of yesterdays experience would be a mistake.

So do I personally think maths/science can match humans? Maybe… (yes what a cope out) but to be honest no one knows for sure. And thats the point of the experiment.

At the very start of the day (ordeal) we were introduced to the professor who devised the test/questions and the matching algorithm. I remember tweeting this

As Michael replied a far…

And he’s right…

In my own experience to date, the matching algorithm over at OkCupid.com has been pretty darn good (not perfect!) (OKCupid’s OK Trends are legendary – check out the biggest lies people tell each other on dating sites and How race effects the messages you get). But I had to train it to be good. I’ve to date answered about 700+ questions and there not just questions. There detailed, so you have to answer it, then specify how important this is to you and what answer your ideal match would pick. This makes for much more dimensions in the answer criteria and ultimately the algorithm. Aka the algorithm is only as good as the dataset its working on.

You got to put in the data/time, if you want it to be good… Otherwise your going to get crappy results.

This makes the 50 questions answered for the year of making love look like a pop quiz (hotshot), to be honest.

So back to the original question slightly modified, can a algorithm match people in the interest of love? I think so to a certain extent. But its not the complete picture. Chemistry is a big deal which is very difficult to understand. Its not found by answering questions but watching the interaction between people. Its a different type of algorithm… Situation can cause chemistry, aka the reason why everyone came together on the coaches home (or to the wrong city as some of them seemed to do) is because there was a social situation which we could all share/talk about. (cue talk about social objects/places) Chemistry was in full effect?

I hope people don’t give up on science as a way to find their ideal partner just because of the terrible experience they had at The year of making love… is I guess what I’m saying…

Self Confidence: How to be interesting…

Jyri Engeström quote

Simon Lumb and Aden Davies shared Russell Davis’s post about how to be interesting

He makes two assumptions…

The way to be interesting is to be interested. You’ve got to find what’s interesting in everything, you’ve got to be good at noticing things, you’ve got to be good at listening. If you find people (and things) interesting, they’ll find you interesting.

Interesting people are good at sharing. You can’t be interested in someone who won’t tell you anything. Being good at sharing is not the same as talking and talking and talking. It means you share your ideas, you let people play with them and you’re good at talking about them without having to talk about yourself.

And assuming the above… here’s his recommendations (obviously there quite computer related but they don’t have to be)…

  1. Take at least one picture everyday. Post it to flickr
  2. Start a blog. Write at least one sentence every week
  3. Keep a scrapbook
  4. Every week, read a magazine you’ve never read before
  5. Once a month interview someone for 20 minutes, work out how to make them interesting. Podcast it
  6. Collect something
  7. Once a week sit in a coffee-shop or cafe for an hour and listen to other people’s conversations. Take notes. Blog about it. (Carefully)
  8. Every month write 50 words about one piece of visual art, one piece of writing, one piece of music and one piece of film or TV. Do other art forms if you can. Blog about it
  9. Make something
  10. Read
I like the list quite a lot and it really got me thinking, what would I put in this kind of a list?
So I wrote my own… (please note this is all in my own opinion, you may disagree but that’s what comments are for…)
  1. Tweet at least everyday and make sure its public
    Tweet, microblog, blog, what ever… Being open and public will improve your confidence, interface you with other peoples opinions and ultimately make you a better or more rounded person
  2. Start a blog and update it regularly!
    blogging or sharing your thoughts are still very important and really helps when referring to points in arguments. Its still what I recommend to many people who ask me where to start. Like above, the interchange of ideas with other peoples thoughts will make you a more interesting person. Also make sure its regular, otherwise you will loose the momentum or build it up too big in your mind.
  3. Keep a note of conversations, ideas and dreams in a scrapbook, notebook or just somewhere shareable
    I personally use Evernote to document everything I find interesting. I can later on share it with people and thats been very handy for communicating a idea or whats going on in my brain.
  4. Follow and read articles/retweets from people you follow on twitter
    I only tend to follow people who say interesting things, and every once in a while I just scroll through links and retweets from people I follow. Generally I’ve found them very useful and they usually end up in my readitlater or instapaper. Once again, although not directly
  5. Start or be on a podcast/videocast
    I hate the sound of my voice but forcing myself to do a podcast, has got me use to the sound and how I sound to others. How this helps with being more interesting, I’m not quite sure but its certainly something you can talk about and share with others
  6. Talk to someone new at least every week
    What have you got to loose? Someone new may unlock a whole new lifestyle choice, a new found friend or be your next partner… You just need to hold a conversation for at least 2mins. Generally if your exploiting number 9, this will be very easy…
  7. Once in a week sit in a great tea/coffee shop and just listen without your headphones
    Nothing better than to over hear human concerns. Yes most of them will be mindless stuff to you but it doesn’t matter, listen to the metadata. Passion, tone, etc… They all give a different aspect to the human voice… I already mentioned before about how I tend not to use my lift with headphones on for a similar reason.
  8. Every month, tweet an observation about human life
    I loved Seinfeld because of its observation of human life, and in actual fact someone pointed out to me. That most comedy is a observation of life. Theres two ways you can take this…
    1. Being funny is always great
    2. Having a detailed understanding of life means you can later hack it 🙂
    And don’t just sit on that knowledge, share it!
  9. Take advantage of your understanding of social objects
    Talking of hacking life… If you don’t understand the concept of social objects and how they enrich our lives, nows the time to learn… I would start Hugh Macleod’s 101 thoughts on Social objects then check out Jyri Enstrom’s post, then more links from Hugh Macleod including Jyri’s video at London Geekdinners a while back. Don’t quite understand this relates to being more interested? A shared experience is a powerful key to being interesting to other people. For example, on the train as I am now, I could turn around the lady across the table and say “nice drawing, how did you learn to draw like that?” The social object would be the drawing… Hugh has better examples
  10. Learn
    Life long learning, what more is there to say? Always be learning…
The general theme is about openness, human contact, sharing and self improvement… Being more interesting isn’t a thing you just throw on, actually its about being confident in your own abilities and the way to do that is to be comfitable in your own skin. The rest will come naturally… As Nic ferrier said “get our of your comfort zone once a week…” Which I think is right but actually its more involved than just once a week, its about a change in the way you look at life.

Social steganography with Securebook?

Rob Best wrote to me after seeing my post on Social Steganography.

I read your article on social steganography and I have also become interested in it even if it is old news by now. So intrigued I decided to write my first Android app (Securebook) with the sole purpose of letting you hide secret messages in seemingly normal Facebook status updates. Hope you’ll check it out: https://market.android.com/search?q=securebook&so=1&c=apps

I wrote back to Rob and said, I’ll check it out and I did. I got the Free ad-supported version…

Securebook required my facebook login which was done via a web login, so it shouldn’t worried too much. Once in the application was pretty simplistic. You can look at your wall or post something. When you post, you get the option to write something publicly and something hidden.

So I thought i’d test it and posted something on my facebook wall.

testing securebook lite the first social steganography app

Can’t read the message in the message? Download Securebook to see what you’re missing.

395AF95D1586A6C9A4258B2BCC6091CE19A3074721106FD591C7A366F135FD12E874725056814E63F1AF60E49681197C

Before long I received some interesting comments from friends (Combination of Micheal, Tim, Marcus, Maria, Paul) who were less that impressed… Of course you can’t see my wall (one of the problems with Facebook), so I finally did a summary and posted it to Rob Best as a email.

Having had a look about, it looks like securebook don’t understand what stenography means because they’re the ones adding lots of that text saying “Hey look, it’s encrypted”. Also, how would securebook know they’re the first social stenography app? There could be loads, and by definition you shouldn’t know if someone was using it! 🙂

Securebook isn’t doing stenography. Simple as that. Shoving the ciphertext in the exif comment data of a JPEG, and then posting the JPEG on a website, and linking to that from a facebook post (for example) would be stenography (after a fashion), because the message would not be visible. Simply adding the ciphertext clearly visible in the body of a status update is not stenography. If the person writing this app doesn’t understand that basic difference, stay away from the app, since they simply do not understand stenography.

Rob wrote back to me in this reply…

 

The paid version removes the “Can’t see the message …” text. And if you use the link functionality as your carrier, the only “give away” is that Facebook will show that the message was posted using Securebook (I may change this though).

And in reply to the rest of the comment…

Again, the cyphertext is not visible when a link is used as the carrier.

I actually had this in my first draft version. Actually, I first was encoding the message in the lower 4 bits of the photo and uploading it to Facebook. Problem is I couldn’t nail down Facebook’s compression so the message was lost. I then thought to put it in the exif data but Facebook strips that too! I then was forced to decide if I wanted to pursue this path or do something else.

I found that I could put the message in a Facebook link (replacing the actual URL) and since only the caption is displayed the message remained hidden, but of course the link was broken. I think this still constituted steganography though.

Lastly I looked into encoding the message using whitespace and also using the letter of each word in the message to do a dictionary lookup and find a word starting with that letter. The posts were of course non-nonsensical at that point so I scrapped that idea.

Going back to your comments, perhaps in version 2.0 I’ll add the ability to upload a photo to a site where I can manage the compression therefore saving the message encoded in the last 4 bits (or exif data) and link to it from Facebook.

So I think its a noble attempt and hopefully the feedback is helping Rob. Its a really great and useful first application, I’ll certainly keep it on my android device and look forward to the updates of Securebook. Good work Rob, interesting application and I’m sure once you get it cracked, people will flock to download it…

Dear Delicious User…

delicious

Received this in my mail yesterday,

Yahoo! is excited to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, Hurley and Chen have firsthand expertise enabling millions of consumers to share their experiences with the world. Delicious will become part of their new Internet company, AVOS.

To continue using Delicious, you must agree to let Yahoo! transfer your bookmarks to AVOS. After a transition period and after your bookmarks are transferred, you will be subject to the AVOS terms of service and privacy policy.

Reasons to let Yahoo! transfer your bookmarks

• Continue uninterrupted use of Delicious.

• Keep your Delicious account and all your bookmarks.

• Enjoy the same look and feel of Delicious today plus future product innovations.

What happens if you do not transfer your bookmarks

• Delicious in its current form will be available until approximately July 2011.

• After that, you will no longer be able to use your existing Delicious account and will not have access to your existing bookmarks or account information.

AVOS? Really? Yahoo, sound overjoyed about the whole thing… to be honest I’ll switch over and see where the rabbit hole goes…

Hiding in plain sight: Social Steganography

I know its quite old (all of a year) but I’m really intriguing…

Privacy in a public age

Carmen is engaging in social steganography. She’s hiding information in plain sight, creating a message that can be read in one way by those who aren’t in the know and read differently by those who are. She’s communicating to different audiences simultaneously, relying on specific cultural awareness to provide the right interpretive lens. While she’s focused primarily on separating her mother from her friends, her message is also meaningless to broader audiences who have no idea that she had just broken up with her boyfriend. As far as they’re concerned, Carmen just posted an interesting lyric.

Social steganography is one privacy tactic teens take when engaging in semi-public forums like Facebook. While adults have worked diligently to exclude people through privacy settings, many teenagers have been unable to exclude certain classes of adults – namely their parents – for quite some time. For this reason, they’ve had to develop new techniques to speak to their friends fully aware that their parents are overhearing. Social steganography is one of the most common techniques that teens employ. They do this because they care about privacy, they care about misinterpretation, they care about segmented communications strategies. And they know that technical tools for restricting access don’t trump parental demands to gain access. So they find new ways of getting around limitations. And, in doing so, reconstruct age-old practices.

I would also add the suggestion that deep down they also know that technical methods are seriously no good for privacy. So they deploy there own privacy by adding steganography to there imprint on the web. Its also not just teenagers…

My lifestreaming dating idea realised for anyone to take on

People ask me why would I choose to open my ideas to the world, for anyone to take and make money on. For example mydreamscape.org.

But the way I see it is, I’m very unlikely to dedicate 10 years of my life to one idea, grow it and nurture it through all the stages of making it successful. I actually put this to Richard St John a while ago at TedXSheffield, because I was really interested in what he thought of those like myself who don’t necessarily want to be successful (as such). He cleverly turned the question around and said actually what i’m actually after is success in the idea or the meme. Ideally I would have a team of people and certain people would make there job to take an idea forward for the sake of the team.

But back to the point…

I’ve been sitting on the same principle idea for a long time to do with online dating. It was actually the wider part of what I presentation at Ignite Leeds.

I’ve stated before that some of the largest benefits we will see from creating and maintaining our Lifestreams will be the services created on the backbone of that data. We are starting to see the first big service phenomenon from that coming in the way of content readers that are built specifically for us based on the data shared by our social graph.

Early on when I first started writing about Lifestreaming I gave thought to services that could be built off of the data and one of the first that came to mind was a dating site. In fact I had multiple interviews at a top dating site a few years ago that was very interested in my knowledge and thoughts around Lifestreaming data. I didn’t get the job, but I still felt that Lifestreaming data would at some point help power the matchmaking process. Well apparently a new dating service called Wings feels the same way.

Wings has taken a unique and interesting approach when it comes to dating. They figured that instead of creating a site from scratch that people need to join, they’d just tap into the 500+ Million Facebook users and build a dating app within their eco-system. The innovation doesn’t stop there as when you join there is no super long, multi-page questionnaire. After joining the service will analyze your Facebook data and let you also connect your Netflix, Pandora, Last.fm, Twitter, and Foursquare accounts to help paint a picture of who you are. I feel this is a much better way to build a profile for someone. Instead of a static survey filled out and frozen in time, your profile is dynamic based on the data collected on a daily basis.

This is the crux of my idea.

One of the most frustrating things about online dating is the lack of portability but also having to fill in those bloody profile statements or questions. So if you could leverage your lifestream instead to teach the system about who you really are. Then you might actually get better results. This would/could also cut down on Spam and more interestingly the lies people tell in online dating.

I thought about using the same principle as in APML to mark up whats important in peoples lives. Now what I realize is this can be better done with a “like” button or “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” So if you don’t want your drunken pictures from last night on your dating profile, you can vote it down or bury it all together.

When you interfere with the stream, the engine would mark the item up in a way to say it was interfered with. So it discourages you from simply removing all the bad crap from your stream and painting a perfect picture of yourself. The more you do it, the more it indicates the changes.

So why did I not post this on my blog earlier?

Well I thought the notion of a lifestream was still a very alpha geek thing (still do) and most people only have a couple of services they sign up to (and therefore can make use of). Remember if you don’t use the services then theres no way of the engine being able to work out what you like.

I’m also unsure if revealing your impact across the web will certainly generate better matches. Someone (wish I could remember who) said the thing about the profile is its your best foot forward (the best bits of you). Letting people know about you straight away is a massive risk that lots of people wouldn’t want to take.

However, I’ve noticed more and more, people linking to different parts of there impact across the web. For example in my okcupid profile I have a link to my blog, my last fm profile, my flickr and my twitter stream. And i’m not the only one, quite a few people have links to there last fm or/and flickr. Some even go as far as to link to there facebook (rather them that me).

OkCupid does a interesting thing when your replying to someone, it pulls out things you both like, so for example…

I think you both like cooking, films, poker, fight club, and donnie darko.

You can pretty much look at my blog, my delicious, my last.fm, etc to determine the similar things. So ultimately its about gathering the data with the permission of the user to build up a profile of that person, which they can use to tell others about themselves. Its quite a long shot but I thought it was too early. It would only work with certain public people like for example Tara Hunt (I actually did try and send her a email explain the idea a while ago)

Its all about dataportability

Up till I saw Wings and the blog post about it, the closest thing I’d seen to my idea was a weird site called Gelato which went half way but not the whole way. Gelato allowed you to put in parts of your lifestream but it doesn’t build a profile around it. Instead it supports openid, facebookconnect and a few other authentication methods.

I’m still looking forward to joining a site where the email system isn’t some propriety crap and the instant messaging system is even worst. I get the whole anonymity thing, but this can be solved by passing messages back and forth to a 3rd party (aka the company who is running the site). Using this method almost anything could be used including Twitter, Xmpp, etc. Wings is a facebook app which I guess is a interesting solution, although being a facebook app winds me up no end and the fact its only for an American audience also winds me up no end.

Wings on facebook

So is the idea dead? Not exactly, Wings is still a poor dating experience and doesn’t rely enough on the data which it has. You have to confirm a lot of things and to be frank, it really needs to be as enjoyable as Okcupid for me to really be interested. (In actual fact while were letting the cat out of the bag), I was going to build a dating site off the back of Storytlr before they stopped it and went open source. Everyone would be able to put in there streams and you would be able to identify people who were matches via a mechanism like dr foxxy.

What I’m saying is the concept is still sound (I think) but the actual implementation is terrible and I don’t think putting it inside of facebook actually works or does it any favors. So I look forward to seeing more sites based on our lifestreams…

Werewolf: Extra Materials

To be fair to Wired magazine, they did a good piece about Werewolf in the most recent UK wired. I never expected so many pages dedicated to the game which some call the modern social crack. There’s also a huge sum of the variations of werewolf on the Wired site too.

Here’s a couple of the ones not even I’ve heard about…

The Fool: The player who gets this card immediately reveals himself to all the other players as “the village fool/idiot”. He does not speak again for the rest of the game and can’t focus enough to join any debates or lead any suspicions. He watches mutely, helplessly. At the beginning of each new day, while he is alive, he may reassign his vote to another villager by pointing – that newly entrusted voter might be an innocent villager or a werewolf in disguise. If the Fool or the Moderator should forget to reassign his vote, his vote remains with the prior assignee. (So if a prior assignee is a werewolf, it is to the werewolf’s advantage NOT to remind the Fool or Moderator to reassign the vote.)  In his confusion, the Fool wears a ring of garlic around his neck, thinking it will repel the werewolves – when in fact, garlic is used to repel vampires. (If the vampire character is in play, of course, this garlic will protect him.) As a variation, in an attempt to control an unruly villager that speaks out too much or speaks when dead, the Moderator may instantly assign that unruly villager to be the village fool, either immediately during that game or in the next game if that player is already dead.

Not so sure about this one, but we’ve had newbies act the fool before, shouting out or making it too damm obvious what player they are.

The Coroner: Often, there is confusion in the village as to a cause of death or what just happened the night before. With certain character combinations the actual happenings just can’t be deduced – with certainty. As long as the Coroner is alive, the Moderator explains the causes of death and the nighttime happenings. The Coroner, however, does not actually play an active part in the game. Once the Coroner is out of the game, the remaining villagers must deduce everything themselves without any help from the Moderator.

This might be useful for some games instead of relying on the moderator, whos actually not meant to say anything in this issue

The Grave-Robbing Thief (created by Viki Kind, Ed You and our “Uber” Werewolf players): In this variation the Thief is still offered two other villager cards on the first night. If both cards are werewolf cards, he must chose one and become a werewolf. Otherwise, he may refuse both identities and wait till another night in the game to steal the identity of a newly dead villager on the first night following that villager’s death. In this variation the Moderator will ask every night if the Grave-Robbing Thief wants to steal someone else’s identity, fully reactivating that stolen identity and character. Example: if the dead Witch’s identity were stolen and reactivated, both of the Witch’s potions would be renewed as well. A dead werewolf identity may also be stolen and reactivated. The Moderator will have to again announce any activities of the newly stolen and reactivated identity and character.

I had a idea like this a while ago but never really played it out, oh well. I think its good but makes the game quite complex for newbies. You’d only want to play this with pros.

Theres lots more characters but to be fair a lot of them cause the moderator a lot of headache, make the game too complex or too random to get a balanced result to either side.  I tried doing the probability maths a while back and got very confused, but I bet if you could do the maths behind it, you will find a lot the extra characters screw up the game for the werewolves or villagers. The standard pack of villagers, seer, healer and werewolves  seems to be about right.