So it seems the patent office awhile back had issued to Friendster the patent defining a system, method and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer system based on their relationships within social networks. This may be huge as this patent may be used by Friendster, one of the first social networking sites back in the day, to get back into the game by suing patent infringement by the other big guns in the industry. Or even better, create a licensing model for others to pay to use the methods of connecting users by social methods. Not a cool way to play but it worked for NTP against RIM.
Though the ramifications are not yet known with this patent, the language submitted for the patent is a good read. outside of the technical discussion on the N+1 degrees of separation, the summary text provides a very good introduction to social networking and the infamous six degrees of separation. It got me interested in Stanley Milgram’s Small world experiment where he examed the probability of two random individuals may know each other through social connections and how many connections are needed to connect these two random nodes.
I need to spend more time with looking at Keyla’s work she did in graduate school. I find this subject just fascinating. Only time will tell if I can find a niche in this field.