Dave Winer says I sound like a monkey

Hmmm, I used the words “social graph” in this interview with Randi Zuckerberg, director of business development at Facebook.

Dave Winer, yesterday, said that anyone
who uses that term sounds like a monkey.

She gave her definition of Social Graph at about 14:39. Everyone who is talking about this should listen to this part of the interview.

I disagree with Dave Winer. The Social Graph is NOT my social network.

My Social Network is my friends list.

But the Social Graph shows a LOT more than that.

For instance, did you know you can see everyone who is into skiing on Facebook?

Did you know you can see everyone who is into Daft Punk?

Those people are NOT in my social network. But they are part of the social graph that you can study on Facebook.

Interesting how we have disagreements about language.

So, what would you call what you can see in Facebook? It isn’t just my social network, though. Try again.

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/09/PID_012533/Podtech_RandiZuckerberg2.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/4118/the-first-sister-of-facebook &totalTime=2149000&breadcrumb=c7c2f1aff4a34b28932044e9ecd86abc]

Comments

  1. When I first heard the term social graph my thought was “what now?”, graph did not resonate at all. It still doesn’t.
    So, right or wrong, to me it sucks. ;-)

  2. When I first heard the term social graph my thought was “what now?”, graph did not resonate at all. It still doesn’t.
    So, right or wrong, to me it sucks. ;-)

  3. I like the term, as it represents the underlying architecture of a social service… whereas the term “social network” represents the actual service itself. That’s my opinion, anyway.

  4. I like the term, as it represents the underlying architecture of a social service… whereas the term “social network” represents the actual service itself. That’s my opinion, anyway.

  5. what would I call information in Facebook? Well of it has nothing to do with my friends I would call it “irrelevant”. Why does it need a m
    name? Social graph makes no sense in the context you describe.

  6. what would I call information in Facebook? Well of it has nothing to do with my friends I would call it “irrelevant”. Why does it need a m
    name? Social graph makes no sense in the context you describe.

  7. While I can’t say how the proper noun “Social Graph” will come to be defined, with even a liberal reading of the dictionaries it is hard to side with your definition of social graph. Fundamentally, the network is the sum of our living, changing relationships. The graph is a representation of the relationships. Network is to person as graph is to snapshot. But, of course, languages are living entities too, and this may be a time for a change.

  8. While I can’t say how the proper noun “Social Graph” will come to be defined, with even a liberal reading of the dictionaries it is hard to side with your definition of social graph. Fundamentally, the network is the sum of our living, changing relationships. The graph is a representation of the relationships. Network is to person as graph is to snapshot. But, of course, languages are living entities too, and this may be a time for a change.

  9. Social Graph: A term I probably read about 5 times in the last 5 years, and 500 times in the last 7 days. I’m with PXLated. Now what?

  10. Social Graph: A term I probably read about 5 times in the last 5 years, and 500 times in the last 7 days. I’m with PXLated. Now what?

  11. Isn’t what we’re talking about here a social *map* not a social *graph*. I mean – what kind of graph is it? Bar, Line, Plot, Point, Scatter, Radial?

    And to answer Andrew, god help you if you think that “graph” is a geek word – I’d expect any 12 year old to know what a graph is :)

  12. Isn’t what we’re talking about here a social *map* not a social *graph*. I mean – what kind of graph is it? Bar, Line, Plot, Point, Scatter, Radial?

    And to answer Andrew, god help you if you think that “graph” is a geek word – I’d expect any 12 year old to know what a graph is :)

  13. Stephen: if you watched the interview you’ll see that I wasn’t all that comfortable with calling it “social graph” too, but I don’t get so worked up about it. I’ll probably call it social network in the future, but looking at the people who are into, say, skiing, doesn’t seem to be a network at all, but, rather, something else.

    I guess I got used to thinking of social networking tools as showing how people are related to me.

  14. Stephen: if you watched the interview you’ll see that I wasn’t all that comfortable with calling it “social graph” too, but I don’t get so worked up about it. I’ll probably call it social network in the future, but looking at the people who are into, say, skiing, doesn’t seem to be a network at all, but, rather, something else.

    I guess I got used to thinking of social networking tools as showing how people are related to me.

  15. “…arguments over language…” is exactly – and only – what it is. Everyone “knows” what “it” is, but often do not call “it” by the same name. Getting from here to though is not unmapped, nor is it particularly difficult.

    Here’s my example…

    In my day job, I manage advanced medical technology research programs for the US DOD. If you’ve read anything about the Army’s Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center, or the new Military Advanced Training Center at Walter Reed, I manage the research programs that feed much of the technology that goes into those programs. I have an MBA and prior work experience in operations mgmt for companies such as Nortel Networks, Williams Comm, etc. I work with lots of MD’s, and PhD’s, many of whom are world renowned for their research and discoveries (think neural-controlled prosthetic limbs, ruggedized C-Leg from Otto Bock, etc.)

    A problem that appeared early in the program was that of different languages ultimately based on different perspectives. We had different words for the same thing, and it did cause conflict. For example, my definition of “proposal”, was the same as their definition of “protocol”, yet my definition of “protocol” was something very different. It is critical in research that everyone completely understand these terms with no confusion. Misunderstandings result in funding delays or denials, disapproved research applications, etc.

    Once I realized the cause of this conflict, the correction was fairly simple, though not always pain-free (read: professional ego’s!) process of what I called “aligning our dictionaries.” In fact, this is actually part of human communications 101, the series of clarifying questions, etc. that we all know and love and realize is always more complicated when the communication is neither face-to-face, nor synchronous.

    So whether “it” is a graph or a network, a universe or a galaxy, a system of systems, or a network of subnet’s, I think this could be a fairly simple process, though not necessarily painless process of aligning dictionaries.

  16. “…arguments over language…” is exactly – and only – what it is. Everyone “knows” what “it” is, but often do not call “it” by the same name. Getting from here to though is not unmapped, nor is it particularly difficult.

    Here’s my example…

    In my day job, I manage advanced medical technology research programs for the US DOD. If you’ve read anything about the Army’s Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center, or the new Military Advanced Training Center at Walter Reed, I manage the research programs that feed much of the technology that goes into those programs. I have an MBA and prior work experience in operations mgmt for companies such as Nortel Networks, Williams Comm, etc. I work with lots of MD’s, and PhD’s, many of whom are world renowned for their research and discoveries (think neural-controlled prosthetic limbs, ruggedized C-Leg from Otto Bock, etc.)

    A problem that appeared early in the program was that of different languages ultimately based on different perspectives. We had different words for the same thing, and it did cause conflict. For example, my definition of “proposal”, was the same as their definition of “protocol”, yet my definition of “protocol” was something very different. It is critical in research that everyone completely understand these terms with no confusion. Misunderstandings result in funding delays or denials, disapproved research applications, etc.

    Once I realized the cause of this conflict, the correction was fairly simple, though not always pain-free (read: professional ego’s!) process of what I called “aligning our dictionaries.” In fact, this is actually part of human communications 101, the series of clarifying questions, etc. that we all know and love and realize is always more complicated when the communication is neither face-to-face, nor synchronous.

    So whether “it” is a graph or a network, a universe or a galaxy, a system of systems, or a network of subnet’s, I think this could be a fairly simple process, though not necessarily painless process of aligning dictionaries.

  17. Everyone in the field has used terms such as scale free and small world networks, not social graphs, for years.

    For at least 10 years I have known the representation of a social network on paper etc as a Social Network *diagram* (sometimes map).

  18. Everyone in the field has used terms such as scale free and small world networks, not social graphs, for years.

    For at least 10 years I have known the representation of a social network on paper etc as a Social Network *diagram* (sometimes map).

  19. Sorry, but when I saw a the word “graph” I immediately thought of the computer science graph and not the “regular people” graph. Now sure, I’m a software developer, and if my sister saw the term she would think otherwise. But Dave’s bitchin’ about a conversation between geeks – what right does he have to call the other person an idiot?

    Sure, if I saw someone using it as a marketing term I might have thought differently, but this is standard lingo between computer guys – I’m sure the guy that used it didn’t think “What is the most confusing term I can use for this?”. Bitching about it and calling names is just that – bitchy.

    Just saying “I think for the customers’ sake we should call it not a social graph but something else” would have contributed much more.

    Another point – would he call a Stanford graduate in physics an idiot for using the term (and greek letter) delta instead of the word “difference” in his thesis? Different cases, but not that different.

  20. Sorry, but when I saw a the word “graph” I immediately thought of the computer science graph and not the “regular people” graph. Now sure, I’m a software developer, and if my sister saw the term she would think otherwise. But Dave’s bitchin’ about a conversation between geeks – what right does he have to call the other person an idiot?

    Sure, if I saw someone using it as a marketing term I might have thought differently, but this is standard lingo between computer guys – I’m sure the guy that used it didn’t think “What is the most confusing term I can use for this?”. Bitching about it and calling names is just that – bitchy.

    Just saying “I think for the customers’ sake we should call it not a social graph but something else” would have contributed much more.

    Another point – would he call a Stanford graduate in physics an idiot for using the term (and greek letter) delta instead of the word “difference” in his thesis? Different cases, but not that different.

  21. For quite a while now I’ve thought of it as a ‘Social Cloud’ rather than a Social Network (the people you know directly are your network, FoaF, groups, events etc are part of your cloud).

    (Disclaimer, I do own a number of domains using the word socialcloud, but thats just because I’ll think of a use for it one day :) )

    Just my 2 Cents.

  22. For quite a while now I’ve thought of it as a ‘Social Cloud’ rather than a Social Network (the people you know directly are your network, FoaF, groups, events etc are part of your cloud).

    (Disclaimer, I do own a number of domains using the word socialcloud, but thats just because I’ll think of a use for it one day :) )

    Just my 2 Cents.

  23. The Top Stories Of Today

    Top stories of Sep 22nd 2007:There are caves on the Mars (see Slashdot) and Robert Scoble says that Dave Winer said, that anyone who uses the term social graph (instead of social network) is a monkey. Nicholas Carr applauds Dave

  24. @Ian: Actually, the term ‘graph’ as mentioned here is not a barchart or other Excel-like figure. It’s the math term for a set of points (nodes) which are connected by lines (edges). Study of these is called graph theory – it’s the math that makes your sattelite navigation able to work out the fastest route to your destination, for example.

    So it IS a geek word. The only reason I know it is that I had graph theory as a freshman class when I still studied electrical engineering (a circuit being an obvious example of a graph).

    But that’s not the link that people are going to make. Most people are going to assume you’re talking about a barchart kind of graph. I disagree with the way Winer puts it, which is frankly unnecessarily bitchy, but I think we’re better off not using the term too.

  25. @Ian: Actually, the term ‘graph’ as mentioned here is not a barchart or other Excel-like figure. It’s the math term for a set of points (nodes) which are connected by lines (edges). Study of these is called graph theory – it’s the math that makes your sattelite navigation able to work out the fastest route to your destination, for example.

    So it IS a geek word. The only reason I know it is that I had graph theory as a freshman class when I still studied electrical engineering (a circuit being an obvious example of a graph).

    But that’s not the link that people are going to make. Most people are going to assume you’re talking about a barchart kind of graph. I disagree with the way Winer puts it, which is frankly unnecessarily bitchy, but I think we’re better off not using the term too.

  26. My $0.02 is this – if the term is not easily definable or commonly understandable, it shouldn’t be used. So far, it sounds like social graph is “social network and a little [[insert unpronounceable word]]”. I say kill it.

  27. My $0.02 is this – if the term is not easily definable or commonly understandable, it shouldn’t be used. So far, it sounds like social graph is “social network and a little [[insert unpronounceable word]]”. I say kill it.

  28. In mathematics, a network is a directed graph. A graph is a set of nodes with edges representing the relationship between pairs of nodes. For example, the simplest graph contains nodes a and b where a is related to b.

    In business, a network is the set of people who know each other professionally and a graph is a synonym for chart.

    So is a social graph a directed graph that represents the some social relationship between individuals in a group, or is it a chart representing some social characteristic?

    You mention people “but looking at the people who are into, say, skiing, doesn’t seem to be a network at all, but, rather, something else.” True. A network, in the mathematical sense, would require there to be unique relationships between pairs of individuals. Skiing is more of an attribute or characteristic of individuals within the social network. Unless Facebook could show who has skied with whom, it’s really not a graph in the mathematical sense.

    You could chart all the people who have certain characteristics within a social network. It might be interesting to view the demographic data (e.g. age, digital camera ownership, skiers) of Facebook networks as charts. But I don’t think this would warrant a new term.

    So social graph seems to be a fuzzy term. But go ahead and pair it with Web 2.0 (e.g Web 2.0 enables social graphs), you can’t go wrong.

  29. In mathematics, a network is a directed graph. A graph is a set of nodes with edges representing the relationship between pairs of nodes. For example, the simplest graph contains nodes a and b where a is related to b.

    In business, a network is the set of people who know each other professionally and a graph is a synonym for chart.

    So is a social graph a directed graph that represents the some social relationship between individuals in a group, or is it a chart representing some social characteristic?

    You mention people “but looking at the people who are into, say, skiing, doesn’t seem to be a network at all, but, rather, something else.” True. A network, in the mathematical sense, would require there to be unique relationships between pairs of individuals. Skiing is more of an attribute or characteristic of individuals within the social network. Unless Facebook could show who has skied with whom, it’s really not a graph in the mathematical sense.

    You could chart all the people who have certain characteristics within a social network. It might be interesting to view the demographic data (e.g. age, digital camera ownership, skiers) of Facebook networks as charts. But I don’t think this would warrant a new term.

    So social graph seems to be a fuzzy term. But go ahead and pair it with Web 2.0 (e.g Web 2.0 enables social graphs), you can’t go wrong.

  30. The first time I remember “social graph” being used, was during Zuckerberg’s F8 keynote, 4-5 months ago. I understand why he did it. He was giving a presentation and when you’re speaking about monetizing people. you’re better off using abstract / cold terms like “graph” vs. networks, which a lot of people have a connection too and might sound like exploitation.

    And when you look at things on paper, or on your screen, it might indeed appear more abstract. Here is a graph(ic) of my contacts skiing, etc. I might go skiing with them. And here’s a graph(ic) for people who want to buy cars. Facebook might decide it’s a good place to insert car-adverts.

    But on a personal level, you can also have sub-networks, arranged around skiing, cars, or whatever. This is my skiing-network, and this is my network for potential buyers for my car. etc.

    So really, same as the stupid conversations about the meaning of “friend” the net has been having these last few months (a phase I’ve gone through in high-school, thank god), people should understand that there are two types of uses of network: the abstract and the real kind. It doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you respect your friends and “graph” just the same, and don’t start spamming them commercial stuff because they happen to know you (maybe even like and trust you), something Facebook is surely thinking about.

  31. The first time I remember “social graph” being used, was during Zuckerberg’s F8 keynote, 4-5 months ago. I understand why he did it. He was giving a presentation and when you’re speaking about monetizing people. you’re better off using abstract / cold terms like “graph” vs. networks, which a lot of people have a connection too and might sound like exploitation.

    And when you look at things on paper, or on your screen, it might indeed appear more abstract. Here is a graph(ic) of my contacts skiing, etc. I might go skiing with them. And here’s a graph(ic) for people who want to buy cars. Facebook might decide it’s a good place to insert car-adverts.

    But on a personal level, you can also have sub-networks, arranged around skiing, cars, or whatever. This is my skiing-network, and this is my network for potential buyers for my car. etc.

    So really, same as the stupid conversations about the meaning of “friend” the net has been having these last few months (a phase I’ve gone through in high-school, thank god), people should understand that there are two types of uses of network: the abstract and the real kind. It doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you respect your friends and “graph” just the same, and don’t start spamming them commercial stuff because they happen to know you (maybe even like and trust you), something Facebook is surely thinking about.

  32. Funnily enough, Dave just made a monkey of himself by suggesting that in “math”, graphs and networks are the same. They’re not, a network is a specific kind of graph – this is even in Wikipedia, for fact-checking fans…

  33. Funnily enough, Dave just made a monkey of himself by suggesting that in “math”, graphs and networks are the same. They’re not, a network is a specific kind of graph – this is even in Wikipedia, for fact-checking fans…

  34. Comprendre le graphe social

    La recette de Facebook, la nouvelle vedette des sites sociaux, c’est le “graphe social” (social graph), expliquait en mai dernier le jeune Mark Zuckerberg, son fondateur. Le Graphe social désigne “le réseau de connexions et de r…