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mates is a location-based social networking system in the form of a robust web service, or Relationship Engine, and an optional rich media client application, or Relationship Space Navigator.
Our objective in creating mates has been to build an open infrastructure to introduce and connect individuals based on the intersection of physical location and other properties they might have in common.
If not, then for all the investment in advancing the technology of connecting with one another we've only achieved diminutive returns on what really matters.
Just thought I'd make that observation, not that I'm any more loving than anyone else in the room. I'm not and I'm as stuck as ever with that feeling of inadequacy. ;0) I keep waiting for someone from MIT to get my humanity in order by inventing some technological fix. No, huh?
It's a hideous thing to say that anyone might be troubled by this statement, but don't forget to experience love or some other profound human connection with one another whilst connecting via your technologies.
Sorry. It's not my fault. I'm channeling some overwhelming cosmic force at the moment.
Its getting too mechanical and too technical - driving things straight to the point. Baam Baam Thank You Maam stuff.
I still remeber those lovely 1995 romance sites (I too made one ) which talked about poems and soft romance, when a profile someone posted was banned if it said even one bad word.
Internet social networking is not what love is all about. Exceptions may be there, but genrally, I dont see the point of this cover up Relationship and Social Networking sites are hiding under.
Thinking about romance was different, thoughts about going on a dance, eating popcorn together and putting it on a relationship site as interests is a thing of past I guess.
Coming back to the point, What are these relationship and social networking sites trying to achieve?
This is for people you mostly already know.
Your instant messaging program could automatically create and populate buddy lists based on the people in your classroom, your office building, or even your neighborhood.
Your mobile phone could receive a text message when old friends you rarely see happen to be nearby.
Your laptop computer or handheld device connected you to a live feed of information about nearby people and events.
The RS Navigator is a visual software client for the Relationship Engine. It features a live, animated visualization of related users in nearby locations, a buddy list, a messaging subsystem, and an interface for supplying attribute information to the Relationship Engine. The RSN also features a "location wall", allowing users to broadcast and receive location-related information and events to nearby users.
I would hope that security is kept on its toes so as malicious software or users could not make a mess of it. Sadly, some people are all too happy to spoil the party for others.
If you think about it, any form of interacting with people - whether online or offline - is always open to abuse. After all, who hasn't been down at their 'local' where things usually go smoothly, when some individual enters and screws things up for everyone?
Dispite the name (1), Mates is like linked in on steroids. This is the very thing the big se's are already close to perfecting by joining the Local searches and Orkuts of the world to with a cell phone.
This stuff is going to happen in a huge way - it is the next step for local and social networks.
(1) Remember in the UK parts of the world, Mates just means friends.
In reality, Mates is primarily a tracking mechanism for contact lists. While I can see good potential for this within closed user groups, the privacy implications are rather massive when it is made available to the general public.
This is for people you mostly already know.
I think many people underestimate the desire for communication within existing social groups. People often assume social networking services function to introduce strangers; they often function more prominently to let people who already know each other (or know each other slightly) to communicate more fully. That's what's behind the explosive success of thefacebook.com on university campuses - it's gone from zero to 2 million members in one year.