Next-Generation File Sharing with Social Networks

Ok, Take it with a pinch of salt.  But it does make sense.

Copying select text below:

Open file sharing systems like Kazaa welcome everyone on the net and enjoy a broad selection of content. The selection is so vast that Cory Doctorow calls it “The largest library ever created.” (Personally, I’d call it the “largest and messiest library ever created,” but that is another essay entirely.) However, this vast selection comes with a significant risk attached — outsider attackers who want to stop you from sharing files and would like to throw you in jail or pilfer your college fund. 

Social policies dictate who can be invited to the network…The social policies of these networks have a direct impact on the security of the network. A loose network with few rules and lax reputation verification is more susceptible to compromise. A tight network with many access controls will be more secure, but it will have more restricted search horizons. The key for the tribal elders is to pick a set of policies that balances security with the utility of the network.

The social policies also determine what sort of social network will be created. Loose connection policies will yield more chaotic systems that look like Friendster, and more refined policies will yield systems that resemble systems like LinkedIn. Social policies will need to address the most pressing social issues before they arise. For instance, Friendster should have anticipated Fakester accounts and set a policy for these accounts before it ever opened its doors. Changing terms of service and social policies radically after a network has been formed only serves to alienate its users.

Perhaps these social networks can influence some change and shift users away from a “I’m looking for this track!” mentality to a “What are my friends listening to?” mentality. Napster exemplified this focus on quantity; it is time to consider quality above quantity and use the network for discovery as well as sharing.

Makes a good read.  http://www.openp2p.com/pub/a/p2p/2004/03/05/file_share.html

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