Wanderli.st
                              Steven Lehrburger




Hi!

My name is Steven Lehrburger, and I’ve been building ...
http://wanderli.st
             wander the Internet, bring your friends




So that we can wander the Internet, and bring ...
http://alpha.wanderli.st
             wander the Internet, bring your friends




- try alpha.wanderli.st instead. I’ve sp...
what is Wanderli.st?

           • an application to let us socialize within online
               contexts that are like ...
what is Wanderli.st for?

            • to fill-out current friends lists
            • whenever you meet someone new
     ...
So, first, I want to address the obvious question.
why not                             for everything?




Why not Facebook for everything?

Facebook was started as an onlin...
real life is not like college




Real life is not like college -
real life is not like college, unfortunately.




- unfortunately.

College is just a single social context. Real life is ...
- they’ve continually expanded their scope and pushed social contexts together.

Facebook wants to own the social graph - ...
So how do they make this work? You can connect your Facebook account with many other
websites.


   Which lets you brings ...
And then if you use Facebook connect with more sites, then more “stories” get published
back.

And you don’t know what sto...
what about Friendster                     ? and            MySpace?




Were we stuck with Friendster and MySpace? No. Peo...
- and yet another diaspora might be beginning - Facebook’s users are becoming increasingly
angry at the ever changing priv...
why not                             for everything?




So, why not Facebook for everything?

Fuck Facebook. The Internet ...
people are social




So, let’s start here. People are social! We gather, we share things, and that makes us happy.
people are good at being social




And we’re good at being social.
people are good at being social in physical space




But really best at being social in physical space, because that’s wh...
Take a moment to imagine how you act around the dinner table with your family.

What you say, what you’re wearing, what yo...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/amossin/1444645748/
- in Grand Central, which is very public and anonymous, -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/acnatta/3163190249/
- or in, a crowded bar, where it’s loud and people are drinking -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_mission_canada/4462340249/
- or in a classroom, where there are clear hierarchies of author...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeundefined/3118954113/
- or a quiet café, where everyone is in quiet concentration.
[insert image of the Internet here]




But how do you act online? You can’t take a picture of the Internet. It’s not in p...
the Internet




So, the Internet.
the Internet is for socializing




A lot of the time, we’re using the Internet to socialize - sharing content, photos, vi...
There are certainly lots of “places” online for socializing, whether they’re tied to Facebook or
not.

And each site is fo...
So I know a lot of different people on the Internet.

What happens when I start to think of each site as a real place?
Let’s orient those sites in physical space, on a map, on -
http://xkcd.com/256
- this Map of Online Communities, from the web comic xkcd.

Remember, the Internet is bigger than Face...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/insunlight/3946559430
I was looking at this map and thinking about how online spaces were like...
Wanderli.st
             wander the Internet, bring your friends




I started to build Wanderli.st to solve this problem....
So, going back to this “map” of users and websites.
How do we figure out that all of these user accounts -
?   ?   ?   ?   ?
                     =   =   =   =   =




- are the same person?
websites have APIs




Websites have APIs, or application programming interfaces.

Which are ways of interacting with thei...
hi! tell me about my friends

     http://api.foursquare.com/v1/friends.json




So I can go to Foursquare and say “Hi! Te...
sure! here they are, one by one

    {
             "id": 646,
             "firstname": "Jorge",
             "lastname":...
hi! tell me about my friends

    http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/
    friends.json




So then it can go to Twitter, an...
sure! here they are, one by one
    {
        "geo_enabled": true,
        "followers_count": 686,
        "description": ...
sure! here they are, one by one
    {
        "geo_enabled": true,
        "followers_count": 686,
        "description": ...
{
             "screen_name": "jorgeortiz85",
             "name": "Jorge Ortiz"
    }




- enlarged here, and take those...
{
            "screen_name": "jorgeortiz85",
            "name": "Jorge Ortiz"
    }
    {
            "id": 646,
        ...
{
             "screen_name": "jorgeortiz85",
             "name": "Jorge Ortiz"
    }
    {
             "id": 646,
     ...
=




So now Wanderli.st knows that the Twitter account and the Foursquare account both belong
to Jorge, and the user didn...
=              =          =          =           =




And then it can leverage all of these new APIs to extend that proce...
then Wanderli.st can tell you who you know
                                                and where they are




So then ...
But, back to these social contexts. How can we recreate them online?
do we really need social contexts online?




Before I explain how Wanderli.st will let us recreate those social contexts ...
Some might say that you should not put anything online that you don’t want completely
public.

But that doesn’t work when ...
So for example, take this photo of me. I’m wearing a bowler hat, holding a green apple,
playing beer pong at a party.

Onl...
Katy posted the photo, tagged me, and the notification of that tag went to some number of
my friends.

And all of that happ...
centralized identities require constant vigilance




This sort of centralized identity requires constant vigilance.

But ...
different people care about different things




Filtering matters too. Different people care about different things.
Some of my friends care about my code, and how paging works when fetching Twitter
contacts -
- some of my friends care about my photos... of cracks in the floor.

But not everyone cares about everything.
let users create custom groups of their contacts




What if we let users create custom groups of their contacts to match ...
• family
          • friends
          • coworkers
          • exgirlfriends
          • programmers
          • photograp...
• everyone - coworkers
           • friends - friends of exgirlfriends
           • coworkers + programmers
           • f...
add/remove “friends” based on those groups/sets




So *this* is the most interesting part.

Use the websites’ API’s again...
• everyone - coworkers
           • friends - friends of exgirlfriends
           • coworkers + programmers
           • f...
(take a deep breath)

So that’s Wanderli.st.
let other sites worry about content!




To be clear, Wanderli.st never needs to interact directly with content to be usef...
aggregators




                         sites for content sharing




                            contact management


I ...
And here are some examples of these services.
And these aggregators get information from the content providers.
Wanderli.st just synchronizes the relationship data with the content providers, but doesn’t
interact with the content itse...
why Wanderli.st?
why Wanderli.st?

           • separate connections from content
           • no single point of failure
           • user...
next steps...



Next steps include:


   1) Add more to the prototype.


   2) Get some angel funding.


   3) Hire devel...
thank you!
  ITP, Jorge Ortiz, Clay Shirky, Kio Stark, Kevin Slavin,
   Kathleen Wilson, Nancy Hechinger, John Dimatos,
 T...
questions?
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Wanderli.st - Thesis Presentation

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These are the slides and notes I used for my final thesis presentation at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Wanderli.st will be a tool to help us understand and manage our ‘friends’ lists on all of the web sites where we already socialize. Part data visualization and part privacy interface, it will let us structure our social spaces on the Internet more like those in the real world.

Blog post at: http://lehrblogger.com/2010/05/23/wanderlist-thesis-presentation/
Video at: http://vimeo.com/11970364

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Wanderli.st - Thesis Presentation

  1. 1. Wanderli.st Steven Lehrburger Hi! My name is Steven Lehrburger, and I’ve been building Wanderli.st.
  2. 2. http://wanderli.st wander the Internet, bring your friends So that we can wander the Internet, and bring our friends. To all of you people that typing in that URL, it’s just a placeholder -
  3. 3. http://alpha.wanderli.st wander the Internet, bring your friends - try alpha.wanderli.st instead. I’ve spent a most of my time writing code this semester and getting the data model right, and you’re welcome to go to that unfinished prototype and play with it now if you like. But I’m not going to demo it here and now. I have more exciting and interesting things to say than what you’ll find there. So. That said -
  4. 4. what is Wanderli.st? • an application to let us socialize within online contexts that are like our offline contexts • a tool for managing and synchronizing relationships across social websites - what is Wanderli.st? an application to let us socialize within online contexts that are like our offline contexts a tool for managing and synchronizing relationships across social websites
  5. 5. what is Wanderli.st for? • to fill-out current friends lists • whenever you meet someone new • whenever you want to try a new site • to manage your privacy So, what specifically will it be for? It’s a tool for these things: 1) there are lots of people we know on different websites, but in some places we’re not “friends” with everyone we’d like to be friends with 2) whenever you meet someone new and want to add him or her as a friend 3) whenever you want to try a new site and quickly add all of the relevant friends 4) to manage your privacy and check on who can see what
  6. 6. So, first, I want to address the obvious question.
  7. 7. why not for everything? Why not Facebook for everything? Facebook was started as an online social space for college students.
  8. 8. real life is not like college Real life is not like college -
  9. 9. real life is not like college, unfortunately. - unfortunately. College is just a single social context. Real life is much more complicated. And as Facebook slowly grew to include people in high school, and -
  10. 10. - they’ve continually expanded their scope and pushed social contexts together. Facebook wants to own the social graph - the network of connections between all people, and now, with their recent announcements about their Open Graph protocol, the want information about every person and every object. And it’s unclear if that is a Good Thing.
  11. 11. So how do they make this work? You can connect your Facebook account with many other websites. Which lets you brings your friends with you.. ..but also publishes content back to your Facebook profile, so that *all* of your friends can see it.
  12. 12. And then if you use Facebook connect with more sites, then more “stories” get published back. And you don’t know what stories are there, and you don’t know which stories get shown to which people in their feeds. It’s a disaster. I don’t want my friends seeing stuff I don’t want them to see, or seeing stuff that they don’t care to see. “Super publics” that include everyone aren’t good for anyone... except Facebook, which gets all of this monetizable data. Great. So, are we stuck with Facebook forever?
  13. 13. what about Friendster ? and MySpace? Were we stuck with Friendster and MySpace? No. People left, en masse. These diasporas from social networking websites have happened before, and could happen again. How long will Facebook be around? But then, on the other hand, maybe forever? Hasn’t Facebook learned from the mistakes of others? Aren’t they big enough? The have four hundred million users... -
  14. 14. - and yet another diaspora might be beginning - Facebook’s users are becoming increasingly angry at the ever changing privacy settings, and many are leaving.
  15. 15. why not for everything? So, why not Facebook for everything? Fuck Facebook. The Internet is bigger and better than that.
  16. 16. people are social So, let’s start here. People are social! We gather, we share things, and that makes us happy.
  17. 17. people are good at being social And we’re good at being social.
  18. 18. people are good at being social in physical space But really best at being social in physical space, because that’s where we learned to do it. And the constraints of physical space are essential. Only the people in this room can hear me now, and I'm able (and expected!) to act differently based on where I am and who I’m with.
  19. 19. Take a moment to imagine how you act around the dinner table with your family. What you say, what you’re wearing, what your body language is like. And compare that to how you might act -
  20. 20. http://www.flickr.com/photos/amossin/1444645748/ - in Grand Central, which is very public and anonymous, -
  21. 21. http://www.flickr.com/photos/acnatta/3163190249/ - or in, a crowded bar, where it’s loud and people are drinking -
  22. 22. http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_mission_canada/4462340249/ - or in a classroom, where there are clear hierarchies of authority - ( ...and don’t doubt that every one of those kids is on Facebook. What happens when one adds the teacher as a “friend”? )
  23. 23. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeundefined/3118954113/ - or a quiet café, where everyone is in quiet concentration.
  24. 24. [insert image of the Internet here] But how do you act online? You can’t take a picture of the Internet. It’s not in physical space. Online it’s hard to modulate our behavior based on social context, where we don’t have the constraints of physical space and the ability to tell who is there and who is not.
  25. 25. the Internet So, the Internet.
  26. 26. the Internet is for socializing A lot of the time, we’re using the Internet to socialize - sharing content, photos, videos, statuses, etcetera. Can the Internet be at all like physical space?
  27. 27. There are certainly lots of “places” online for socializing, whether they’re tied to Facebook or not. And each site is for different things. Flickr is for your photos, Foursquare is for where you are, GitHub is for your code. And often the sites are for different groups of people with whom you want to share those different things.
  28. 28. So I know a lot of different people on the Internet. What happens when I start to think of each site as a real place?
  29. 29. Let’s orient those sites in physical space, on a map, on -
  30. 30. http://xkcd.com/256 - this Map of Online Communities, from the web comic xkcd. Remember, the Internet is bigger than Facebook.
  31. 31. http://www.flickr.com/photos/insunlight/3946559430 I was looking at this map and thinking about how online spaces were like physical spaces. In physical space, it’s really easy to tell who is present, who can hear you, who can see what you’re doing. But online, it’s hard to know who can see what. Which is a problem from a privacy standpoint, because I don’t want everyone to know everything. But it’s also a problem from a filtering standpoint, because not everyone *wants* to know everything. So right now our online social spaces are not enough like our offline spaces.
  32. 32. Wanderli.st wander the Internet, bring your friends I started to build Wanderli.st to solve this problem. So that all the right people, and only the right people, see whatever it is I’m sharing. The first thing to do is consolidate all of those user accounts on other services, so that they correspond to real individuals that I know.
  33. 33. So, going back to this “map” of users and websites.
  34. 34. How do we figure out that all of these user accounts -
  35. 35. ? ? ? ? ? = = = = = - are the same person?
  36. 36. websites have APIs Websites have APIs, or application programming interfaces. Which are ways of interacting with their data in your own software.
  37. 37. hi! tell me about my friends http://api.foursquare.com/v1/friends.json So I can go to Foursquare and say “Hi! Tell me about my friends.” I’ll use my friend Jorge as an example here.
  38. 38. sure! here they are, one by one { "id": 646, "firstname": "Jorge", "lastname": "Ortiz", "photo": "", "gender": "male", "phone": "6505553675", "email": "jorge.ortiz@gmail.com", "twitter": "jorgeortiz85", "facebook": "201149" } And then Foursquare will say “Sure! Here they are one by one.” And I get this specially-formatted text back about each one.
  39. 39. hi! tell me about my friends http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/ friends.json So then it can go to Twitter, and ask for the same information.
  40. 40. sure! here they are, one by one { "geo_enabled": true, "followers_count": 686, "description": "", "lang": "en", "profile_text_color": "3E4415", "profile_image_url": "http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/31208162/n201149_31531916_6855_normal.jpg", "status": { "in_reply_to_user_id": null, "created_at": "Thu May 06 05:43:05 +0000 2010", "source": "<a href="http://www.atebits.com/" rel="nofollow">Tweetie</a>", "place": null, "in_reply_to_screen_name": null, "geo": null, "truncated": false, "coordinates": null, "user": { "id": 6001592 }, "in_reply_to_status_id": null, "favorited": false, "id": 13471383111, "contributors": null, "text": "RT @felixsalmon: Truly geektastically wonderful: xkcd's Color Survey Results http://bit.ly/ags4hD" }, "created_at": "Sun May 13 03:40:02 +0000 2007", "friends_count": 389, "profile_link_color": "D02B55", "screen_name": "jorgeortiz85", "following": true, "verified": false, "time_zone": "Pacific Time (US & Canada)", "favourites_count": 624, "profile_sidebar_fill_color": "99CC33", "url": "http://www.linkedin.com/in/jorgeo", "profile_sidebar_border_color": "829D5E", "protected": false, "location": "San Francisco, CA", "statuses_count": 4515, "notifications": false, "profile_background_image_url": "http://s.twimg.com/a/1272919576/images/themes/theme5/bg.gif", "name": "Jorge Ortiz", "id": 6001592, "contributors_enabled": false, "profile_background_tile": false, "utc_offset": -28800, "profile_background_color": "352726" } And Twitter gives us way more data back about Jorge than we actually need. But we can -
  41. 41. sure! here they are, one by one { "geo_enabled": true, "followers_count": 686, "description": "", "lang": "en", "profile_text_color": "3E4415", "profile_image_url": "http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/31208162/n201149_31531916_6855_normal.jpg", "status": { "in_reply_to_user_id": null, "created_at": "Thu May 06 05:43:05 +0000 2010", "source": "<a href="http://www.atebits.com/" rel="nofollow">Tweetie</a>", "place": null, "in_reply_to_screen_name": null, "geo": null, "truncated": false, "coordinates": null, "user": { "id": 6001592 }, "in_reply_to_status_id": null, "favorited": false, "id": 13471383111, "contributors": null, "text": "RT @felixsalmon: Truly geektastically wonderful: xkcd's Color Survey Results http://bit.ly/ags4hD" }, "created_at": "Sun May 13 03:40:02 +0000 2007", "friends_count": 389, "profile_link_color": "D02B55", "screen_name": "jorgeortiz85", "following": true, "verified": false, "time_zone": "Pacific Time (US & Canada)", "favourites_count": 624, "profile_sidebar_fill_color": "99CC33", "url": "http://www.linkedin.com/in/jorgeo", "profile_sidebar_border_color": "829D5E", "protected": false, "location": "San Francisco, CA", "statuses_count": 4515, "notifications": false, "profile_background_image_url": "http://s.twimg.com/a/1272919576/images/themes/theme5/bg.gif", "name": "Jorge Ortiz", "id": 6001592, "contributors_enabled": false, "profile_background_tile": false, "utc_offset": -28800, "profile_background_color": "352726" } - pick out what we want, see those two bits at the bottom -
  42. 42. { "screen_name": "jorgeortiz85", "name": "Jorge Ortiz" } - enlarged here, and take those pieces of information about Jorge -
  43. 43. { "screen_name": "jorgeortiz85", "name": "Jorge Ortiz" } { "id": 646, "firstname": "Jorge", "lastname": "Ortiz", "photo": "", "gender": "male", "phone": "6505553675", "email": "jorge.ortiz@gmail.com", "twitter": "jorgeortiz85", "facebook": "201149" } - and compare them to the corresponding information from Foursquare.
  44. 44. { "screen_name": "jorgeortiz85", "name": "Jorge Ortiz" } { "id": 646, "firstname": "Jorge", "lastname": "Ortiz", "photo": "", "gender": "male", "phone": "6505553675", "email": "jorge.ortiz@gmail.com", "twitter": "jorgeortiz85", "facebook": "201149" } Both sites have the same name for that contact, and the same twitter screenname.
  45. 45. = So now Wanderli.st knows that the Twitter account and the Foursquare account both belong to Jorge, and the user didn’t have to do anything! *Which is a bit of magic that has only recently become possible.*
  46. 46. = = = = = And then it can leverage all of these new APIs to extend that process to other websites. Wanderli.st can “recognize” people for us in a variety of places, just like we do in the real world.
  47. 47. then Wanderli.st can tell you who you know and where they are So then Wanderli.st can tell you who you know and where they are, on all the different social websites. Which is great, because it’s hard to know that now, with each site having its own separate page for your friends.
  48. 48. But, back to these social contexts. How can we recreate them online?
  49. 49. do we really need social contexts online? Before I explain how Wanderli.st will let us recreate those social contexts online, I want to explain why they are so important, and the disasters that result when they break down.
  50. 50. Some might say that you should not put anything online that you don’t want completely public. But that doesn’t work when we have centralized online identities, like we do on Facebook, where *other people* can associate content with your profile.
  51. 51. So for example, take this photo of me. I’m wearing a bowler hat, holding a green apple, playing beer pong at a party. Only somewhat embarrassing, but not something I want associated with my public identity online. And it’s not a piece of content I created!
  52. 52. Katy posted the photo, tagged me, and the notification of that tag went to some number of my friends. And all of that happened before I saw the corresponding email hours later.
  53. 53. centralized identities require constant vigilance This sort of centralized identity requires constant vigilance. But it’s more than just a privacy thing.
  54. 54. different people care about different things Filtering matters too. Different people care about different things.
  55. 55. Some of my friends care about my code, and how paging works when fetching Twitter contacts -
  56. 56. - some of my friends care about my photos... of cracks in the floor. But not everyone cares about everything.
  57. 57. let users create custom groups of their contacts What if we let users create custom groups of their contacts to match how they think of people in the real world.
  58. 58. • family • friends • coworkers • exgirlfriends • programmers • photographers These are some groups that I might want, but others would have different groups.
  59. 59. • everyone - coworkers • friends - friends of exgirlfriends • coworkers + programmers • family + friends + photographers • college friends ∩ people in NYC These are some of the social context based on those groups In the last one, that upside down U is the symbol for an intersection in set theory - it’s just the people in both groups. If most of my friends from college are still in California, I don’t want to invite *all* of them to this alumni event.
  60. 60. add/remove “friends” based on those groups/sets So *this* is the most interesting part. Use the websites’ API’s again to add or remove people as friends based on the groups. So Wanderli.st can let users say Make my vacation photos on this one Flickr account public to the world, But hide the photos from that party on my private Flickr account from almost everyone except these groups.
  61. 61. • everyone - coworkers • friends - friends of exgirlfriends • coworkers + programmers • family + friends + photographers • college friends ∩ people in NYC And then I get this. (explain each group) My relationships are managed from one central place, defining my “friendships” on third- party sites, based on the real-world contexts in which I actually know people.
  62. 62. (take a deep breath) So that’s Wanderli.st.
  63. 63. let other sites worry about content! To be clear, Wanderli.st never needs to interact directly with content to be useful.
  64. 64. aggregators sites for content sharing contact management I understand the social Internet as having three layers. Aggregators, sites for content sharing, and contact management. The middle layer is the websites where people actually create and share content. The aggregation tools in the top layer bring all of that content into one place.
  65. 65. And here are some examples of these services.
  66. 66. And these aggregators get information from the content providers.
  67. 67. Wanderli.st just synchronizes the relationship data with the content providers, but doesn’t interact with the content itself. The aggregators can do that. It’s a separate task.
  68. 68. why Wanderli.st?
  69. 69. why Wanderli.st? • separate connections from content • no single point of failure • users own their data • manageable privacy and filtering • a more distributed and open Internet So why Wanderli.st? 1) Separate connections between people from the content they share. Otherwise it will eventually meet the same fate as Facebook 2) No single point of failure - bad things can happen to good databases, privacy exploits. 3) Data lock-in is evil. Let users take their information wherever they want. 4) Privacy at the account level, not as an additional layer. If I’m friends with you, you can see my content. None of these additional confusing layers and hidden privacy settings. 5) Create a more distributed and open Internet!
  70. 70. next steps... Next steps include: 1) Add more to the prototype. 2) Get some angel funding. 3) Hire developers.
  71. 71. thank you! ITP, Jorge Ortiz, Clay Shirky, Kio Stark, Kevin Slavin, Kathleen Wilson, Nancy Hechinger, John Dimatos, Thomas Robertson, Liesje Hodgson, Meredith Hasson, Bryan Lence, Jorge Just, Angela Chen, Daniel Arcé, Diego Rioja, Jill Haefele, Nicholas Rubin, Jason Safir, Zoe Fraade-Blanar, Winslow Porter, Peter Esveld, Amy Lehrburger, Karen Lehrburger, and Jim Lehrburger Thank You
  72. 72. questions?

×