The Daily Ping

The Ping is self-aware.

August 15th, 2003


I fought it. I kept hearing about “Friendster” and got invited to join, but I avoided it. It just seemed too lame.

Until I gave in and signed up, that is.

Friendster, in short, is a site that shows you a network of friends-of-friends-of-friends(-of-friends). You sign up, tell what members you’re friends with, they verify it, everyone writes something nice about each other, and the idea is you meet other people with similar interests that are some degree of separation between from you.

Sounds like a dating service, huh? I think that was its intended purpose, initially. But as a happily married man, I decided to sign up and try to see if a.) any old, old friends from elementary school had signed up and b.) if I could get back in touch with any friends-of-friends that I might happen upon while browsing my “personal network.” Neither of those things has happened in my first twelve hours, but I did experience a semi-interesting coincidence.

I recently heard from a friend from middle/high school, so when I joined Friendster, I searched for him first and added him. Later in the evening when I was searching out college friends, I realized that my middle/high school friend has a friend who has a friend that knows my college friend. Yeah, there are a few degrees of separation there, but never in my mind could I have formed a link between Apurva Dave and Rob Martin. Now I can, and in fewer degrees than with Kevin Bacon!

Check it out. Even if you’re not actively looking for someone to date, this network has really grown and morphed in purpose. It’s even got its own set of pranksters (I was thise close to making “duct tape” a friend of mine). And if you feel the desire to add me as a friend (a few Pingers are already listed), you know my name.

Posted in Technology

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