2006-07-07

a list of friendster's patents on social networking - they own you!

RED HERRING | Friendster Wins Patent
The U.S. patent, which was awarded June 27, is extremely general, and would seem to cover the activities of many other sites, especially those like LinkedIn that allow people to connect within a certain number of degrees of separation.

the floundering soc-net pioneer, friendster, has been awarded a patent. a patent!?! [sigh]

my reading of the actual patent (always entertaining) leads me to believe that it covers a *very wide range* of soc-net activities including:

  • database implementation of the x-degrees of separation model
  • search implementation of the x-degrees list
  • storing and sharing of profiles
  • storage of the friend links
  • sharing the friend links as html hyperlinks
  • storage of email addresses of friends
  • sending/resending invitations to friends
  • alerting users of accepted invitations
  • and more!

the above list reads like the details of any online community. so i guess we can all stop building communities now, eh? unless we want to pay friendster, of course.

sometimes i think the u.s. government is just plain *clueless* when it comes to 'tech' and 'the new economy.'

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