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Computing Thoughts
AntiSocial Networking
by Bruce Eckel
April 7, 2009
I have yet to toot my first tweet. Most of social networking has been lost on me. Too much noise, not enough signal.


Which, I suppose, means that there's an unmet need out there. The problem with most of the social networking systems is that they rapidly try to get big or to at least appear big by getting lots of people involved as quickly and easily as possible.

That's not what I want. I want something that doesn't try to suck up all my time with as much frivolous detritus as it can generate. I want something that's really, truly only going to connect me to friends I actually care about, not everyone on the planet who has ever heard of me. And I want the UI to be roughly the same as Craigslist (which should make the implementation easier). I just want to read the text that real friends write; I don't need lots of bells and whistles.

I would also like layers. One layer would be people here in Crested Butte, so if someone says "Going to the Princess at 8pm" it will be interesting to me. At the other extreme, people worldwide in the Python community, so if I'm traveling I can mention it to them (somehow localizing it to where I actually am, so only the people within driving distance will pick it up) as in "anyone up for dinner tomorrow night?"

The problem I have with Facebook and Twitter is that I don't see it serving me that well. The next big thing in social networking will serve my needs first and foremost and make me see it as all upside, no downside.

(The most unpleasant social networking experience was the first: LinkedIn, which allows you to easily sign up but apparently you have to CALL THEM ON THE PHONE to get off! Which only serves LinkedIn by keeping their so-called numbers high. Definitely not serving me. When someone starts thinking of ONLY serving the customer, then I'm interested).

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About the Blogger

Bruce Eckel ( provides development assistance in Python with user interfaces in Flex. He is the author of Thinking in Java (Prentice-Hall, 1998, 2nd Edition, 2000, 3rd Edition, 2003, 4th Edition, 2005), the Hands-On Java Seminar CD ROM (available on the Web site), Thinking in C++ (PH 1995; 2nd edition 2000, Volume 2 with Chuck Allison, 2003), C++ Inside & Out (Osborne/McGraw-Hill 1993), among others. He's given hundreds of presentations throughout the world, published over 150 articles in numerous magazines, was a founding member of the ANSI/ISO C++ committee and speaks regularly at conferences.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2009 Bruce Eckel. All rights reserved.

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