How to pick friends

myfolks selector

Imagine, you’re back from a trip abroad and want to tell your friends about all the fascinating experiences that you have made (and you either don’t have a blog for that purpose or don’t want to publish it publicly). Usually, that means you have to go through your entire address book and select the appropriate persons. However, if your computer knew about your relationships it could help you a lot with this task.

How could a user interface for this case look like? Here are some propositions (and some problems to discuss!).

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auto-pilot for your relationships

For a healthy relationship, you should leave a short notice for your friends at least once in a while. But — huh — somtimes, days are really packed and you tend to forget things like that anyway…

Why not let your digital companion take on some routine care taking? Computers are well versed with keep alive customs:

The “keep-alive” keyword […] allows the sender to indicate its desire for a persistent connection.

Here is how it works:
keepalive scenario
With the socially aware address book (from my Master’s Thesis) it will know who your friends are–and you will be able to describe your social aspirations, too. You then only need to define where you store interesting images or your latest writings or what you’re currently occupied with and the system will start sending off short notices every now and then.
If your friend happens to implement the same digital assistant (second line in the picture), your digital sidekicks might end up in a circle of automatic messages and reponses, chatting along on their own. Bypassing your human existence altoghther…
But your assistant can also propose some more personal messages that require your contribution (as depicted in the last line).

After all, some digital support is better than neglecting your remote friends too much, isn’t it?
(discussion declared open…)

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open doors for friends

access scenario - part1

When moving aroud a lot it would be nice to sit down just anywhere, open the laptop and go online instantly. At least in the cities we find often a couple of access points in the neighbourhood but they are usually locked. For good reasons because how do you know what other people will do on the web via your connection?


Let’s do…

scenario: swim together small

Of what use is a well structured address book, as it will result from my master thesis research? We engage in a lot of our activities jointly with our friends; different cliques that form anew each time we start out for a new band to discover or quite stable teams for sports. Today, we have to collect all necessary addresses by hand or rely on static groups that we configured in advance before we can send a group email or SMS. A socially aware digital assistant (e.g. on our mobile phone) could keep track of our communication and would be able to make some good guesses about these groups and theire dynamic developments. For our activity planning we could use our address book group-oriented compared to individual-oriented.