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Jamais wrote, earlier:

"Mesh-to-Mesh" — social network applications, like Twitter, structured as overlapping peer networks. Living in the space between one-to-one and many-to-many, mesh-to-mesh networks serve as a medium for discovering & creating new network connections, and bridging otherwise distinct communities.

…questions and responses to someone on my Twitter who’s part of one community (say, eco-bloggers) are visible everyone on my Twitter list, across the full array of represented communities. If they aren’t already linked, they’ll only see my half of the conversation, but (in my experience) speaking directly to someone often leads to some folks on my network becoming part of theirs.

And that got me thinking about something else. How long until enough open source Twitter clone systems stabilise enough to decentralise Twitter itself? I remember hearing about two that were at least being tested and shaken out. I’m talking now not about attempts to gouge out some of Twitter’s "business," but Twitter-like systems that individuals and groups can run privately. Groups of mobile friends and fellow-travellers dropping off the Twitter network entirely into small, private de-meshed teams. How far away is that?

Published in people I know researchmaterial


  1. I’m thinking about just treating the text line that IM clients let you use when setting presence as a twitter client by writing a script that watches it and reposts the text to whatever the Twitter du jour is this week. No reason why a client couldn’t be written that a group of people can friend (or whatever they call it on the various IM networks), which collects a log of people’s presence activity and turns it into a web page. It doesn’t even have to be clever — it could just output a new static web page and RSS feed ever time there’s a change and upload it to some cheap static hosting.

  2. @John – this script here does exactly that.. so long as your IM Client is Pidgin and your OS is Linux ;)

    @Warren – now, where else did i read about meshing IM networks recently?!

    it’s an interest idea that Jamais is proposing.. basically a Dark SNS.
    not that you can’t do the same thing just by turning on Protected Updates and only letting your collaborators in?!

  3. correction – i got confused.. the Dark SNS is all YOU. mea culpa

    continuing though, i guess your main point with this is that it’s open-sourced, and privately hosted or something?

    vs the central server of Twitter, et al.

    basically Bittorrent vs Napster.

  4. If I can believe where is about, it would be to implement basicly the type of feature asked for here.

    Anyway, has already the possibility to create closed networks that aren’t even listed at all. (Though, I’m wondering what happens if you know the url…)

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