Monday, February 11, 2008

Anti-social networking

Just because you are part of a social network doesn't mean you want to be social. And maybe you do want to socialize but do so without sharing personal information. There are times you might want to engage in a conversation but keep your identity confidential. No, not just when you want to be represented someone you are not (like a dating service) but when anonymity keeps the interaction flowing.

One such request came through a listserve that I am part of where the individual is seeking a 'white brand" social networking software that can ensure anonymity yet promote social interaction.

He wants to develop an invitation only community that allowa participants to enage in discussion under "Chatham House Rules" environment. Under these rules, "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held ... participants are free to use the informationreceived, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s),nor that of any other participant, may be revealed." The idea is to allowfor frank, in-depth discussions without concerns of having such remarks attributed to individuals and/or making their way into the press.(

Now elgg can accomodate this - to a degree - through the user access controls and the ability to create anonymous profiles. I'm interested in how this can happen and have offered to assist this poster. I'll let you know if more comes of this.

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