The primates of Twitter

Henry Halff, Larry‘s dad, makes a very interesting comment:

It’s been proposed (sorry that I can’t dig up the reference) that we humans in our earlier days formed bonds amongst ourselves through mutual grooming and that these grooming circles were limited in size to about 50.

It’s also said that, as we evolved, our hands became far too, well, handy, to fritter away in grooming. So, our ancestors came to maintain their social bonds by inventing speech and yammering at each other whilst they were using their hands to make tools, stir pots, change diapers, whatever.

It turns out, in fact, (again, sorry I can’t dig up the reference) that our conversations are still dominated by inconsequential blather, what some might call “noise.” This noise, as you point out, is ideally suited to maintaining social bonds.

What is interesting about all this is that what with all the twitter posts from mobile phones and keyboards is that we apparently have returned to using our hands to maintain social bonds. Perhaps its because we don’t want to waste our voices on such mundanities. for friends!

Was thinking… wouldn’t it be kind of interesting if there were an attention aggregator for your friending behavior? I mean, being able to see who you’ve friended at many social networks and then inferring other folks you might want to meet would be pretty useful — and as we tend to say — would accelerate serendipity.

And this would go beyond simple XFNing someone — this would actual include identifying and measuring your behavior with and towards each friend over time… for example, do you message them often? Do you recommend links? Who do you always invite or add first?

Anyway, I think I’d like to be able to get friend recommendations and make new connections — kind of like an accelerated LinkedIn… oh well, maybe that’s just me.

Amazon’s Endless brilliance

Amazon's login used for

Amazon launched an offshoot brand today called Endless that focuses on shoes and handbags.

Yes, it’s an Amazon-powered boutique. Yikes.

Executed properly this could be the start of something big. Think about it — little microcosmic communities dedicated to a subset of products — all unified with *your Amazon login*.

Imagine this, faithful shopper: gone are the days of independent account logins, of reentering your credit cards and shipping addresses, or worrying about customer service or flaky sellers. It’s not franchising the brand, it’s franchising the supply chain management and procurement might of Amazon all through a simple, standard API. And Amazon gets to play God — picking who can make use of that incredible resource and start secondary commercial offerings.

TechCrunch misses the point, only thinking that an shoe anywhere else is an just an shoe with window-dressing. But in reality, this goes far beyond that — and starts to build out new contexts for old habits with new behaviors to emerge. And with the benefit of all the customer data that’s been collected over the years, the attractiveness of building A-grade aStores could become huge.

Played right, this could be big. If not huge. Federated shopping with one identity.

Put it in this context… what if someone launched a slicker version of Flickr… more narrowly focused perhaps… but built entirely off the Flickr API… using BBAuth, the Flickr API and the host of other Yahoo! services? And let’s just assume that this little derivative app had some real promise? And, unlike Zooomr, you didn’t need to start the photo database over from zero, you could pull from the rich store of photos already on Flickr — but through an entirely new community interface? You could essentially keep Flickr going and then build up a whole new independent business that was just as profitable, simply growing the pie without cutting into the original. This, this is the power and promise of this idea — and with identity tying it all togther, well, it’s very interesting, indeed.