New: Puzzlehunts are Everywhere: Save the Burninators

In case you're wondering why my Facebook Status says "Save the Burninators", I just finished an IM conversation with Ian Tullis. He says that most of the Burninators headed into San Francisco this morning for some kind of National Treasure treasure-hunt dealie, and they haven't been heard from since. A naive person might think that they're just hanging out and solving puzzles somewhere. But I'm pretty sure that they've been kidnapped by Evil Hollywood Producers and that a rag-tag band of second-tier puzzle solvers will have to rescue them in a later stage of this puzzle hunt. Thus:

Save the Burninators

Speaking of Social Networks, if you're interested in what I was going to say about them back when I was talking about all of those rel="me" links...

A service that looks like the Links section of my Contact would be very helpful if someone wants to join a new social network and wants to ease the chore of connecting with their friends who are already on that social network.

Suppose that there is this service that allows you to set up a page that links to all of your profiles. Let's call that your "star" page since it links out to many pages and looks kind of like a star on a network graph. And on each of your social network profile pages, you link to this "star" page. More importantly, your friends do likewise.

Suppose that I about to join the (fictional, I think) social network dickr, where haggling enthusiasts exchange news about local bargains. I want to know which of my Friendster friends are also on dickr. I should be able to ask Friendster to figure this out: generate a report:

foreach f in my friendster friends:
  for each link l in f's profile page which f has marked as "theirs":
    visit page l.  for each link l' on page l:
      is it a link to dickr?  if so, remember that link

I should then be able to give this bucket of links to dickr and it can use that to suggest a list of people on its network that I want to befriend.

Why might Friendster want to give away this information? Because otherwise, dickr will probably ask me to type in my friendster name and password--and if I'm a typical overly-trusting internet citizen, I'll probably hand it over.

How would this "star"-page service make money? I don't know. Maybe humans would visit these pages, too. Humans might be curious to see what-all networks their friends belong to.

I thought that maybe the site provided these "star" pages--they are a social network site that allows you to link to your social network profiles. But I don't see an easy way for a computer program to get the links, it looks like socialurl kind of obscures the links. But they don't obscure the links very well... I can't tell if they're deliberately making it difficult or if they're just being obnoxious.

Anyhow, spread the word: Save the Burninators

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Posted 2007-12-04