social protocol

A social protocol, according to Joseph Reagle, is a protocol to "enable individuals and communities to express social capabilities. This would include tools necessary for creating rich content, managing trust relationships, making verifiable assertions or recommendations, and enabling agent assisted (or automatic) decision making. The ability to make verifiable assertions, to build reputation, to solicit advice, and defer to a trusted source are all real world capabilities. This is what meat space relationships are built upon. If we want sophisticated cyberspace relationships, we will need similar mechanisms."

This explanation seems to dovetail more with Internet protocol and W3 thinking but also seems to describe a superset of diplomatic protocol or organization protocol that could be used to bridge the gap between terms used in software and in politics. The term civilization protocol has even come into use at Harvard to describe the most general type of such social protocols.

Reagle lists as related issues:
  • Cranor's thoughts on content and privacy issues.
  • Lawrence Lessig's thoughts on "code as law."
  • Resnick's work on meta-data, trust management, and policy.
  • Friedman's thoughts on bias in computer design and the autonomy of computer agents.
  • Agre's thoughts on many things (including Internet culture, processes, standards, human interaction, and privacy). "

Dina Mehta on her blog quotes Guy de Maupassant on the topic:

"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?"

See also: Social Software for Geniuses, Living Platform in Practice and usefulness of trolling