creating explicit connectors

On Friendster, one often sees fake characters that operate as connectors due to a shared interest in a given topic. Simpsons fans might all link to Bart. Likewise, you see “urban tribe” connectors (members of Infinite Kaos connect with the character o the similar name). I’ve also seen alumni characters (Brown University is the one fake character i link to). What made me happy this morning is how explicit people are getting about the purpose of these connecctors.

Black is a character on Friendster whose “about me” profile reads:

Hey ladies, Black is a connector node on the network, not a real person. The sole purpose of this profile page is to create a place where black women seeking women can find each other easily on the Friendster network. If someone suggested a match for you and Black, and you’re interested in adding your profile to the list of fine-ass sistas in Black’s friend list, then add Black Women (first name Black, last name Women) right now! We want to meet you! You can also use to add Black Women.

Of course, this presents a very interesting situation re: Friendster’s dating model. Black is purposely there to help the dating process, but it also collapses the network. Good? Bad? Appropriate only because the number of people identifying with Black will be small?

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