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Magic FAQ

Personal information exchange - the essential missing part of social networking profiles.
  [vote for,

When people communicate face to face, it is natural for them to reciprocate and exchange information bit by bit. For example, if the other person asks me where I'm from, I ask the same in return; if I ask the person's occupation, I expect to be asked bout mine, and so we continue disclosing detail after detail to each other.

This trading of information (in barter) happens naturally when we communicate face to face, but we have no time-efficient way of doing this on-line. All what modern social networks provide is the possibility to set visibility of your static information of your profile, and if you want to share something else, you have to retype or copy-paste the information you want to share each time you want to do it, and that's a waste of time.

So, here is an idea: profiles should contain a "magic FAQ." Any vistor of your profile should be able to add a publicly invisible question to your magic FAQ; you would be notified, and have an option to answer it, both replying the questions and building your FAQ at the same time (one shot-two birds). The publicly invisible conversation could continue much like a hierarchical comments, forming a hierarchy that you possess. The next time someone asks a similar question (i.e., adds a question to your FAQ), you could tell the system that it's just another way to ask the same thing, and reuse your previous answer with a click of a button. A different follow-up question? No problem -- the data structure like pHTN (probabilistic hierarchical task network, which is just hierarchically arranged lists with probabilities of each element in the lower level of the hierarchy) can handle this, and even learn to autosuggest you to reuse your most preferred answer (three birds?).

An expected result of this idea, is that even celebrities, who don't have enough time to chat with every fan, would suddenly have time to communicate personally, in this semi-automated manner.

P.S.: This idea is a result of mass spamming, and at the same time thinking of how to save people's time.

[Reminded by Profemaile, 2005]

Inyuki, Sep 22 2012

Profemaile Profemaile
("Professional E-mail.") [Inyuki, Sep 22 2012, last modified Sep 23 2012]


       Are you pro female? [+]
4and20, Sep 22 2012

       Oh yes! (Psst)
Inyuki, Sep 23 2012

       Sounds like you need a faq about faq such as:   

       What are faqs? If they are frequently asked why don't people already have the answers? Why do people ask frequently if there is a list of faq? With what frequency do people ask questions? If people stop asking a question because it is a faq is it still a faq? Is it necessary to say frequently asked when simply frequent questions would do? How frequently must I ask a question to make the faq?
rcarty, Sep 23 2012

Inyuki, Sep 23 2012

       Faqs about faqs?
rcarty, Sep 23 2012

       :-( That's not essential thing. The essential thing is that visibility of answers is not public by default, and you can trade disclosures of the answers with a click of a button sequentially, in exchange for disclosures of some other information of another person, like in ping-pong.
Inyuki, Sep 23 2012

       The existence of information does not automatically confer a right to be made aware of it.
Phrontistery, Sep 23 2012

       [Phrontistery], and the too long description is to blame. How I wish that we had a super-abstract language, in which we could write things very concisely and completely at the same time.
Inyuki, Sep 24 2012

       It's not that, I simply wonder at the vast and intimate level of detail people are now unhesitatingly prepared to share online with complete strangers. Despite all the now-well-known risks, they continue to do so and the news fills with runaway schoolgirls/stalkers/identity theft and actual burglary. The moment at which someone becomes known and trusted has eroded almost to immediacy. Your idea is without doubt fitting to the times but IMO it shouldn't be; it's a roller coaster that won't stop.
Phrontistery, Sep 24 2012

       Indeed. It goes without saying that in order to reduce this risk, users should be able to retract the already-shared answers, and edit them any time. It seems system like Google Plus can support that (unlike Diaspora, which was intended for more privacy, but cannot do that.)
Inyuki, Sep 24 2012

       So users can change their minds and FAQ off? Excellent.
Phrontistery, Sep 25 2012

       Oh oh. Yes.
Inyuki, Sep 25 2012


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