Mahalo to Conor O’Neill for pointing out this post from John Breslin entitled The Future of Social Networks on the Internet: The Need for Semantics which connected me to Jyri Engeström’s essay on Why some social network services work and others don’t — Or: the case for object-centered sociality . Both opened my eyes a bit as I continue the ponder the usefulness and feasibility of a monolingual Hawaiian language communication system. I had been looking at how we were going to create a service that would be useful enough to our young speakers to perhaps entice them to cut down on their MySpace and Facebook time and engage with other speakers of the Hawaiian language on our system using Hawaiian. The issue is that like most of society, Hawaiian speakers have a wide range of interests beyond the language – movies, music, sports, the opposite sex, etc. – and by restricting our service to Hawaiian speakers we drastically reduce their pool of potential correspondents.
This graphic showing an object-centered social network is intriguing and made me realize that we are going to be at least one and at most a few of the nodes by which Hawaiian speakers will be connected, and through their circle of contacts perhaps attract more speakers of the language, or those perhaps interested in learning it. We don’t compete with the dominant social networks of the day, but simply provide the means by which speakers of our language can communicate when they do choose to use it.