Seattle Times tech writer skims over the social software field

· The Power of Many

Not much new (though the “so last year” line is good)—but have we already noted XFN “rel” tags?

Social networking sounds like a roundabout term for dating, and in some ways it is. A new Web site, Friendster.com, connects friends of friends in an ever-widening spoke-and-wheel linkage that draws on but goes beyond elements of pioneers Classmates.com and Match.com.

Despite its founder’s protests, though, Friendster retains the feel of friends “setting up” friends online.

In some ways, Friendster is already so last year. Tribe.net may be the true friend connector, purporting to connect people looking for all kinds of things in common. A lot of its tribal connectivity has to do more with transactions, however, than sociability.

For Web loggers, XFN—the XHTML Friends Network—enables coding links to other bloggers with a “rel” (relationship) tag. With enough participation, tagging eventually can permit virtual friendship-building.

Also includes name-drop of Meetup, MoveOn, and Freecycle. (Via Online Business Networking Blog. Links added.)