From Social Web XG Wiki
Some characteristics of social networks as we know them today:
- Anonymous: the user is not expected to give identifying information about herself; this may impact the possibility to be found; the network of relations maintained by the platform is likely to be either smaller or unrelated to relations that exists outside of the platform.
- Identity-based: the user is expected to give identifying information about herself, at the very least enough to be found by others
- Unidirectional: the user can mark someone as a relation, without requiring approval from the target of that relation
- Bidrectional: the user can only mark someone as a relation if that person explicitly approves it.
Social Networks may implement a number of functions that can be implemented by discrete technologies:
- Single Sign-On: OpenID, FOAF+SSL
- Data Portability Format: FOAF, PortableContacts, vCard
- Data Portability API: OpenSocial API
- Secure Data Interaction: OAuth
- Presence and Activity: OpenSocial API