About the ASN
The ideas behind the ASN came out of a two year process facilitated by the Link Tank, a group of two dozen professionals in the fields of digital communications, environmental activism, independent media, and socially responsible investment, who met regularly to discuss how a "next generation" Internet could support appropriate responses to the environmental crisis. The group commissioned three of its members to prepare a white paper that demonstrates the feasibility of the ASN's vision of online community by describing a technical architecture that could achieve this vision. The paper was presented at the PlaNetwork Conference "Networking a Sustainable Future" in June, 2003.
The ASN concept generated a great deal of excitement, and by the conference's end the most asked question on the floor was: how do we make the ASN a reality? This enthusiastic response has led the launch of a new PlaNetwork project, the Initiative for an Augmented Social Network. IFASN will be a clearinghouse for ASN-related activities. It will also act as a catalyst for work that contributes to the implementation of the ASN vision.
This site will be the home of IFASN -- an online clearinghouse and discussion center for a range of subjects that relate directly to the ASN vision. Background for the ASN encompasses both technical and social subjects. In particular, we think certain technologies are immediately relevant: persistent identity, interoperability of community software, brokering, matching, ontologies, social network theory and communities of practice. In the coming weeks we'll be adding more content to the site.