A while ago Friendster integrated a spectacularly useless search engine feature.
They also added a woefully ill-considered little widget to go with it, which occasionally displays a box on profiles that lists the top 10 searches in the user's network. Apparently they cast a pretty wide net in determining who is "in your network" and a lot of the same searches pop up on different people's profiles. Or at least that's what you should tell people when they ask why your search list is full of venereal diseases.
Tracking infection vectors via social networking is definitely not a new idea, but it's apparent now that Friendster is sufficiently mature to start tuning this feature. Maybe they can start keeping track of individual's risk factors and generate a score ranging from the coveted "Raping me cures AIDS" to the dreaded "Anna Nicole Smith's Vagina".
Possible meta-data may include; how many private messages you exchange with strangers, the frequency of changes in relationship status, and how well your friendsters all score.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.