How do I know you?

by @edent | # # # | 16 comments | Read ~298 times.

I don’t have a great memory. I often meet people who remember me, but I don’t remember them. I’ve had whole conversations with people who clearly know me, but on whom I’ve drawn a blank.

My phone’s address book has a “notes” field, and mine is peppered with little aide memoirs about the people I’ve met. Things like this:

Was dating X. Rides horses. Lives in Y

Bald guy, worked on X together

Met at this conference, works for X, Daughter reads maths and physics

And, I guess we’ve all got a contact like this, right?
Geoff Don't Answer.

(Sorry, Geoff!)

But there’s no way to do that on Twitter or LinkedIn or any other social network I’m aware of.

Wouldn’t that be useful? How many times have you stared at a digital acquaintance and wondered “how do I know you? Why do I follow you? Who the hell are you??!”

What I want is a private note field on your social network so I can say “Worked with them on Project X” or “Met at Dave’s party. Married to Jon(?)”. I’d also like to know why I muted or blocked someone – “Only talks about football” or “Holds the wrong opinion about NeoGeo games.”

I wonder if there’s a GDPR issue that stops services offering this. I asked on Twitter:

And got an array of contradictory replies!

Is this something you’d find useful? If so, what’s stopping companies from offering it?

16 thoughts on “How do I know you?

  1. Feels like something that would be safer as a browser extension?

  2. Richard says:

    Reddit has that – you can add a “custom flair” to another user, so you’ll see your comment next to their username next time they post.

  3. @Edent Judging by Tusky, it would seem Mastodon supports such private notes

  4. bob says:

    even with a great memory some of us just meet a lot of people so don’t remember instantly. I just go with the flow and hope someone else mentions their name or at some point I will ask.

  5. Yes! Have often wished for exactly this. It nay we’ll be a GDPR nightmare – eg would you be able to raise a subject access request for the notes anyone made about you in the field on Twitter?

  6. Poor Geoff, he’s been selected as the cover of this post 😀 It would be a very useful service imo

  7. oh my word, finally something useful for Google Glass – facial recognition + who the heck are you notes. When you do a lot of public speaking it becomes especially confusing as people will approach you as if you know each other and you don’t at all, they’ve just seen you on stage

  8. LinkedIn used to have this feature. Not sure why they took out away.…

  9. Gods yes, this would be so useful. And yes, as Emma mentioned, would be a very helpful addition to AR lenses. Yet another reason I want to live in that scifi future 😊

  10. 456 says:

    But there’s no way to do that on Twitter or LinkedIn or any other social network I’m aware of.

    Some dating apps offer a ‘notes’ feature – e.g. Grindr.

  11. Sven says:

    Is this something you’d find useful? If so, what’s stopping companies from offering it?

    Are companies stopped from offering it, though? Personal CRM (customer relationship management) software and services is a thing. Dex is a commercial one, Monica an open-source alternative, and there’s a handful of other contenders out there.

  12. josh says:

    discord and steam have this in different forms, I think

  13. I store people’s Twitter handles as a “nickname” in my contacts, where there is also a notes field, so I can quickly look them up. It keeps the notes central, and they get backed up when I back up my contacts.

    But now I want to know what the note in your phone’s address book says, next to my name!

  14. Marc says:

    Not a social network but Steam of all places offers this. Very handy!

  15. Paul says:

    GDPR is the new Schleswig-Holstein question.

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