The greatest challenge for developers of Social Network Enablement software will be to allow each of us to portray our knowledge and our network(s) any way we want to represent them.
Dave Pollard has clearly been thinking about this for a while. It is an excellent description of how customization should work. Each of us like their personal information (contacts in this case) displayed in a certain way, whether that is a simple list of names or the more fanciful version Dave presents:
The point is that we should be able to do this - and not just with contact information, but our entire information space. I really like PersonalBrain for letting me do some fun things with laying out my files and thoughts and weblinks. But it doesn't integrate with my personal information management tool (Outlook) very well.
Maybe this is asking too much, to expect technology to accommodate personal styles of thinking, communicating, and organizing. I think we can and should ask no less. The technology is there to serve us, damn it. And imagine what the 'translation' software could teach us about how we communicate and how we learn, and about the 'signal loss' in both and how it could be reduced!