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Publication numberWO2005083608 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/KR2005/000493
Publication date9 Sep 2005
Filing date24 Feb 2005
Priority date27 Feb 2004
Publication numberPCT/2005/493, PCT/KR/2005/000493, PCT/KR/2005/00493, PCT/KR/5/000493, PCT/KR/5/00493, PCT/KR2005/000493, PCT/KR2005/00493, PCT/KR2005000493, PCT/KR200500493, PCT/KR5/000493, PCT/KR5/00493, PCT/KR5000493, PCT/KR500493, WO 2005/083608 A1, WO 2005083608 A1, WO 2005083608A1, WO-A1-2005083608, WO2005/083608A1, WO2005083608 A1, WO2005083608A1
InventorsHyung-Jae Jo
ApplicantHyung-Jae Jo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Acquaintance network system
WO 2005083608 A1
Abstract
Disclosed is an acquaintance network system. The acquaintance network system in accordance with the present invention sets an acquaintance relationship between individuals already having been acquainted offline with each other to form an acquaintance relationship online, and allows two individuals having no prior acquaintance with each other to form a new acquaintance relationship by offering an acquaintance relationship path between the two individuals. Further, the present invention makes it possible to achieve various effects by linking the acquaintance network system with other online systems such as a network marketing system.
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
Claims
[1] An acquaintance network system comprising: an acquaintance relationship setup unit for setting an acquaintance relationship between users already having been acquainted offline with each other; an acquaintance information database for storing acquaintance information of each user set by the acquaintance relationship setup unit; an acquaintance relationship retrieval unit for generating an acquaintance relationship path between a requestor and a requestee having no prior acquaintance with the requestor by making reference to the acquaintance information stored in the acquaintance information database; and an acquaintance relationship path presentation unit for presenting the acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee, which is generated by the acquaintance relationship retrieval unit. [2] The acquaintance network system of claim 1, further comprising a profit- sharer setup unit for designating as a profit-sharer a single user selected from users for whom acquaintance relationships have been already set with each user. [3] The acquaintance network system of claim 1 or 2, wherein the acquaintance relationship includes information about a degree of intimacy. [4] The acquaintance network system of claim 3, wherein the acquaintance relationship path presentation unit presents acquaintance relationship paths in different displays according to the degree of intimacy. [5] The acquaintance network system of claim 1 or 2, wherein the acquaintance relationship path presentation unit presents up to a predetermined number of short acquaintance relationship paths among retrieved acquaintance relationship paths. [6] The acquaintance network system of claim 1 or 2, wherein the acquaintance relationship setup unit requests acquaintance relationship setup from the requestee having no prior acquaintance with the requestor at a request of the requestor, and forms an acquaintance relationship between the requestor and the requestee if the requestee permits setting of the acquaintance relationship. [7] The acquaintance network system of claim 1 or 2, further comprising a member management unit for processing member registration/member information update at a user's member registration/member information update request, and for managing a user accessing the acquaintance network system by making reference to the access ID and password given to each member.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Description ACQUAINTANCE NETWORK SYSTEM Technical Field

[1] The present invention relates to an acquaintance network system capable of forming an acquaintance relationship using networked human resources and allowing two individuals having no prior acquaintance with each other to form a new acquaintance relationship by providing an acquaintance relationship path between the two individuals. Background Art

[2] Acquaintance relationships formed with other persons in general can help in social life. For example, new acquaintance relationships can be formed through business introduction services, business partnerships, civil affairs, information sharing, dating services, or marketing activities using a personal acquaintance relationship. If the formation of such new acquaintance relationships can be implemented online, users can form new acquaintance relationships more efficiently without the need to meet or call each other. Further, it is possible to obtain a benefit from the synergy achieved by combining the newly formed acquaintance relationship with various networking techniques.

[3] Conventionally, there have been techniques for forming various acquaintance relationships between members of Internet communities, such as friend-to-friend relationships, brotherhood relationships, or brother-sister relationships. Disclosure of Invention Technical Problem

[4] However, in the conventional techniques, users cannot be informed of acquaintance relationship paths between themselves and other anonymous users with whom prior acquaintances have not been established. Technical Solution

[5] Accordingly, the present inventor has made researches on an acquaintance network system capable of setting an acquaintance relationship between individuals already having been acquainted offline with each other to form an acquaintance relationship online, and allowing two individuals having no prior acquaintance with each other to form a new acquaintance relationship by offering an acquaintance relationship path between the two individuals using a personal acquaintance relationship.

[6] The present invention has been made in view of the above-mentioned purpose. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an acquaintance network system capable of setting an acquaintance relationship between individuals already having been acquainted offline with each other to form an acquaintance relationship online, and allowing two individuals having no prior acquaintance with each other to form a new acquaintance relationship by offering an acquaintance relationship path between the two individuals using a personal acquaintance relationship.

[7] It is another object of the present invention to provide an acquaintance network system capable of designating as a profit-sharer a single user selected from users for whom acquaintance relationships have been already set so that profits generated by marketing activities can be shared with the selected profit- sharer.

[8] In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, there is provided an acquaintance network system which sets an acquaintance relationship between users already having been acquainted offline with each other, stores acquaintance information of each user, creates and provides an acquaintance relationship path between a requestor and a person retrieved by the system who has no prior acquaintance with the requestor by making reference to the acquaintance information.

[9] Accordingly, the acquaintance network system according to the present invention allows two individuals having no prior acquaintance with each other to form a new acquaintance relationship.

[10] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an acquaintance network system which designates as a profit-sharer a single user selected from users for whom acquaintance relationships have been already set with each user.

[11] Accordingly, the acquaintance network system according to the present invention makes it possible to share profits generated by marketing activities via a system linked with the acquaintance network system with the selected profit- sharer. Description of Drawings

[12] The present invention will become more apparent by describing in detail exemplary embodiments thereof with reference to the attached drawings in which:

[13] Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram showing an acquaintance network system in accordance with the present invention;

[14] Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing a construction of an acquaintance network system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[15] Fig. 3 is a flow chart showing operation of an acquaintance network system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

[16] Fig. 4 is an exemplary view showing acquaintance relationship paths formed by an acquaintance network system in accordance with the present invention. Best Mode

[17] Exemplary embodiments in accordance with the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. [18] Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram showing an acquaintance network system in accordance with the present invention.

[19] As shown in Fig. 1, an acquaintance network system 100 according to the present invention exists in a form of software which runs on a server connected over a network to a plurality of user computers 200.

[20] The acquaintance network system 100 receives from a user using the user computer 200 a request for acquaintance relationship setup with another user already having been acquainted offline with the user using the user computer 200. Subsequently, the acquaintance network system 100 notifies the request to the other user's computer using e-mail, notification, etc., and requests a response from the other user.

[21] Examples of the above-mentioned acquaintance relationship include business relationships, father-and-son relationships, mother-and-daughter relationships, brotherhood relationships, sisterhood relationships, friend-to-friend relationships, lover relationships, and relationships based on job offering/seeking, civil affairs, associations of like-minded people, etc.

[22] Upon receiving a response that permits the acquaintance relationship setup from the other user, the acquaintance network system 100 sets an acquaintance relationship between the other user and the user who has made the request via the user computer 200.

[23] Information about the acquaintance relationship of each user thus set is stored in a database.

[24] If a user (i.e., a requestor) requests the acquaintance network system 100 to retrieve another anonymous user (i.e., a requestee) having no prior acquaintance with the requestor, the acquaintance network system 100 makes reference to the information about the acquaintance relationship of each user stored in the database, generates an acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee, and sends the generated acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee to the user computer 200 of the requestor so that the requestor can view it.

[25] Accordingly, the acquaintance network system 100 allows two individuals (i.e., the requestor and the requestee), having no prior acquaintance with each other, to form a new acquaintance relationship by offering an acquaintance relationship path between the two individuals to the requestee.

[26] A detailed construction of the acquaintance network system 100 will now be described with reference to Fig. 2.

[27] Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing a construction of an acquaintance network system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[28] As shown in Fig. 2, the acquaintance network system 100 comprises an acquaintance relationship setup unit 110, an acquaintance information database 120, an acquaintance relationship retrieval unit 130, and an acquaintance relationship path presentation unit 140.

[29] The acquaintance relationship setup unit 110 sets an acquaintance relationship between users already having been acquainted offline with each other.

[30] That is, if a user accessing the acquaintance network system 100 selects an acquaintance relationship setup menu, the acquaintance network system 100 sends and displays a web page or a graphic user interface (GUI) for acquaintance relationship setup on the user computer 200 through the acquaintance relationship setup unit 110, and receives acquaintance relationship setup request information from the user computer 200 using the web page or GUI.

[31] The acquaintance relationship setup request information includes identification information about another user who has already been acquainted offline with a user and is expected to form an acquaintance relationship online with the user, and information about an acquaintance relationship item selected by the user from an offered acquaintance relationship list. Here, examples of the identification information include member name, member ID, and the like. Examples of the acquaintance relationship item include business relationships, father-and-son relationships, mother-and-daughter relationships, brotherhood relationships, sisterhood relationships, friend-to-friend relationships, lover relationships, and relationships based on job offering/seeking, civil affairs, associations of like-minded people, etc.

[32] The acquaintance network system 100 having received the above-mentioned information notifies the above-mentioned acquaintance relationship setup request information to the another user's computer using e-mail, notification, etc., requests and receives a response from the another user.

[33] Upon receiving a response that permits the acquaintance relationship setup from the another user's computer, the acquaintance network system 100 sets the acquaintance relationship between the two users through the acquaintance relationship setup unit 110, and stores acquaintance information of each user.

[34] The acquaintance information database 120 stores the acquaintance information of each user set by the acquaintance relationship setup unit 110.

[35] The acquaintance relationship retrieval unit 130 generates an acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee by making reference to the acquaintance information stored in the acquaintance information database 120.

[36] If a user (i.e., a requestor) accessing the acquaintance network system 100 selects an acquaintance relationship retrieval menu, the acquaintance network system 100 sends and displays on the user computer 200 a web page or GUI for receiving identification information, such as user name or ID, of another user (i.e., a requestee) to retrieve acquaintance relationship using the acquaintance relationship retrieval unit 130, and receives the identification information of the requestee to retrieve the acquaintance relationship.

[37] The requestee is a user having been acquainted with or not having been acquainted with the requestor.

[38] Upon receiving the identification information of the requestee from the user computer 200, the acquaintance network system 100 generates an acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee by making reference to the acquaintance information of each user stored in the acquaintance information database 120 using the acquaintance relationship retrieval unit 130.

[39] At this time, an algorithm of generating the acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee by making reference to the acquaintance information of each user stored in the database can be designed using various well-known mathematical/statistical models associated with data retrieval and a detailed description thereof will thus be omitted herein.

[40] The acquaintance relationship path presentation unit 140 presents an acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee, which is generated by the acquaintance relationship retrieval unit 130.

[41] That is, when an acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee is generated by the acquaintance relationship retrieval unit 130, the acquaintance network system 100 sends and displays the acquaintance relationship through the acquaintance relationship path presentation unit 140 to the user computer 200, which has requested the acquaintance network system 100 to retrieve the acquaintance relationship, so that the requestor can view the acquaintance relationship path leading to the requestee.

[42] The acquaintance relationship path shows how the requestor and the requestee having no prior acquaintance with each other form a relationship with each other. Fig. 4 is an exemplary view showing such acquaintance relationship paths.

[43] Referring to Fig. 4, a requestor A forms an acquaintance relationship with a requestee K through an acquaintance relationship path formed along the line from A through C, who has been acquainted with A, and H, who has been acquainted with C, to K, who has been acquainted with H.

[44] Accordingly, the acquaintance network system 100 allows two individuals (i.e., the requestor and the requestee) having no prior acquaintance with each other to form a new acquaintance relationship by offering an acquaintance relationship path between the two individuals to the requestee. Further, the acquaintance network system 100 can link with various online systems associated with business introduction services, business partnerships, civil affairs, information sharing, dating services, or marketing activities using such a new acquaintance relationship, thereby creating new value- added industries.

[45] Additionally, the present invention is also characterized in that the acquaintance network system 100 further comprises a profit-sharer setup unit 150.

[46] The profit-sharer setup unit 150 designates as a profit-sharer a single user selected from users for whom acquaintance relationships have been already set with each user.

[47] That is, if a user accessing the acquaintance network system 100 selects a profit- sharer setup menu, the acquaintance network system 100 sends and displays a web page or GUI for profit-sharer setup on the user computer 200 through the profit-sharer setup unit 150, and designates another user, who has already been acquainted offline with the user and has been selected by the user, as a profit-sharer using the web page or GUI.

[48] This is a configuration designed for sharing profits generated by linking the acquaintance network system 100 with a system for creating profit, such as a system associated with product sales. Referring to Fig. 4, a dotted line indicates an acquaintance relationship path, while a solid line indicates a profit-sharing path. Here, it should be understood that the profit-sharing path simultaneously serves as the acquaintance relationship path.

[49] Referring to Fig. 4, a user G forms an acquaintance relationship with users C, I, J, and K. Here, G and C are connected to each other with a solid line, G and I are connected with a dotted line, and G and J are connected with a solid line, and G and K are connected with a dotted line.

[50] That is, since the solid line indicates a profit-sharing path, G has designated C as a profit- sharer and J has designated G as a profit- sharer.

[51] Meanwhile, since each user can designate only one profit- sharer, each of the users on acquaintance relationship paths branched off from a top-level user A to bottom- level users D, K, L, and M has a single profit-sharing line toward an upper-level user.

[52] For instance, in a case of applying the acquaintance relationship path shown in Fig. 4 to network marketing, assume that an upper-level user introduces products to a lower- level user and shares a predetermined proportion of profit generated by purchasing the products in return for introducing the products.

[53] In Fig. 4, assume that the top-level user A introduces products to B, C, and D, B introduces the products to E and F, C introduces the products to G and H, and finally the products are introduced to bottom-level users L, M, and K.

[54] In this case, C and F introduce the products to H, while H designates C as a profit- sharer. Thus, H shares profit to C rather than F when K purchased the products. That means that H forms an acquaintance relationship rather than a profit-sharing relationship with F.

[55] Meanwhile, according to the present invention, the acquaintance relationship can include information about a degree of intimacy, and the acquaintance relationship path presentation unit 140 of the acquaintance network system 100 can be configured to present an acquaintance relationship path depending on the information about the degree of intimacy.

[56] That is, according to the present invention, when setting an acquaintance relationship, such as business relationships, father-and-son relationships, mother- and-daughter relationships, brotherhood relationships, sisterhood relationships, friend- to-friend relationships, lover relationships, or relationships based on job offering/ seeking, civil affairs, or associations of like-minded people, two individuals having been acquainted with each other can further set the information about the degree of intimacy between the two individuals so that it can be shown that how intimate the two individuals are from the information about the degree of intimacy displayed on the acquaintance relationship path presented by the acquaintance relationship path presentation unit 140.

[57] For example, referring to Fig. 4, it can be seen that any one of figures 1, 2, and 3 is displayed on each of acquaintance lines connected between users having been acquainted with each other. The figures can be used to express the degree of intimacy between the users. For instance, 1 denotes an intimate relationship, 2 denotes a friendly relationship, and 3 denotes an acquainted relationship.

[58] The degree of intimacy can be expressed in various forms instead of expressing in figures. For example, the degree of intimacy can be expressed using different thicknesses, types, or colors of lines.

[59] On the other hand, according to the present invention, the acquaintance relationship path presentation unit 140 of the acquaintance network system 100 is preferably configured to present up to a predetermined number of short acquaintance relationship paths among retrieved acquaintance relationship paths.

[60] In a case of an enormous acquaintance network, since a specific user forms acquaintance relationships with other users through a number of acquaintance relationship paths, there can exist numerous acquaintance relationship paths between two users having no acquaintance with each other. Accordingly, since users may be confused by numerous acquaintance paths presented, the acquaintance network system 100 is preferably configured to present up to a predetermined number of short acquaintance relationship paths among acquaintance relationship paths retrieved by the acquaintance relationship path presentation unit 140 to thereby improve user's convenience.

[61] On the other hand, the present invention can be configured to further comprise a process in which the acquaintance relationship setup unit 110 of the acquaintance network system 100 requests acquaintance relationship setup from a requestee having no prior acquaintance with a requestor at a request of the requestor and sets an acquaintance relationship between the requestor and the requestee if the requestee permits setting of the acquaintance relationship.

[62] That is, if the requestor having viewed an acquaintance relationship path between two individuals (i.e., the requestor and requestee) having no prior acquaintance with each other, which is presented by the acquaintance relationship path presentation unit 140, selects an acquaintance relationship setup menu to form an acquaintance relationship with the requestee, the acquaintance network system 100 sends and displays a web page or GUI for acquaintance relationship setup on the user computer 200 of the requestor through the acquaintance relationship setup unit 110, and receives acquaintance relationship setup request information from the user computer 200 of the requestor using the web page or GUI.

[63] The acquaintance relationship setup request information includes identification information of the requestee having no prior acquaintance with the requestor, such as name or ID, and may further include acquaintance relationship item information, such as friend-to-friend relationship or acquainted relationship.

[64] Next, the acquaintance network system 100 having received the acquaintance relationship setup request information notifies the acquaintance relationship setup request information to the user computer of the requestee using e-mail or notification, and requests and receives a response from the requestee.

[65] Upon receiving a response that permits the acquaintance relationship setup request from the user computer of the requestee, the acquaintance network system 100 sets an acquaintance relationship between the two users through the acquaintance relationship setup unit 110, and updates the acquaintance information of the requestor and the requestee, which is stored in the acquaintance information database 120.

[66] As a result, the two users having had no prior acquaintance with each other form an acquaintance relationship with each other.

[67] Meanwhile, according to the present invention, the acquaintance network system 100 may further comprise a member management unit 160.

[68] The member management unit 160 processes member registration/member information update at a user's member registration/member information update request, and manages a user accessing the acquaintance network system 100 by making reference to the access ID and password given to each member.

[69] That is, this is a configuration designed to offer a member-based acquaintance network service by the acquaintance network system according to the present invention. Specifically, the acquaintance network system 100 according to the present invention receives a member registration/member information update request from a user through the member management unit 160, updates the member information database 170 for member registration/member information update, and manages a user accessing the acquaintance network system by making reference to the access ID and password given to each member, whereby the member-based service is made possible.

[70] Technologies associated with the above-mentioned member registration/member information update process and access verification process are well known in the art and a detailed description thereof will thus be omitted herein.

[71] A basic operation of the above-mentioned acquaintance network system according to the present invention will now be described with reference to Fig. 3.

[72] Fig. 3 is a flow chart showing operation of an acquaintance network system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[73] As shown in Fig. 3, an acquaintance network system according to the present invention determines whether or not a user requests acquaintance relationship setup from another user already having been acquainted offline with the user, and sets an acquaintance relationship between the two users if the acquaintance relationship setup request has been made (step SI 10).

[74] Next, the acquaintance network system determines whether or not each user requests it to set one of users already having been acquainted with the each user as a profit- sharer, and sets the requested user as a profit-sharer if the each user has requested the acquaintance network system (step SI 20).

[75] Next, if the requestor requests the acquaintance network system to retrieve the requestee having no prior acquaintance with the requestor, the acquaintance network system retrieves an acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee (step S130). Subsequently, the acquaintance network system offers the retrieved acquaintance relationship path between the requestor and the requestee (step S140).

[76] Subsequently, the acquaintance network system determines whether or not the requestor requests formation of an acquaintance relationship from the requestee having no prior acquaintance with the requestor, sets an acquaintance relationship between the requestor and the requestee under the consent of the requestee if the requestor has requested the formation of an acquaintance relationship, and updates acquaintance information of the requestor and the requestee (step S150). As a result, the acquaintance network system allows the two users having no prior acquaintance with each other to form an acquaintance relationship with each other. Industrial Applicability

[77] As apparent from the above description, the acquaintance network system in accordance with the present invention sets an acquaintance relationship between individuals already having been acquainted offline with each other to form an acquaintance relationship online, and allows two individuals having no prior ac- quaintance with each other to form a new acquaintance relationship by offering an acquaintance relationship path between the two individuals. Further, the present invention makes it possible to achieve various effects by linking the acquaintance network system with other online systems associated with business introduction services, business partnerships, civil affairs, information sharing, dating services, or network marketing activities. For instance, the acquaintance network system makes it possible to share profits generated by marketing activities via a system linked with the acquaintance network system to a selected profit-sharer. [78] While the present invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined by the following claims.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
WO2007089951A1 *5 Feb 20079 Aug 2007Tn20 IncorporatedTrusted acquaintances network system
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