charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://feathertail.dreamwidth.org/103445.html

Yeah, I think now whether you can successfully move to DW really tend to depend on whether there is an audience here.
more on this )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/2848

"Yahoo! actually went on the offensive and claimed they weren’t going to kill Delicious but sell it, which makes me laugh, because no such thing could be true – the most glaring reason being that Yahoo’s authentication system infests every one of their properties, and a lot of people on Delicious are using Yahoo IDs. Another is that Yahoo are incompetent assholes. Back in January of 2009, Archive Team announced that Yahoo! was not to be trusted. Someone from Yahoo! showed up and said we were wrong. I’m having this image he was fired, as was the entire staff of Delicious. Tell me how you intend to transition a site when you fire everyone first. You don’t. A place buying it would be buying the name and maybe the right to use the software. Maybe. Who would want that?"


Let's hope this doesn't happen. However, there still seems to be no news of any buyers for Delicious...
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Today, FB announced three big features

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/live_blog_facebooks_mysterious_announcement.php

1. Data portability: You'll be able to download your data. This is a great step.
2. A page to manage privacy settings on apps: Good because it simplifies the control process.
3. Groups: Simpler way to share information.

Of the three, Groups is the most exciting feature, because of the range of things you can do in them, and also the privacy settings: you'll be able to make the content within the groups private, and even make the listing of members private. In LJ terms, groups are sort of like the ability to create a friends-list filter, and then share it with others as a 'social space,' but they're more like comms in that the members can also post things. Plus, there are other features like shared document collaboration and group chat. (FB says that only 5% of users used the list feature. I wonder what percentage of LJ users create/regularly use filters?)

I'm more interested in how they're going to avoid abuse. I take it there is a Groups administrator who can exercise moderator control over content, and you can't freely join groups, you must be invited (and it'll tell the entire group who invited you, but this sounds like there's drama potential there).

The feature is intended to reflect RL groups of friends, and more as a 'filter out the stuff that not all of your friends are interested in,' but since you can be part of a group, and share privately with the group members, who are not necessarily your FB friends, I suspect people will find ways to make this reflect internet social groups as well, although really large groups will have trouble with the way it kind of breaks down around 200 members. (It's also not for companies either; they recommend businesses continue to use FB Pages)

Hopefully, these moves will inspire other social media companies to become more data-portable, and create more flexible group features.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
A staff member responds to both the dissatisfaction over the cross-posting and the incidents with staff members behaving inappropriately:

http://news.livejournal.com/129945.html?thread=90277529#t90277529

Another staff member confirms the 50/50 stat, and explains the staff's reasoning behind the exemption for Cyrillic services:

http://news.livejournal.com/129945.html?thread=90331545#t90331545

Here's also an interesting post about web 2.0 and web 1.0
http://nikkiscarlet.dreamwidth.org/285367.html

further thoughts on the split in LJ user practices )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://cahwyguy.livejournal.com/1061161.html

On LJ, someone has sent in a suggestion, similar to the oft suggested 'security level for logged-in LJ users', suggesting that LJ create a new level of commenting permissions, for logged-in LJ users only, and not allowing openID users or FB users to comment. (Note that it doesn't affect who can view the entry).

I'm not really sure what such a commenting level would be really useful for, though. If people with FB accounts can see the posts, certainly it's not impossible for them to register and then start commenting, so I can't really see this being helpful from a prevention standpoint; from a spam standpoint, I'm not sure there really is much FB connect spam, or openID spam, but perhaps I'm wrong.

If many people embrace this, however, it really will start breaking some of the interop abilities of openID (and FB Connect) at LJ.

It's also interesting, though, that so far LJ has yet made no decision about the logged-in-user access level. If that's implemented, though, the main party I see it benefiting is LJ itself, because it won't really enhance security for users much. (I also, however, am not sure much disaster will ensue. This function exists in a lot of social media sites which are not disaster zones.)

(Also interesting: http://community.livejournal.com/suggestions/1029501.html Someone proposes authenticated RSS reading on LJ. Actually, they're wrong that there is no web-based authenticated RSS reading solution: http://gregarius.net/)

Vox is ded

Friday, September 3rd, 2010 01:07 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://team.vox.com/library/post/vox-is-closing-september-30-2010.html

Vox is going under, possibly because of a rumored merger of Six Apart. Apparently according to Comscore, there are still 5 million monthly visitors (although other web analytics companies say less), but bigger sites have had the plug pulled on them.

Anyway, especially considering that most social media/blogging sites are not public, users generally have no idea about the financials (and current financial health/future health) of a site; therefore, they can only assume that it is unknown how probable it is that the site will go under in the near or distant future. So basically, when you use a lot of these sites, you assume that it could all go kerblooey one day, which isn't a problem if the stuff you post is ephemeral, or if you have a backup. Most of my stuff is pretty ephemeral, and I try to back up when I can. However, backups assume that the format is readable by either by me, or by whatever site I'd like to restore to.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://www.flowtown.com/blog/the-2010-social-networking-map?display=wide

Fanciful rendering of 2010 social networks, in the form of a map.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2

http://www.thinkoutsidein.com/blog/2010/07/data-behind-real-life-social-network/

http://www.thinkoutsidein.com/blog/2010/03/we-dont-have-one-group-of-friends/

http://www.thinkoutsidein.com/blog/2009/11/why-liking-is-about-more-than-just-liking/

The rest of the links are by the person who made the presentation. I wonder what sort of thing he and the other people will create based on this research? Google's previous social media offerings have been underwhelming or flawed, to say the least.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
1. Very informative post about upcoming features at DW.

To wit, there is

a) discussion of the cross-site reading list. It will be a paid user feature, it will only show the last 100 entries and be updated every 60 min, and the entries from the other site will ONLY be visible to the person subscribing to them (even if they are public otherwise).
b) in the future, it will be possible to upload communities to DW, if you are a maintainer (and probably, you should also get permission)
c) the new entry posting page: the 'metaphor' underlying posting will be changed, to incorporate new drafting options,

Anyway, someone has already protested the cross-site reading list, perhaps unaware that RSS/ATOM allows people to read LJ-entries off of LJ. Maybe someone ought to point out to this person that they can at least disable syndication of entry content in RSS/ATOM on LJ? They can't disable it totally, though (if they don't like the fact that they can't totally disable RSS, then they should stop using LJ, because that's how things are there).

EDIT: It seems that DW will actually not be using authenticated RSS for this new feature: http://dw-news.dreamwidth.org/17591.html?thread=1814455#cmt1814455

2. I mentioned the Salmon Protocol in my last post. Here's more info on the subject.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/salmon_protocol_for_distributed_aggregated_content.php <--Read Write Web post on the SP.

http://salmon-playground.appspot.com/ <-- A prototype of the Salmon Protocol

http://www.alevin.com/?p=1806 <-- Blog post about the problem Salmon is meant to solve.

http://groups.google.com/group/salmon-protocol <--The Google Group for people working on the project. Rather technical.

More Buzz Links

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 07:07 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
It seems that Google is rapidly updating Buzz to deal with criticisms and feedback.

http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/millions-of-buzz-users-and-improvements.html Improvements made to Buzz since launch
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/5_google_buzz_tips_for_the_advanced_user.php
http://brad.livejournal.com/2408782.html <--Brad Fitzpatrick explains how to feed LJ posts into Buzz.
http://www.google.com/buzz/bradfitz/PPjHXDhANAC/Want-to-connect-your-blog-or-some-other-feed-to: Brad F. explains how to connect other blogs to Buzz. (Preliminary tool) another explanation here. Anyway, looks like I spoke too soon about not being able to connect Buzz to other sites with RSS.
A developer talks about future plans for the Buzz API: sounds exciting

Not related directly to Buzz but nonetheless interesting:
The Salmon Protocol: "Salmon aims to define a standard protocol for comments and annotations to swim upstream to original update sources -- and spawn more commentary in a virtuous cycle. It's open, decentralized, abuse resistant, and user centric. "

On activity streams and cross-posting: Man, I sure hope they get somewhere on this! Actually, to me the worst problem about crossposting is redundancy. If everyone is pushing their updates everywhere, that means I see the same things over and over again.

recent links

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 09:52 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
1. Hilarity and some snark. Readwriteweb is a blog about social media and the web, so of course they publish many articles about facebook. The popularity of the blog means that it ranks high in search results, so FB users are typing in 'facebook login' to google, coming to Readwriteweb, and complaining about the "Facebook redesign," thinking RWW=FB!


2. http://synecdochic.dreamwidth.org/382324.html?style=mine: survey on unassigned DW bugs desired by users. An opportunity to talk about some bugs/features that interest you.

Google Buzz

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 02:57 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Hmm, nothing much to say about Google Buzz: It still feels very beta to me, and it really has got to support more external services also (such as Tumblr and Posterous!). However, it is a nice microblogging tool: you can make comments and 'like' posts, and when you put in links to images, it automatically shows viewers a preview.

Also notable are its privacy features: unlike Twitter, where you are restricted to making an account completely public or completely private, Buzz allows you to make public or private posts on one account, and also, it has granular privacy: you can create subgroups of your followers and only allow a specific group of them to see it.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Kind of following my previous post on OpenID:

I was reading Chris Messina (one of the people behind DiSO (which is basically a project about making social networking/media distributed, instead of centralized)'s blog, and he had some things to say about the openID's flaws on the user experience level.

In April, he talked about how openID is confusing to the technically un-inclined. The problem, as he sees it, is that openID is simply confusing users because there is too much choice. I agree that the openID logo also really doesn't help matters because people don't know what it is.

Later, he makes another post on usability issues, about 'designing for the gut'. Basically, he's saying that users demand simplicity in login, and engineers and designers cannot afford to ignore this, even if it isn't the most technically powerful solution. Simplicity wins.

Other DiSO related links:

Also, DiSO is working on Activity Streams, which is a way of standardizing data produced by various social networks. The format has already been adopted by Facebook, MSN, and many other popular sites.

Recently, Cliqset created a way to convert many feeds into the Activity Streams format. It "enables user data to pass freely from one network to another or through multiple applications, unhindered by network-specific markup and namespaces."

Chris Messina on My Name is not an URL

Namespace squatting?

However, at the same time, there seems to be another trend: the increasing dominance of Facebook in the identity field. (Which may not be a contradictory one: FB seems involved in some of these Activity Streams projects)

Yahoo recently announced they were going to increasingly integrate Facebook data into their services, and now, Myspace is rumored to have an extensive FB integration in the works. It looks like Myspace wishes to have access to the FB social graphs. Looks like the war is going to be Google v. Facebook now. XD

I'm wondering what this is going to do to the smaller blogging/publishing sites. So far Twitter seems to be somewhat aligned with Google, but that could change in the future. Microsoft is a FB investor, so they may start doing more things with them. Hard to say what's going to happen in the next year, but it may be an exciting one.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
These don't directly have to do with social media, but apply to internet businesses in general.

1. On how start-ups shouldn't be over-ambitious at the beginning: The basic message is that start-ups shouldn't play to their weaknesses, and realize that being small and having no customers confers some advantages.

Quote: "When I see start-ups looking to go toe-to-toe with established multi-million dollar businesses, I think “wow, that’s courageous.” When I see that they want to take them on at their own game, feature by feature, product by product, price by price, I worry a lot for their future. Playing to your weaknesses in a head-on competition is a surefire way to destroy yourself."

Commenters on Garry Tan's post quoting this one seem to disagree on some points, though.

2. On Product Design Debt vs. Technical Debt

Technical debt is not defined in the article itself, but in one of the links, is defined as "the obligation that a software organization incurs when it chooses a design or construction approach that's expedient in the short term but that increases complexity and is more costly in the long term." Such debt may be taken on intentionally or unintentionally.

more on this subject )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
After the dramatic decline of Myspace, the higher ups reacted by 'verticalizing' Myspace, essentially, conceding to Facebook the title of #1 Social Network and instead opting for "powerful music (and other things too) portal." (going back to its roots as it was originally a music site) People in the social networking world seem to feel that the market has gotten saturated, and thusly new companies need to be extremely innovative and find unoccupied niches; also, by verticalizing, a site can cater to a specific demographic and a specific field, and thus be much better able to support itself by advertising, as rates are higher in such circumstances.

One example of this phenomenon is Ning, which is dedicated to allowing people to create their own social network sites: they pitch both to the casual user and the business customer. (You can see more Ning networks by flipping through Ning's blog) You can easily sign up and begin your own network (and I did, just for testing purposes. Join and try it out too? There are a lot of features I can't really try out just on my own.), and start customizing it. (For more about Ning's capabilities, read their help section)

I'm pretty darn impressed by both a) Ning's ease of use, and b) the amount of features Ning has, although currently Ning would not be useful to me, as what in the world would I create a social network about? (hah, any suggestions?) However, if I did ever want to create an online group about something, I think I WOULD want to use Ning, because it allows for members to form sub-groups which can be private, for both individual blogs and a discussion forum, and has a heck a lot of apps which add functionality. (Like polls, stores (Ning doesn't ban running a store on your site), Twitter tracking, various media streaming apps, collaborative apps, etc)

how Ning makes money )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Not as many people are interested in Tumblr, I noticed in the poll. However, I think er, that Tumblr is quite fascinating. In this tough economic climate, the site's continuing to become more popular, especially at a time where social networking sites are becoming more popular, while other types of social media are stagnating or declining. Why is this so? I think it's because of its simplicity and immediacy. I should note that Tumblr is in essence a cross between Wordpress Lite (but unlike Wordpress.com, you can do whatever you want with your layouts: own stylesheet? Sure! Javascript? Ok!. You can just get in there and start mucking with the HTML) and Twitter, but with even more multimedia friendliness.

It seems that the blogging-social media landscape is becoming "verticalized," meaning that it's being broken up into niches. In this entry on the evolution of personal publishing, there's an interesting chart which posits that microblogs exist kind of between blogging and social networking on the axes of corporate<--->social and heavy<--->light. I'm not sure "corporate" is the best word here; perhaps "broadcast" works better. Anyway, Tumblr, and other microblogs, seem to have scratched an itch, as this blogger says. (This post is well worth reading, as it talks about the history of blogging, and Wordpress vs. Tumblr) [It mentions Posterous also, but doesn't talk about it as much.]

Here's an interesting comment that talks about microblogs as well.

Another factor in Tumblr's success is its encouragement of interactivity. How can it do this without commenting? Likes and Reblogs are how it's done at Tumblr. While this means that Tumblr is not a big discussion site, perhaps, I think the users do find it valuable. It made me think of this post about the three 'classes' of social media: creators, curators, and consumers.

(Quick summary: The article comes from an advertising business model perspective, BTW. Creators seek (positive) feedback, so you had better create means of encouraging that, such as highlighting them, creating leaderboards, etc. Consumers need help discovering content they are interested in, so you had better create those means of discovery, such as search engine optimization, social link sharing optimization, and once they are within the site, stuff like 'related content,' 'most popular content', etc. Curators are the ones who filter and collate, "editing" the site, and they require 'frictionless' (that is, streamlined and easy) ways of giving feedback, adjacent to the content.)

Tumblr, it seems to me, is especially effective at curating. You can of course create things, but a lot of it is like scrapbooking: collecting things of interest to you, and finding them and reblogging.

Looking at Virb

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 12:13 pm
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
I found quite an interesting new web service, Virb. It's sort of like... If Tumblr and LJ mated and had a social network (rather than a blogging site). Users can import feeds, update their status (like facebook status), add text, pictures, audio, videos, etc, share them with only select groups, form discussion groups,

Here's the site tour: Tour

What's neat about Virb is that it seems to offer LJ-esque granular permissions on media beyond text. You can form groups of people known as "circles" and say, lock a photo only to the circle "friends."

Here's my profile on Virb: I chose the "blog" type of virb rather than the personal one. Anyone else want to try it with me?

(no subject)

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 09:33 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
As you may know, Myspace is in serious decline. It's still a large site, of course, but a shadow of its former self, and thusly, its revenues have also been declining. Because of this, Myspace has sort of decided to get back to its roots and re-define itself back to being a music network.

Now for some links and such:
various links on social network decline )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Interesting essay on twitter vs. facebook status updates

Basically, it's about how the ways that Facebook and Twitter are set up that create different social norms. On FB, friending is a reciprocal practice, whereas on Twitter it isn't, and on Twitter, you can't reply on someone else's "page," while you can direct a message at them from your own. Twitter, she theorizes, is more about "micro-celebrity" and speaking in public. Therefore, people looking for various things will gravitate to one service or another to do something which seems superficially similar.

Something she doesn't mention though, is that on Twitter if you don't like the fact that someone is following you, you can boot them. This may alter things a bit.

I suppose LJ is more like Twitter than Facebook, but judging from how many people come into suggestions asking for the ability to boot unwanted friends-of, and the whole serial adder thing, a lot of people would like it to be more like Facebook in that respect. I would say that in some ways Dreamwidth goes even further in this direction by separating out the subscribing and access functions, and getting rid of the word "friend." (Tumblr and Posterous are also more Twitter-like in their social graphs.) I wonder if there isn't an unrealized niche out there for a more FB-like blogging service? Private blogging? Or maybe one day FB will come out with a blogging feature which doesn't suck.

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