Standard language warnings apply.
From the beginning I’ve described social media (mostly under the guise of Twitter) as a large party. You enter the scene. You hear a lot of noise. You focus on some conversations and it gets exciting. You still hear a lot of noise. You make some friends. You bond. You make some people angry with flippant remarks. You lose some friends. You shout at the crowd. Everyone talks about you. You step off your soapbox and rejoin the conversation. Everyone forgets you. You step out of the room to go to the bathroom. When you return, you find the conversation continued without you. You try to get people to tell you what you missed. Eventually you figure out you just have to pickup where you left off. You learn that you cannot follow everyone in the room. You realize that even though you aren’t following everyone in the room some of those people are still listening to you. Some people get to stand on the stage and everyone follows them. You think it is unfair that you aren’t on the stage. You meet some of the right people but still aren’t lucky enough to get on the stage. You don’t understand. You resent the people on the stage. You decide to ignore them. The conversation goes on. Eventually you follow the people on the stage again because everyone else is talking about what they said. The conversation goes on. Eventually we all return home.
So what is, what was, FriendFeed? Let’s say FriendFeed was that room at the party were the people who started the party hung out and other party goers would look in the room and see that it was different but couldn’t really grasp if it was different good or different bad and most would never really enter that room. In the words of Eric Rice, "the punk rock indie era is over." Facebook bought FriendFeed today. I won’t comment further but to say I agree with Think Jose that Facebook bought the staff, not the software. But this was about Dave Winer’s post to Robert Scoble.
Btw, you should follow me on Twitter here.
ps. Not great words of assurance:
What does this mean for my FriendFeed account?
FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being. [Source, FriendFeed Blog, FriendFeed accepts Facebook friend request]
I recently added a ShareThis link to each of my posts. I chose ShareThis.com because it seems to be very robust while leaving a relatively small footprint on the blog and appears relatively unintrusiveness and benign. Of course, some folks will be quick to point out that the tracking features and having the icon linked back to sharethis.com is very intrusive and anything but benign. In this instance, I don’t see it as that big a deal. One of the attractions to ShareThis.com was its WordPress plugin making setup as easy as going to the website to generate the widget code, then inserting that code in the settings box on the admin screen in your WordPress blog. But it didn’t work.
At ShareThis.com, a publisher generates a script that looks like this:
After updating, the code will have a 2nd publisher id appended to the end. With two publisher ids, ShareThis will not register your site nor collect statistics.
After reviewing the plugin code, I realized the way ShareThis generates the script must have changed overtime. Crowd Favorite wrote a great plug-in but it expects the publisher=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx to be at very end and if it does not find a publisher id at the end, it puts one there which is why you will end up with two publisher ids. To fix this, simply move the publisher id to the end of the script before pasting the code into the ShareThis settings box in the WordPress admin:
Note: In the settings box, the & will be converted to just & but the code correctly uses & with the post. Your code will still be xhtml compliant.
I have a couple of invites to Likaholix for those who want to test it out. Likaholix is a new bookmarking service similar to Delicious but you enter why you liked the bookmark(url) and can add supporting images and videos to it. Basically, when searching for information, this lets you read other people’s positive reviews of a site before clicking through to the site. In theory, you can pick the ideal source of your needed information. Likaholix has a stronger social element than Delicious. I like Likaholix and although I do not foresee it replacing Delicious for me, it will certainly enhance my bookmarking.
We have social rules in society. For instance, we don’t sneeze into our hand then immediately shake someone else’s hand. Some people have difficulty understanding social rules in real life. To further complicate these social rules, they vary from culture to culture. Now, introduce the Internet and it’s latest craze, social media. To be in, hip, popular, and just not ignored on the Internet right now, you must be "social." For businesses, this means engaging your customers.
A great example is Comcast’s Frank Eliason and his use of Twitter. Frank created the Twitter account @ComcastCares and started using keyword searches with tools like Summize to find customer’s complaining about Comcast’s service and he tackled these problems directly, one on one. Rather than the customer reaching out to Comcast, Frank reached out to the customer and redefined customer service on the Internet. Now many companies use Twitter and blog searches to engage customers, retain customers, and repair their corporate image.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh took the Zappos core value #6 "Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication" to an extreme by encouraging staff to embrace Twitter and blogging. Tony tweets as @zappos and blogs under the Zappos CEO and COO Blog. Even though he is a busy CEO, he takes time to respond to people like me. That’s engagement!
So what of social rules online? Just read comments at a major media outlet such as Knoxnews.com and see how the power of apparent anonymity can turn the uninitiated Internet neophyte, what I would assume is a normally decent human being, into a royal ass. I see horrible comments in such forums that I cannot imagine a person having the audacity to utter in mixed company in person. Twitter is undeniably one of the best examples of social media on the Internet. In 140 characters, you share with your followers (and the world if your Tweets are not set to private) the mundane in your life, the news, announcements, or whatever suits your mood. Seems simple enough, but there are unwritten, social rules which have formed around the service. Genuine Jeremy Floyd polled his followers and published Rules of the Road-Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Twitterverse. If you feel his list needs expanding, head over to his blog and add your social rules in his comments. You can also send him a message through Twitter @jfloyd.
Like The Whispers on LOST, I’ve heard hushed chatter all day long about how Hillary is dropping out of the race tomorrow. Naturally, I raised an eyebrow when my email informed me that @Hillary2008 was started following my Twitter account today. Back before October of last year, I started following presidential candidates wise enough to be using technology to their advantage. Edwards, Thompson, and Obama used it the best.
Now I can’t remember which one but one of the candidates even opened Twitter up for questions while he was on CNN (or some other live show); unfortunately I was walking out the door and didn’t get to fire off any questions nor watch the program. What a powerful way to use the Internet! Putting Twitter ahead of the reporters and phones!
Early on, it became evident that @Hillary2008 was not the real Hillary Clinton. Today Hillary2008 follows 787 people and is followed by 829 people. The real Hillary Clinton appears to be @HillaryClinton and follows 0 people with 4,140 people following her which means she doesn’t understand Twitter. (Randy, are you listening? 0/66) Barack Obama at @BarackObama is following 35,777 people and has 34,765 people following him; his updates are frequent and does not read like a staffer is trying to impersonate him. Seems early on in the campaign that @BarackObama even sent @ replies to followers (but I cannot find an example right now).
I personally belief that either the people behind Hillary2008 gave the account over to the campaign or decided to start working it as true Hillary fans that actually understand the technology. What’s to understand about Twitter? It’s bi-directional. We use our feed readers and RSS for push news and headlines. If all you are doing is using Twitter to push your urls and try to get people to your site, then for all practical purposes, you are a spammer. Even news sites like @Knoxnews responds to its followers. If you listen to them, they’ll listen to you! @SantaClaus is a hoot! Not only does he work the Twitter account around the holiday, but he responds to almost everyone that mentions him and he does year round! Interactivity is the key to Twitter. Of course, Leo Laporte breaks this theory by following 441 people and having 39821 people follow him. He’s this anomaly I just haven’t figured out yet. Of course, as much as I can’t figure out why you would want to follow him (and his ego), I find myself that compelled to follow more of him. Long and short of it, if you have a zero in either following or followers, you are using Twitter poorly.