Laughing at the stony face of gloom

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Archive for December 2007

Close the Floodbarriers, Open Social Networks!

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Reading “Google/OpenSocial’s director of engineering David Glazer unplugged: ‘Shindig is live’” on ZDnet today; interesting that our Innovations specialist mentioned this to me a couple of days ago. (Although his take on the OpenSocial network was that it would probably be utilized by minority groups in the social networking scheme of thing (so no uptake by myspace or facebook?) However, this item on ZDnet talks about the social networking site, Bebo; apparently the most popular social networking site in the UK , Ireland and New Zealand. The interesting aspect about Bebo is that it is API-compatible with Facebook; meaning things written for Facebook will work on Bebo without any need for recoding.

Which David Berlind, the article’s author, points to pushing the case for the interoperability promoted by the OpenSocial standard (which, incidentally Bebo will be also supporting next year)

I need to find some time to follow some of the related links and read up a bit more; this looks interesting but we’ll see what happens.

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Written by Mas

December 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Posted in social networks

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Progress? What progress?

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During the course of this week I’ve signed up for facebook; well… that’s a lie – I signed up a good number of months ago, but thought “my God this is an awful place” and ran away screaming (true facts twisted with over-the-top lashings of melodrama for entertainment value). During this week though, our security people came in with a report of someone abusing the facilities and being stupid enough to post a video of themselves doing (part of) said abuse onto facebook.

(Back at the blogs and social networks workshop a couple of weeks back, the fact that people were being “caught” by evidence they’d left under their various social network accounts had been mentioned)

So, they wanted to know if I could capture the video and provide it to them for evidence (which is a piece of cake if you know how to do it and have the right tools (the WRONG TOOLS being freez flv 2 avi – which claims to be freeware, forces you to register and then wants $monies from you so you can use it – avoid like the plague!)) . Although, now on there I decided to have a poke around – to see what communities were “unofficially” existing around the business – to see if the examples given at the “blogs and social networks” workshop were organically occurring in our situation. And they were; maybe not as well thought out as some of the examples they’d shown us, but they were there and starting to grow; and with all the social networking stuff, all you need is one dedicated person with too much time on their hands et voila!

Additionally… I might have made a friend – someone who poked me thinking that I was their brother (with the same name) (or maybe not – we’ll see!)

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Written by Mas

December 14, 2007 at 1:33 pm

Posted in social networks

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Now that’s what I call “Brand-ing” loyalty

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Catching up on my bloglines subscriptions after being away from computers, the Internet and everything for the best part of a couple of weeks; and I found this Dunlop Tire Brand Out to Get More Ink in Las Vegas referenced to through my “Search Engine Guide” subscription (Thank you Debra Mastaler for spotting it, and referring to it in your article Can I get you to tattoo my company… ) It is an interesting idea; a bit of a step from class rings and loyalty-logo-covered clothing.

Would you tattoo yourself for a freebie?

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Written by Mas

December 5, 2007 at 12:44 pm

I must be in the wrong job!

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Just noticed that MarketingSherpa have released the second edition of their “Landing Page Handbook”; which retails at the bargain price of $497 (I wonder if that includes postage :-P )

As a regular reader of the various marketing and search optimization mailing lists, blogs et al, I can’t believe that this book provides $497 worth of information I don’t already know. Maybe I should have written something like this for my NaNoWriMo attempt this year instead of the sci-fi novel that didn’t seem to go anywhere? Oh well, never mind. Always next year…

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Written by Mas

December 5, 2007 at 10:55 am

Posted in crazy world

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Trust and Social networks

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A couple of interesting articles about social networks that have turned up over the past couple of days. Starting with “Memo to Santa: Ask parents before gifting tech toys (by amy Tiemann on C|net) which talks about the current craze of Hi-tech, social network aware toys (the example given is the Webkinz; although just the tip of the iceberg) that are given as gifts to children of unsuspecting parents. Some of which who are alarmed at the consumer heavy content that targets teens and pre-teens.

Next there’s Social Networks and the Importance of Trust (by Neville Hobson on WebPro News) that references Bernard Lunn on Read/WriteWeb, “2008 will be the Year of business Networking“. Hobson’s article is interesting, if a little obvious. Focusing on the need for users to trust the provider of their social network; if there is a lack-of-trust perception, then users are going to go elsewhere. As I said, a bit obvious. As is the suggestion that people will start gathering around the network that provides them with everything they require. Especially as it seems just as one network’s popularity is hit by some scandal or other (privacy, advertising, abuse of user details et al) then another springs up and is the golden child for all of five minutes.

One of the issues that came out of the Blogs and Social networks workshop, was that while it is nice to be able to make use of the existing social network sites (facebook, myspace et al) that are already in existence, most of these sites are run and managed outside of the United Kingdom. Which means the various laws we have to protect ourselves from our data falling into “the wrong hands” (which, ironically, seem to be the hands of government offices and banks the rate that news stories come out highlighting data leaks, loss and mis-management) are not in place, and cannot be used to protect ourselves. Which is why privacy advocates are always complaining in the states; in the UK, we shouldn’t need to worry – our laws should cover that abuse of our data; but in the US, it’s a whole different ball game.

This does lead to a pointer that we should develop our own internal “social networks” rather than buying into an existing one; however, we have the problem that if we don’t buy into an existing one (myspace/bebo/facebook et al) then someone else will with our names (ie. cybersquatting); so is that a problem? and if it is, how do we monitor for it?

I am concerned a little about how important social networking is becoming, and virtual social networking at that. It is a trend, and one we are being forced to embrace, one way or another; or we will miss out. But how do we generate trust from our users? Are people going to be content to continue to stumble blindly into these things, will they see that we are part of the same organization and take any advice re: social networks, be they home grown or existing, as a rubber stamped seal of approval? And how do we react in the face of adversity to maintain that trust?

Like everything in the world, it is all about trust. You don’t have the trust, you don’t have anything. That is, and always has been obvious.

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Written by Mas

December 5, 2007 at 10:43 am