Tag Archives: Facebook

The Facebook/Google war over your blog's friends

I haven’t added either Facebook Connect or Google Friend Connect yet, but they sure are taking over tons of blogs very quickly. TechCrunch and Gawker both turned on Facebook. So, I asked my readers on FriendFeed for whether they have turned on either and tons of results came in (good resource so you can see how everyday bloggers are using these technologies).

My blog here is hosted on WordPress.com, which makes it difficult to use widgets like these. I want to go back to Matt Mullenweg and ask him which ones he’s going to support (he founded Automattic, which makes and hosts WordPress here).

Anyway, which ones are you using? What have you learned, if you’ve already used them? Have they improved the time spent on your blog? Do your users like having these widgets? Why have some blogs seen more than 2,000 people use them, while other blogs only have a handful of users? (It doesn’t seem to be totally based on popularity of the blog, but might have to do with where they are placed on the page, and how they are talked about on the content of the blog too).

Other questions I have:

1. Is this a winner-take-all game? Will people feel pressured to add both widgets? Will, at some point, they remove one? (I think it is, long term, if they stay similar. I hate clutter on my blog, and if one gets slow, it’d be tossed in a micro-second, and I’m already noticing that the same friends are on both anyway — so why not just get rid of one?).

2. Will there be advertising that appears? Spam? Bad behavior (I saw one obscene icon already). Of course advertising will appear on these widgets eventually. They might say no today, but three years from now? Right. And, even if they don’t put ads on the widgets themselves, they certainly will have an ad sales force that can tell you EVERYTHING about the blogs based on who has visited them.

3. Why is the UI so rudimentary? These are like mini rolodexes and already users are asking for search, list views, and other features because soon the more popular blogs will have 10s of thousands of users in these systems (maybe millions for sites like Huffington Post or TechCrunch) and they are already useless with 2,000 users so soon people will just stop using them unless they evolve quickly.

Anyway, tons of blogs are talking about Google’s addition of Twitter into feeds that integrate into its system. Here’s the best blogs I found on the topic:

TechCrunch: What the Twitter/ Google Announcement Means.
ReadWriteWeb: Google Brings Twitter to Friend Connect.
Social Times: The Social Advertising Race has Begun.

One thing I’ve noticed is that Google is getting picked up a lot more because of the Twitter announcement.

Facebook tears down part of its walled garden

Another thing that Facebook just released is embeddable videos. TechCrunch covers that part.

But they missed how important a change in direction this is for Facebook.

This means that I can embed videos on blogs from Facebook and make those videos available to everyone.

Facebook now is a YouTube competitor and one that has a huge advantage: you know a LOT about the people who publish the videos on Facebook due to their strict rules and the social network — you can click on each person who uploaded video and you can see who their friends are, which is very valuable to knowing whether the person who is publishing video is someone credible and who has authority with other people.

It also means that we no longer have to visit Facebook to interact with an important data type kept there.

To me that’s huge and worth underscoring. Will Facebook continue opening up its walled garden? Interesting to see this in light of Facebook’s other battle with Google over how it’ll open up its social graph data.

Fast Company’s video with Facebook’s Chris Putnam explains the new embedding system along with the new HD video quality they just turned on.

Nice to see Facebook opening up to the Web, though, and tearing down its walls. What do you think?

HD war breaks out as Facebook, YouTube deliver new features

Tonight an HD war online broke out. YouTube appears to have turned on HD video. Now Facebook jumps into the fray with true 720p HD 16:9 widescreen video. This is HUGE for those of us who have HD camcorders.

But also Vimeo and SmugMug have turned on HD video before.

Why is this important? Well, a bunch of people just received their Canon 5D Mark II cameras that do HD video. So does the Nikon D90. Look at the video that SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill did with his. That shows off SmugMug’s HD goodness.

Or look at Joi Ito’s videos from his 5D which use Vimeo’s video system.

Of course, we have exclusive video from Facebook which explains these features. Here’s a video with Chris Putnam, who runs the Facebook video team.

TechCrunch also covers the new Facebook features.

We’re trying to upload a 720p video to all of these services to see which ones have the best quality and features. Which one are you going to use if you have an HD camcorder? We should have a test video up soon.

UPDATE: this news has already started a long conversation on FriendFeed.

UPDATE 2: Chris Putnam, who was featured in my video, has posted a blog post about these changes and TechMeme has more posts about Facebook’s new video.

Social network advertising: not your father's banner ad

When i visited the San Jose Mercury News yesterday, what did we talk about? Advertising and how newspapers were going to make it online.

Well, one trend we’re seeing big time is the move to social networks. Facebook alone has more than 100 million people on it. When you add MySpace, Microsoft’s new network, Hi5, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, Twitter, and others, these networks are seeing some sizeable traffic.

But how do they monetize? Well, Facebook has been seeing a bunch of ads lately.

Problem is banner ads just aren’t working well anymore. Most users ignore them and the smartest users use software that blocks them from being seen at all.

So, how do you overcome those problems? Make ads that people play with and want to talk to their friends about.

That’s what Kevin Barenblat’s firm, Context Optional, does. One of his Facebook apps is driving 60,000 users a day to the website that sponsored it.

In this two-part video we take a look at both the kinds of apps that Context Optional is building, but in the second part we look at the whole Facebook marketplace.

Part I, six-minute video.
Part II, 10-minute video.

Exclusive video: SocialText brings enterprise Facebook and Twitter to wikis

Socialtext is making big news all over the Web this morning. Here’s a rundown, later in the post I’ll talk about why. I also have an exclusive video of Ross Mayfield, founder of Socialtext demonstrating the new features to me.

Ross Mayfield, for my cell phone camera last night, explains the changes in this 18-minute video.

Ross Mayfield, co-founder of Socialtext, writes on his blog “Hello Socialtext 3.0!”

BusinessWeek: Socialtext 3.0: Will Wikis Finally Find Their Place in Business?

Webware: Socialtext co-founder: Enterprise Twitter isn’t enough.

eWeek: Socialtext Signals Marks Wiki Provider’s Move into Enterprise Microblogging.

Dawn Foster notes the move of Enterprises to social.

Zoli Erdos says “Socialtext Becomes Really Social.”

ZDNet: “Socialtext enters Twitter for Enterprise sweepstakes.”

TechCrunch writes “SocialText 3.0 blends Facebook, Twitter, and the Enterprise.”

So, why are these changes important? Because they bring the social features that many people have gotten to know on Twitter and Facebook into the Enterprise along with advanced wiki functionality.

Is this bleeding edge stuff? Yes, for the enterprise it is. And Socialtext is already seeing some big “Fortune 50″ pickup.

I can hear the critics now: “who needs another Twitter or Facebook at work?” But if you watch the video, you’ll see why these features make a new kind of collaboration possible.

It’s nice to see Socialtext succeed, they hosted the first Barcamp in their offices and now they are pushing ahead of the world again.

In startup success blogs don't matter, paradigm shifts do

What’s the most successful new company out there of the past two years?

I’d argue it’s iLike, a music sharing and discovery service that came out on Facebook first, but has moved other places.

When I quit Microsoft they had no users.

Today they have 30 million.

How did THAT happen? It wasn’t because they got bloggers all hot and bothered about them. They didn’t win any contests. I don’t even think they showed up at Demo or TechCrunch or other industry conferences. If they did, they didn’t cause any headlines on blogs about how they were going to be THE next hot thing.

What did they do? They were first out the gate on Facebook’s application platform. That was a real paradigm shift. It was the first application platform I remember where I could see the apps YOU had loaded.

Second datapoint?

Yesterday I ran into the founders of Posimotion. Their company didn’t exist a few months ago, but today they are seeing 50,000 downloads a day of their iPhone apps. I don’t remember THEM being talked about anywhere, or on any famous tech blogs, but they are kicking but and well on their way to being a dominant software firm. How did they do it?

They were first out of the gate on the iPhone.

By the way, talking about the iPhone, Posimotion has some awesome iPhone apps.

Almost all of their apps are NOT free ones, so you can guess how much revenue per day is flowing into this very small company (which isn’t venture funded, by the way). Here’s my favorites from their 12 apps:

A level is a leveler which uses the iPhone to level picture frames and stuff like that. It’s a very cool use of the iPhone’s accelerometer.

Ever forget where you parked your car? If you used G Park you’d never forget again (it uses the GPS to memorize where you parked).

Golf Flyover is for golfers who want to know where to play golf and it uses the GPS in the iPhone to tell them information about the courses they are playing.

Pool is a fun game and well done using iPhone’s touch surface.

Well, since I’m irrelevant, I think I’ll take the rest of the day off! Heheheh.