Tag Archives: Photos

Craving intimacy in our social networks

It’s Ironic that Facebook is moving into a more public space occupied by Twitter and FriendFeed.

I think their jealousy of the hype that Twitter is getting might be leading them astray.

Why?

I’ve been asking “normal people” what they use. You know, people like my wife and her friends who aren’t tech bloggers and don’t pride themselves on using the latest thing. She is addicted to Facebook and is not interested in the public part of it. She doesn’t get Twitter and FriendFeed although she understands how I use those to talk with a large public audience.

She’s craving intimacy with her friends. She uses Facebook to talk with her childhood friends about the little moments in life that they will find interesting but that she doesn’t want open to a larger public discussion.

She’s not the only one craving that kind of intimacy. I’ve noticed it about myself too. Recently I started a private group for people I liked that I wanted to have a way to discuss things with just them. It never went anywhere, but I noticed that when we have small, intimate discussions that all of us have more fun and learn more.

Living our lives in public often leads to very weird behavior and worrying about what the crowd will think. That doesn’t lead us to a good place often.

I’ve often wished that FriendFeed and Twitter have more private spaces, or ones that have a better combination of public and private areas. The fact that they haven’t worked much on the private spaces (FriendFeed’s private groups are pretty good, but private messages get lost in the noise and there isn’t a good way to notify people that messages are waiting for them and Twitter’s direct messaging features are a total joke, unusable for anything group related and pretty unusable for anything else either). Now that Facebook is spending more effort becoming more public I find myself looking for some other system that provides that intimacy.

This week I’ll explore several, but one I found that is already gaining a devoted group of passionate fans is ThisMoment. They opened up for business last week.

Unlike with other experiments I’ve done on other social networks this one I’m going to keep just for my family and closest friends, but they have put up some interesting examples that are shared with the public. The founder, Vince Broady, put up a page of his Mad Max movie night. You can see here that the “moment” is intimate and the story told with both text and pictures.

Vince formerly ran Gamespot and entertainment at CNET and Yahoo and he — and a team of 11 loyal engineers — are building out this effort. I always look for good teams behind services (that’s why I got so excited by FriendFeed) and that’s one reason I’m excited about thismoment.

Anyway, some other examples. Even brands can use the more intimate approach. Here Road & Track is using thismoment to share moments of beautiful cars with its fans.

Here Stephen Blake recorded his experiences on Obama’s Inauguration Day.

Am I the only one noticing this trend? Is Facebook nuts for being jealous of Twitter and copying FriendFeed? Where do you go online to talk with your close friends? Are you looking for a better way?

Visiting the Library of Congress and Meeting the Flickr team

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I’ve always wanted to visit the Library of Congress (I shared a car once with THE Librarian of Congress, James Billington and he invited me to come and get a tour). If you haven’t been there, it’s the largest library in the world and their collection has about 14 million images.

But today was even better than just that. I met the team who manages millions of photos and images. You can even see a very small part of their work on Flickr.

I did some cell phone videos, which you can see here.

Part I. Meeting Helena Zinkham and introduction to prints and photographs division and discussion of how they get those images onto Flickr.
Part II. Meet the blogger from the Library of Congress. Now read his blog. He gives us a verbal tour of what is cool at the Library of Congress.
Part III. Stereograph collection (they have about 100,000 3-D images, I could spend hours just looking at these).

While there I learned about Flickr’s “commons,” which includes images from many of the world’s best public photo collections.

You can see thousands of images from the Library of Congress at its Flickr account, too.

Thanks Helena Zinkham for giving me a great tour and introducing me to many of the interesting images on Flickr.

Oh, before I forget, there’s a point to this post.

By opening up the images to Flickr they’ve gotten a ton of information about the images that they didn’t know. In my HD interview, which will be up in a few weeks, she shows me how people from around the world add onto the images with their own stories (one of the granddaughters of one of the photographers, for instance, gave the library a lot more details). This is a great example of what happens when you use these tools to open up items to discussion by everyone.

It’s so sad that there are still millions of photos that we can’t look at yet unless we visit Washington DC. The stereograph collection alone is unbelieveable. Hundreds of thousands of images — all categorized. I was lucky enough to take a look at a few and realized I could spend hours just looking through all of these.

I’m glad there are people who try to save all this stuff for future generations, though.

It also makes you realize just how far we are from getting all of the world’s knowledge and information available to us online.

Our DC trip in Photos

My son and I shot hundreds of photos, I uploaded the best 30 or so to my Flickr account. But wanted to call a few out here so you could see my favorites.

TEACHING PATRICK ABOUT HISTORY

Patrick visits Washington Press Club

I’m so happy I got to bring my 14-year-old son along for this trip because he got a first-hand look at the history of our world. From seeing the front pages of famous newspapers in the Washington Press Club (above) to seeing what the Berlin Wall looked like at the Newseum to seeing the first machines that took us into space at the Air and Space Museum, not to mention taking him to many of the monuments and memorials that are spread throughout Washington, it all will have a profound effect on him. I still remember when my parents took me to see the Lincoln Memorial when I was a kid.

INSIDE THE HALLS OF POWER

Picture perfect

Here we’re inside the press office of the Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi’s office. They have a stunning view down the National Mall to the Washington Monument out their Window.

THE NEW PRESS CONFERENCE

The new press conference

Andrew Feinberg and I interviewed a few elected officials using our cell phones. Here’s a great picture, taken by my son, of this in action. The Congressman, John Culberson, is a social media revolutionary (his words) in that he’s taking his cell phone (a Nokia N95) onto the floor of the House of Representatives and other places (he shot NASA as they landed the Phoenix rover onto the surface of Mars).

Andrew’s video of John Culberson is here, and my video of him is here in two parts (Part I; Part II).

REMEMBERING

Rocky at WWII Memorial

The WWII Memorial is right near the center of the Mall and is one not to be missed. We saw it several times, and I’d recommend seeing this one at night. It’s hard not to tear up and remember what so many gave for our freedom.

Top of World Trade Center in Newseum

Bill Biggart's camera (only journalist killed on 9/11)

Inside the Newseum there’s a sizeable collection of 9/11 things in one huge room of the museum. The museum staff tells me that the “dwell time,” or time that each visitor spends in each collection is 45 minutes for just this one room in the museum (which is huge — the average visitor spends more than four hours there, they told us). One thing that grabbed my eye was Bill Biggart’s camera. He was the only journalist killed in 9/11.

Headline on 9/11

Along one wall next to the TV antenna from the top of the World Trade Center are the front pages from all the newspapers on September 12, 2001. Patrick liked, and captured, this one, from the San Francisco Examiner, which screamed, simply: “Bastards!”

THE WHITE HOUSE

Rocky "holds" a press conference

Thanks to White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel (I knew him from when we both worked at Microsoft) we got a great little tour of the press briefing room in the White House. Of course we had our turns at the podium and got to act like we were the President, briefing reporters. Here’s Rocky Barbanica, my producer, holding a fake news conference. Of course, if this were a real news conference Jim Long, NBC camera guy in the White House, would be in the back with his video camera. Instead he was shooting a briefing over at the Pentagon but we got to see him at our party the night before where 500 people showed up (thank you! It was an amazing party for me and Gary Vaynerchuk).

The President says goodbye

I don’t care if you don’t like his politics or not (I don’t) but seeing the President take off in Marine One is, well, simply cool.

FAMILY TREASURE

Patrick and Robert in White House

I will always treasure this photo, taken by Scott Stanzel, of my son and me. To the untrained eye it might not seem to be that remarkable. But this path is walked every morning by the President on his way to the Oval Office. Right next to the path is the famous Rose Garden. So much of history has happened here that it was very special just being here and seeing it. Thanks to Scott for giving us a tour, giving me an interview, and taking this photo.

What an interesting week, next week will be hard to make as interesting, but we’ll try.