Tag Archives: sharing

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?

New Feedly combines Google Reader, friendfeed, Twitter in great way for social network addicts

Edwin Khodabakchian founder of Feedly yesterday showed me why Feedly is cool (I recorded him telling me about what makes Feedly special and demoing these new features): it combines inputs from Google Reader, friendfeed, twitter, and elsewhere to make an interesting news display, but now it also — as you surf around the web — shows you if there’s a conversation about that blog post on friendfeed. You can read more about Feedly’s new features on its blog.

What is Feedly? It’s an addon to the Firefox browser that aggregates your sharing behavior together into a page and then adds a little bar to the bottom of pages that gives you more sharing and comparing features about that page.

It also is like a little StumbleUpon — if you keep clicking “next” in the little toolbar it’ll take you to another cool site your friends have recommended to you.

This is all crack to someone like me who lives on social networking sites all the time and wants to keep up to date on the conversation that is happening over on friendfeed about items.

But that’s also its downfall. How many people are like me? Not many. Do many people, when they are visiting a web page, wonder what the conversation about that page is? Nah.

And, if you see my Feedly page you’ll see it really is awesome. A good, quick, summary of today’s latest news. I think it’s better than Techmeme or TechFuga because it’s based on my friends and the feeds I’ve subscribed to on Google Reader.

See in Google Reader I have almost 1,000 people who are scouring the Internet for interesting new stuff and are sharing it with me. That is like having 1,000 editors working for you. It makes for a news page that’s quite interesting and amazing.

The problem? How many people have 1,000 friends in Google Reader? Not many.

Two strikes.

That’s why I say Feedly is ahead of its time. At least with friendfeed you can see what someone else’s experience is like, even if you don’t have any friends. I hope Feedly will move in that direction so everyone can see what Louis Gray’s friends are bringing him, for instance.

But, in the meantime, Feedly is very interesting to me and it has been added to my morning news reading.

Read/Write Web has a good article on the new features as well.

Things I’ve learned by clicking “like” 15,301 times

Mike Arrington is right. I am addicted to friendfeed and it’s very difficult to pry myself away from it and do a more serious blog. I now have 15,300 reasons why I am so addicted.

It is called “Like.” But clicking “Like” doesn’t mean I actually like that item. It means I want YOU to see it.

People ask me why so many people follow me. (26,000 on friendfeed, 50,000 on Twitter, 5,000 on Facebook).

This is why: I shine my flashlight on other people. So far in the past 11 months I’ve done it 15,300 times.

Most other A list bloggers that you know never even try to link out and tell their readers about other people doing great work this way.

Some things I’ve learned?

1. I’m more likely to share items from people I’ve met face-to-face. Why? There’s a social reciprocity aspect to it. If I’ve met you at a conference I know you a little more reliably than other people I haven’t met.
2. There is some overlap with TechMeme because I have similar interests but my likes tend to be far smaller stories than will ever get onto TechMeme. Things that will make you smarter, but aren’t big news items that’ll attract a lot of links. Things like Tim Ferriss’ post about how to learn any language in three months.
3. More “independent” voices make it onto my list than onto TechMeme.
4. I like racing TechMeme. Often I can beat it with a like by half an hour or more. But lots of times it beats me. Which, brings me to #5.
5. I don’t get nervous anymore about missing things. Why? Because I am following 13,000 people on friendfeed and they will keep bringing back important things. Plus, important things get onto TechFuga and TechMeme. I call my behavior “media snacking.” If I have time I’ll snack on different stuff from around the Internet.
6. After I like something I can see how other people respond to it, so I can refactor my likes. If people hate a like, or tell me I messed up, I will use that info in future likes.
7. Likes are searchable. If I search for someone’s name on the Everyone tab anything they’ve liked will come up in the search. Which brings me to the next item.
8. Likes are metadata that improves the original item. How? Well, for instance, in friendfeed I can hide all Tweets that don’t have a like. That makes finding interesting tweets DRAMATICALLY easier.
9. By having all my 26,000 followers on friendfeed see the items I like (it puts them into their view) I find that I am getting to know my followers in a much more intimate way than if we just tweeted at each other. On a separate page you can see all the items I’ve commented on, to see this in action.
10. Likes can overwhelm people. I am liking about 700 things a week. Many people just can’t deal with that flow (and it gets far worse the more people you follow on friendfeed). That’s why I say on friendfeed it is hugely important to be very careful who you follow. I recommend putting noisy likers like me into a separate list, which will help you get more value out of us.

What do you think? Does this behavior help you? Or do you think it’s lame?

Who has the coolest iPhone photo sharing app?

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One reason why I leave my cell phone and email on my blog (they are +1-425-205-1921 and scobleizer@gmail.com) and hold meetups that are open to everyone is so I can meet cool people I would never have gotten to know otherwise. Tonight I met a DJ, Richard Savill, who works out of London, England. Not a geek, particularly. Not someone who shows up on Twitter or FriendFeed. But he wanted to see what a Photowalk was like, so I said “let’s go out and shoot London.”

He ended up giving me a great demo of a very cool iPhone app called Snap My Life.

It is nicer to use than Flickr on the iPhone. But what caught my ear? His excitement in talking about what it’s done for him. He also tells you how he found the app, which is always interesting for other startups who are trying to get adoption.

Startups: do you have customers like this who are rabid advocates of your service? Why haven’t you done a video of them like the one I did with Richard? Or, better yet, I’d love to hear from them.

I made this video as we were walking down Edgware Road in London. Later he showed me the app and showed me that his pictures automatically were tagged with location so his followers can see where we were taking pictures. Pretty cool and nice, simple, interface.

Have you seen a better iPhone app for photo sharing?

You can see Richard’s photos on his Snap My Life site.

I wonder what Ben McConnell or Jackie Huba would think of Richard? They wrote a book titled “Creating Customer Evangelists” and that’s exactly what Snap My Life did here. Congrats to them!