Pondering the Social Problem

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Pondering the Social Problem


27 Mar, 2008


After listening to TWIT rave about Twitter for the better part of the last year, I finally signed up when I saw that Scott Hanselman was using it. I did what I thought was expected of me and added Leo Laporte, Scoble, Calacanis, Kevin Rose and Hanselman. I also
discovered that Rollins had an account. I
downloaded twhirl. I thought I had it
all set up. I am officially jumping onto the new Web 2.0 bandwagon. Web 2.0
prepare to socialize me, ENGAGE!

Within about a 24 hour period, I
realized I was missing something. Why did I sign up to a service that allows
media personalities to spam me many times a day? Scoble and Calacanis were the
first to go. Rose is hanging on by a thread. Leo doesn't really use the service,
so another useless attachment. At least Scott's feed was interesting. We had a
couple dialogs about mundane stuff. That was interesting and showed the
potential.

So I struck out and attempted to find a peer group that I
could fit into and make Twitter useful for me. I poked around in the people that
Scott was following. Added a few of them. I asked in the ALT.NET IRC channel for
Twitter URLs. I now have a handful of people I respect that I am following and a
few of them have chosen to follow me. I am beginning to see usefulness emerge
from the tool and that is interesting.

There is still an issue with all
of these social sites. The main problem being that I don't want to maintain a
presence on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and the multitude of other
social outlets. As I add new ones to my list of tools, others become abandoned.
Images that I store in Facebook for my friends to see do not automatically show
up in my MySpace page neither are my Twitter followers notified that I have
added them. I am not in control of the data.

I have recently discovered
some tools that attempt to tie the social sphere together. TwitterFeed allows me to tweet when I post a blog entry. But what about Facebook
& MySpace? LivingSocial offers many applications that live within the social sites that allow you to describe
yourself better, but how do I get that data on to my blog? Having one central
location to push social data out is an interesting problem.

Google is
doing some work in this area with OpenSocial. TwitterFeed's
use of OpenID is a step in the
right direction. Let's hope and advocate that these services address future
problems of content ownership and keeping the data free so it can be moved
around as services die off from lack of innovation or another FaceBook type
crushing takeover for dominance.

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Bobby Johnson

About Author

I am a passionate engineer with an interest in shipping quality software, building strong collaborative teams and continuous improvement of my skills, team and the product.

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