Category: Web 2.0

No surprise BackType’s new site focuses on search

One of my favorite things about social media is the revolution shaping up around search. The thing I love about BackType is they only focus on comments, where ever those may be. You’ll see evidence of this in my comments brought in through Discuss.

Not the blogs just the comments. And they’re turning that into a search business. And as a blogger we find that incredibly useful.

BackType — Blog Archive » The New BackType

BackType is a real-time, conversational search engine. We index and connect online conversations from across the web in real-time, so you can see what people are saying about topics that interest you.

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Posterous plus PostRank equals Pretty Cool

I love it when I get to talk about how to combine multiple products into something even cooler. This is one such post. This may not be new to some of you but I just figured it out.

Do you use Posterous? (If you haven’t set one up yet email your reason why to [email protected] if you’d like to set one up email the same address.)

Do you subscribe to lots of other Posterous blogs? If you’re like me you do and I get them all in one daily email. I had thought of going through each account and subscribing individually to each post. But that was too much work so I haven’t yet. The problem with the emails is there are too many of them and they aren’t mobile friendly.

The other problem is that people use Posterous like a scrapbook. Not those frilly scrapbooks where people spend hundreds of hours making them into works of art but real scrap books where we keep all our raw thoughts and collections of stuff.

That’s a lot of noise. Good noise but still noise. How do you filter just the good ones?

Fortunately I found a fix to both problems.

You will need FireFox (my stats tell me that’s half of you), Google Reader (the 800 lb gorilla in the feed reader market), and your PostRank account.

If you have all of those go to this address and install the FireFox extension. Now go to this address and subscribe to that feed in Google Reader (assuming you haven’t already).



What you’re seeing is PostRank rankings next to each Posterous post. It’s on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0 and the darker the orange the bigger the number. If I use the drop down menu I can just select to view All, Good, Great or Best. If I’m in a hury this allows me to quickly filter out a certain level of noise and get to the good stuff.

The great thing about the PostRank plugin is that it works with all your Google reader items. But I usually use Feedly to view those if I’m on the Web. (Hey Feedly meet PostRank. PostRank meet Feedly. It would be *really* cool if I could combine those two services.)

And by subscribing to the reader view, anytime I follow a new Posterous account it is automatically added to that feed. Brilliant! Love it.

Photo credit: Tac Anderson

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Social Media is a Wicked Problem

I know this is a ‘no duh’ for most people but I had an epiphany about the way I think about content “consumption”.

We don’t consume content. In fact every interaction with every piece of online content only serves to create more content.

Every click, every rating, share, new link, comment, new blog post, etc, just creates more content. More 0’s & 1’s on a database more records.

This is why data is expanding exponentially. And as the data expands exponentially that creates more interactions resulting in more content resulting in more……you get the idea.

There’s actually a scientific term for this and it’s called a Wicked problem. Search is a Wicked problem. Social media is a Wicked(er) problem.

I imagine that social media measurement and search provide a level of complexity that made search in the late 90’s look like child’s play.

Photo cred to me

This blog was originally posted at New Comm Biz

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FriendFeed and Posterous Redefine Content Management Systems

Image representing Posterous as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Following two posts on the topic of blog evolution comes some alerts that fuel more thoughts. I’m obviously geeking out here but please bear with me.

The below alert talks about a recent move by Posterous that would allow it to become a defacto publishing tool for content producers.

New on Posterous - Post to
New on Posterous - Post to Picasa, YouTube, Vimeo, FriendFeed, and others! It’s been an exciting week here at Posterous and we’re keeping things going by announcing a slate of new Autopost sites for photos, videos, status updates,

Now blogs by their nature are Content Managing Systems (CMS). But those just work within themselves. WordPress is probably the most widely used CMS. Drupal Is a powerful CMS that can power multiple sites with one install but this is a whole new evolution.

FriendFeed has had cross posting capability to Twitter from almost the beginning, but not full content and not to blogs. Not to be out done by Posterous, FriendFeed has added the ability for file sharing, including MP3’s.

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

FriendFeed adds file attachments. Next up, Google Wave?
A word about FriendFeed. If they ever decide to support direct messaging and something similar to the @reply tab of Twitter, then they would become my communication mode of choice. There is so much more that can be done there via I’m Not Actually a Geek

FriendFeed and Posterous are vastly different tools but they are both moving in the direction of being a CMS Engine, or Web Content Management. Posterous is more of a blog and FriendFeed is really more of a content aggregator/search engine but they both serve similar ends: aggregating and storing your content and then pushing that (or notices) out to other parts of the Web.

Like all things Web 2.0 instead of using a closed behind the scenes CMS these are open and out front community influenced CMS’. Dave Patton and I have talked about the CMS needs of an agency like WaggEd. Could the FriendFeed, Posterous approach be replicated for an internal CMS?

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Top 10 Blog Posts [May 2009] FriendFeed Steals the Show

Peter Kim has been doing a monthly top post recap for a while now. I like this approach and decided to steal this idea and remix it a little. He does it for convenience if anyone missed any of his posts. I like it for different reasons. It’s a simple way to show you what content resonated the most with readers.

For comparison I’ve also included the dates well as the PostRank score for each post. You can see this blogs full PostRank profile here (my profile is here). The raw numerical ranking is based off Google Analytics traffic numbers. The PostRank score is based off views and the number of times it was shared on Twitter and FriendFeed.

  1. FriendFeed is Reaching Critical Mass PR 10 - 5/20/09
  2. Enterprise 2.0 Needs a FriendFeed PR 10 - 5/19/09
  3. Why URL Shorteners Are Important PR 10 - 5/21/09
  4. What I learned from HP about co-opetition PR 7.4 - 4/30/09
  5. Ads in FriendFeed-This Could be Huge PR 10 - 5/19/09
  6. Leaving HP. Back to Agency Life PR 10 - 4/20/09
  7. How I moved up 300 spots in AdAge’s Power 150 in 4 months PR 5.5 - 5/05/09
  8. Social Media will soon face the realities of multiculturalism PR 5.8 - 5/04/09
  9. Despite the Promise of Social Networks Local Businesses Struggle with Marketing ROI PR 10 - 5/19/09
  10. Will RSS Ever Go Mainstream? 5.6 - 5/04/09

What resonated the most with you this month? FriendFeed was the big winner. (Kind of validates the claim I made in that most popular post doesn’t it?) After that the post I made when I left HP as well as my final HP posts had the most longevity.

It is interesting to note that nothing posted in the last 10 days shows
up on the list which makes sense given they wouldn’t have had as much
time as the others. It’s also interesting to note that some of the most visited blogs were not always the most shareable. Interesting.

Hope you found this useful. I’ll do my best to make this a monthly habit.

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Social Media will soon face the realities of multiculturalism

Social Media will soon face the realities of multiculturalism

This story highlights the problem when decisions are based solely on two factors:

  1. Can we do it? This decision is left to the engineers.
  2. Does it make business sense? This is made by accountants.

Old Japanese maps on Google Earth unveil secrets by AP: Yahoo! Tech

An Internet legal expert said Google is quick to take advantage of its new technologies to expand its advertising network, but society often pays the price.

Not only does it show why these types of decisions should not be made mathematically, it also shows the problems that come because most business, Internet and even social media decisions are being made with an American point of view.

So far social media is still largely focused on the US and Western Europe. As social media is being adopted by other countries we are starting to see cultural differences but I don’t think we’ve seen the real implications yet. This is something that I try to be aware of as I work with global teams but I’m also aware that I don’t know what I don’t know.

It is inconceivable to most of us that the country of Japan still has to deal with situations like this that stem from it’s caste heritage. We expect it of China and it’s still apparent in India but I never would have suspected it of Japan.

I wonder if Google ever asked, or thought to ask someone in Japan about this first?

If you are making a decision that has monetary consequences (aka, all business decisions), it is never a neutral decision and you are never innocent of consequences.

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Twitter’s favorite feature starts to get some dev love.

I recently blogged about the ‘favorite’ feature in Twitter, how I use it like a bookmarking feature and how I hoped that developers would start building apps on top of that feature.

I just found this cool little app Favrd. While it’s not a huge data set yet, since Favrd is only pulling from a subset of users (you can add yourself), I thought it was really cool that you could see who had favorited your tweets.

Favrd screen shot

This is just an early example of what can be done. Hopefully we’ll see more.

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Why You Should Use Favorites in Twitter

I’m a big fan of using the favorite feature in Twitter. (Here’s my favorite’s page. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed) Why? Well to be honest I mostly use it like a bookmarking feature. I do the same thing with Google Reader’s Star feature.

If I like something and want to share it I either retweet it or *share* it Google Reader. But what if I want to come back to something later?

I access both services a lot on my mobile phone and I find I don’t want to, or have time to, click through a link to read a full article (this is often true of my Online, non-mobile behavior) so I add a star. (I find it interesting that both Twitter and Google Reader use a star the same way but Twitter calls it “favorite”.) I may also favorite something because I want to come back later and blog about it.

I even go as far to pull a feed of those favorited items into iGoogle so I remember to go back to them later.
Twitter GReader Starred items in iGoogle

My good friend, fellow Boisean and fellow ADHD‘er Steve Nipper @nipper blogged about an idea he’s had that started off as a tweet (BTW he’s a user of the favorite feature).

My Thoughts on how Twitter could be Improved | The Invent Blog®

What percent of your followers do you think sees every tweet you make? 5%? 10%?

That, in my opinion, is the biggest defect Twitter has.

What if #1: What if you could anchor a tweet in the river (so the threaded conversation I mentioned above could take place)?

What if #2: What if you could tag some of your own tweets as something the REALLY want your followers to read AND it was really easy for users to see them. Sure, you could mark it as a “favorites,” but most people use that function to tag their personal favorites (of other people). Mine: Additionally, most Twitter users don’t even know that favorites exist (or that they have RSS feeds). Addressing this “what if” would instantaneously convert Twitter into an actual “microblogging platform” instead of a stream of consciousness.

My thouhgts is that if you really want #1 - that’s what FriendFeed is. My thoughts on #2 and how it ties to this post is that’s what favorites and retweets are for. There are already many services being built on retweets it seems like favorites could be the next Twitter API opportunity. What tweets are getting the most favorites or maybe building a widget that displays your favorited tweets on your blog like you can do with your Google Reader shared items.

I did some poking around to see if some of my other favorite tweeple were favorite feature users:

To Steve’s point I think if someone started building tools around the favorite feature that may drive more wide adoption of it. Do you use it? Do you see any value in it?

P.S. Completely random side note the favorite feature apparently throws some props to the British/Canadians since their spelling works as well or Go figure

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Microblogging is about to go Supernova

SN 1996cr in Circinus: Powerful Nearby Superno...
Image by Smithsonian Institution via Flickr

Two new developments this week are the precursors to potentially huge developments. and Jaiku are two other microblogging platforms. The big difference is that they are both open source. has always been open source. Jaiku was an early competitor to Twitter which got bought by Google and then promptly shut down. They have now opened up Jaiku as an open source project.

You can read mre about developments with here and more about Jaiku here.

So why is Tac geeking out over this. Well, if you remember not so many days ago I made the claim that

5 years from now the non-early adopters will be using dozens of services built on top of Twitter and they won’t even realize it and Jaiku give developers an even greater abilty to further microbloggings functionality into additional apps.

One of the keys to this (I think) will be developers tapping into Twitter’s API so that #hashtags, @replies and other common protocal translate well across services.

Everything from Web chat, sentiment engines, polling applications etc, etc, could be build on Twitter (and other microblogging tools) without ever having to interact with Twitter itself.

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[NCB Best Of] Wikipedia is the best thing ever!

This week marks my 2 year blogiversary. To commemorate one of the things I thought I’d do is re-post some of my better older posts. Oddly enough this is my #1 blog via search engines. Apparently this is still a very popular quote by Michael Scott. I attribute it’s high search ranking to the fact that I posted this just hours after the original show ran. This blog was originally posted on 4/10/07


“Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world, can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information.” - Michael Scott

The Office (US TV series)
Image via Wikipedia

I am a huge fan of The Office. The above quote is from April 5th’s (1997) episode. in a very tongue in cheek way, the writers of The Office are highlighting an ongoing social debate. There is constantly (and will continue to be) a debate over the validity and accuracy of information on Wikipedia. To me this is a non issue, for others it is THE issue.

For me what it has done is shown what is possible. People want to share knowledge. People want to colaborate. People will use New Media tools. And most importantly when I talk to clients about wiki’s it gives me an example of a technology that everyone is familiar with.

A wiki is a great piece of technology. How you use it is up to you. If anyone is using a wiki in their workplace please leave a comment here. If you have an example of wiki’s that you use when trying to explain them, other than Wikipedia leave that comment as well. Or if you have your favorite Office quote you can leave that here too.

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