Archive for the ‘Social Networks’ Category

If I Have Unlimited Choice, How Do I Decide?

February 25, 2008

Just over a week ago I highlighted a chance to get on AssetBar as provided by Louis Gray, as well as introduce LinkRiver, picked up from the same source.

I don’t know how many people took up those invitations, but I sure did and I have to admit my reaction is kinda mixed. I liked the features of AssetBar, but not the UI (user interface). I liked LinkRiver’s functions, but found it a little hard to find friends. All in all, great products, but I wasn’t sure they would ever take the place of Google Reader. Not that it really mattered, I wasn’t looking for a replacement, just different ways of using the same RSS function on the web.

As a pretty typical Internet user, my attention span isn’t great, and I thought “Ok nice programme, doesn’t do a lot for me, I’ll try to keep it in mind.” What changed it was that creators from both applications dropped me a message at my blog to say “look out for this” or “just to clarify this”.

In other words: they were listening. I commented on this somewhere, which lead to Louis beating me to the punch (on time, but not message), that companies that listen to their users will win in the end

And that alone was enough for me to consciously set aside time to continually explore their applications, and I’m sure one day they’ll give Google Reader a run for their money.

If you’ve had similar stories, or other such applications/programmes to share, feel free to comment and share them!

By the way, I am well aware that these posts are just flying over the heads of many of my friends, but I’m going to be introducing 2 things that have totally changed my internet usage habits: RSS and del.icio.us. So if you’ve been one of them who’s been telling me “your blog is so technical now” or “why do I want to be even more connected?”. Stay tuned and read on.

Twitter 102, Fighting Procrastination With Productivity

February 3, 2008

As a follow up to my Twitter 101 post, I came upon 2 articles featuring Twitter this week:

Twitter is a way to record thoughts and ideas that you search – it’s a history
Twitter connects you to a larger world outside of the classroom and even the country
Students can follow people who do what they want to do or who they admire and get a sense for their job and life
Twitter can improve writing and punctuation

There’s some controversy about the classroom article because the students in question are 6th Graders, and I think that’s fine. Let them be exposed to Twitter at an early age and all that. But more importantly, who’s going to teach people like us? I think I have 2 friends (in the similar age group) on Twitter, and unless that number grows to reap substantial network externalities, it’s hard to see that catching on.

Similar sentiments regarding news. Running a Campus Radio station, sometimes it is hard to get the most updated news. Wouldn’t that all change with Twitter? However, again, it depends on whether sufficient people are using it to highlight news, for anything to be really gained out of it.

Next up, if you’re someone who is guilty of procrastination (as I am), here is a free ebook by Fruitful Time called Stop Procrastination Now and here’s a guide to Lazy Productivity. I found them both to be pretty helpful.

Finally, if you were too lazy to check out Jaffe Juice #102 for the Scrabulous jingle, Ariah was kind enough to provide the youtube link, so watch it right here. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Facebook Fatigue?

January 31, 2008

I’ve been suspecting that Facebook’s been seeing a decline in activity for sometime. Just about half a year ago, the ‘home’ section with updates from my friends would be flooded hourly. Now I can login after 8 hours, and find that almost nothing has changed.

Suspicions have been confirmed with this article from ReadWriteWeb (once again picked up by Readburner, have I convinced you of its usefulness yet?), which says

There are now 15,422 apps on the Facebook platform — how many of them are truly useful? Anecdotal evidence would suggest that the novelty has worn off and users are finally starting to demand more of the applications they install.

The article also has statistics about the number of Facebook app users at their peak, and now:

Peak Today
Funwall 5800 2500
Superwall 4800 1800
Top Friends 2900 2200
Likeness 821 181
Super poke 1500 500
Movies 814 500
Compare People 1000 471
iLike 941 372
Causes 469 110
Superlatives 320 110
  All figures in 1,000s

There have been criticisms of Facebook in recent weeks: Marketing Pilgrim discusses a partnership between Facebook and the Wall Street Journal signalling desperation from either/both parties, and Jaffe Juice #101 has a comment on how disappointing it is that Facebook is not engaging the new media enough moving forward.

Applications are seriously beginning to rub some people the wrong way, and Facebook isn’t exactly providing the innovation that people want,  but I don’t think that’s making people tired of Facebook, or making them want to jump aboard the next new platform when it occurs.

Personally I think even with most apps stripped away, the Facebook interface is still superior to Friendster (for sure), and at least for network externality reasons, more popular here than MySpace. There are statistics to prove that MySpace is still dominant, but given that it never really caught on in Singapore, it’s not that relevant.

It would be great to hear what people here think, and maybe get a general idea of how the social networking scene is like in Singapore, and then publish some thoughts on that. My guess on where it’s going is the more frivolous applications (Grow a plant, hatch an egg?) will slowly die off, and the real social applications like iLike and Feedheads will gain popularity, as users begin to realise that Facebook can and should act not just as a Friendster clone, but a place to share information and interests in one central space.