Social Media

Tweet Your Congressman

A brief but interesting tease on one possible future of social media in government… I can certainly appreciate the information overload that Congressional aides must be experiencing and can only imagine what restrictive “guidelines” and archaic processing systems/procedures must be in place. Something that hopefully POPVOX can overcome.

Funny, though, that John McCain has the highest “Digital IQ”. Wasn’t it The Daily Show (or Letterman) that would ridicule McCain for his old-coot grasp of new media? Newsweek acknowledges the ‘IQ’ but points out that it is quality not quantity…


The Geosocial Universe (Part II)

Last week’s launch of “Facebook Places”, the new ‘geosocial’ feature of the gargantuan social media provider, makes me wonder what will happen to all the other geo-oriented competitors. As with other great ideas and big market opportunities, when the industry lead does something, there are usually repercussions. Already Hot Potato has fallen, absorbed like Microsoft swallowed Vermeer to get FrontPage. Who else will fall?

Venture favorite FourSquare likes the position they are in, and they even supported the Places press conference (likely partnering, along with Gowalla, on the API). But while the world can live with Ford and GM stomping around, the little guys like Saturn and DeLorean are likely to get pushed off the dance floor. 500 million users will tend to do that. Fringe players like Loopt and Mobcast may be in jeopardy. And while Google falls in the “big fish” category, their Latitude product has generated as much buzz as, well, their Buzz product.

I’m betting that Facebook is sure to dominate all others. Location services will prove to be best when they are both utilitarian and popular. Most others lack the well-established user base, and those that have gained popularity are used more like games than services (Gowalla as scavenger hunt, FourSquare for collecting mayoral points). The lure of 500 million Facebook users will draw the lion’s share of retail partnerships, and that will ultimately determine the true u$efulne$$ of $uch a $ervice.

The Geosocial Universe

An interesting infographic on the penetration of social media in the mobile world.

Check out what we are calling "The Geosocial Universe&qu... on Twitpic

I might quibble over the representation of Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail as individual closed systems though. Size matters relative to their marketing capabilities – think eyeballs and click-throughs – but in the social media universe I would think they are all part of a generic “email” aggregate that dwarfs all others.

The Impersonal Nature of Social Media

We’ve all heard the social media horror stories – pedophiles on MySpace, away-from-home Facebook clues to entice burglars, etc. The typical security advice is to carefully control (and periodically review) your privacy settings and be very diligent about what information is offered up.

But there is another more obvious measure…

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Facebook Insecurity

As Betty White – who hosted Saturday Night Live last night as a result of a grassroots Facebook campaign – said in her opening monologue, “now that I know what Facebook is, it sure seems like a huge waste of time”. Since I am a participant myself, I won’t hypocritically debate the merits. However, I will continue to call attention to the potential privacy risks that careless Facebook participation can incur. And one of the biggies lies with application security.

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Shareaholic for Firefox

Shareaholic is one of those essential add-ons that you never knew you needed until you used it. A friend turned me on to AddThis, which sounded intriguing. But after reading the reviews (80% “greatest thing since sliced bread”, 20% “Beware!”), it seems that Shareaholic is better.

From within FireFox, sharing URLs as postings to FaceBook, LinkedIn, WordPress, and dozens of others (that I don’t currently use) is just a click away. This is only my inaugural try and already I am declaring it a winner!

New Year, New Toy

I have to admit, I never really resonated with “the blog”. To me, it seemed like a very public “Dear Diary” that you really had no idea who was reading. Not to mention the very idea that you are egotistical enough to think people are interested in what you had to say in the first place! MySpace and “the Wall” of FaceBook is a bit more natural, since at least you know who your audience is, but the open blog was a stretch. Sure, I got the whole business/marketing angle which works in many cases, but some people were using it as personal expression, and I am introverted and guarded enough for that idea to be a completely foreign one to me.

So now that I’ve trashed the blog concept, why am I trying one? Simple. LinkedIn is my new drug, and they have a WordPress widget. This is an egregious and wholly unnecessary attempt to have a blog so that I can test the LinkedIn tool that ties to it.

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