Posts Tagged ‘blog’

The first Social Media enabled Presidential Election

September 26, 2008

In 2004 here was the status of some the now more prominent Social Media sites:

  • Digg – didn’t exist (launched late 2004 December)
  • Reddit – didn’t exist (started in 2005)
  • Propeller.com – didn’t exist (started in 2006 by Netscape now owned by AOL)
  • Slashdot – started in 1997 (this site mostly focused on technology)
  • Treumers – didn’t exist
  • StumbleUpon – didn’t exist
  • SocialMedian – didn’t exist

(thanks for the list)

A New Information Channel

Now with the advent of Social Networking sites like Ning, a whole new era of information distribution has emerged.  A lot of the discussions that I have gotten into lately is about misinformation of the public.  Not the ignorance of the public but the flat out misinformation. In most cases some of these people that are misinformed are downright intelligent.

Take into consideration that although most of the mainstream media floats to the left, there are specific news stations (fox for example) which can also lean to the right. Other than sites like FactCheck.org, most sites are “interpretations” of the information.

The definition of a Social Media on Wikipedia (while it may differ from site to site) is

the use of electronic and Internet tools for the purpose of sharing and discussing information and experiences with other human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences.

It is the method of interaction which offers the most interesting change here.  Although there is no guarantee that the use of Social Media will be free of biased information, it presents a single channel comprised of information from both sides of the line.  In addition, the information is presented with collaboration tools (such as comments and forums). Good community action has proven to elevate the conversation beyond one persons opinion or view.  In most cases, the post or article simply introduces an idea or a viewpoint, the conversation which occurs after allows for mediation and fact checking.

SoMe Election 08

It is sites like SoMe (Social Media) Election 08 which drive this point home.  Built on the Social Networking framework of Ning it allows users to post content about the upcoming election.  Any content.  As a member of this site (it’s free by the way) you can post:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Discussions
  • Links
  • Events

You can even chat with other users who happen to visiting the site at the same time.

This particular site focuses heavily on the presence, power and effectiveness of media on the Presidential Election and accepts all viewpoints.  No one person has the power and while it is slow going right now it represents the type of change Social Media can bring.

What a site visitors gains out of this type of interaction is a more well rounded view of the issues (or information).  Not that they aren’t subjected to bias views, but since all views are expressed at once, it is easier to see both sides of the debate – which is required when making a decision.

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I’m with Louis

April 13, 2008

There has been a lot of talk lately about the “fractured feed reader” which can be summed up as from Dave Winers post here (and since he kind of started this whole thing I think his point of view matters):

This week’s Bitchmeme is about comments on blogs and where they belong, on the blog, or on an aggregator. For example, when this item is viewed through FriendFeed they will allow comments on it over there and I’ll probably miss them unless I go look for them. I will certainly miss the comments on Shyftr which I have never heard of until today and have never used, but from what I hear it does the same thing. Is this a good or bad thing? Well if you like to know what people think it’s bad. If you ask a question in a post, as I often do, you might miss some good info.

While I can understand how someone would prefer conversation about a piece of content they wrote remain in the context of the content (in this case a blog post) I think that there is one fundamental problem. The medium for “conversation” around a blog post is poor.  Mikull and I have been discussing this off line recently and we feel that there is a significant difference in the way people use tools to have a conversation.

He has had a raging battle with his site visitors about the potential removal of his forums.  For various reasons the forums have become a bit too much work and present a road block with future growth for his site.  However, as you can see here they are an important part of many peoples lives.

The main focus here is that the blog is just not a good way to follow a conversation.  Additionally, it is difficult to find a blog that doesn’t turn into a flame war fairly quickly.  That is why places like Twitter and FriendFeed are so important.  It is where the conversation is happening.  It has become the new medium and it makes sense.

If I read a post on a blog that I think is important and I want my friends and I to have a discussion about this – I don’t post a response to the blog.  First I can’t guarantee that my friends will go there and follow me in the discussion and Second – who sits on a blog page all day hitting refresh waiting for someone to make a new post.  At least with the message board I can get an e-mail notification when there is an update.

With twitter I can post the link – make my short and concise comments (who has time to read fifty 400 line responses to a blog) and then let twitter notify me when my friends have something to say.  The difficult part of this (and where I feel there is a tremendous amount of opportunity) – and why I think Eric Berlin may be irked is how do we capture this conversation.  We can’t force the conversation to remain on the blog site simply because that is the easiset way to “archive” the conversation.  We need a meta-sphere application that follows the conversation or connects the dots.

Any python developers out there =)