Posts Tagged ‘FriendFeed’

We Need to Implement a Comments (or Conversations) Microformat

September 26, 2008

Work has already begun to do this (see the Microformats site for more) and infact if you view the source of my WordPress blog (for those posts with comments) you will see that it has already in place.

If you were to think about the Internet like a Librarian thinks about the Library you would go nuts. Not only would the amount of information out there scare you into submission, but you also have to consider the types of information.  If you went into the local library and grabbed an index card from the Microfiche catalog and placed it into the Microfilm catalog the librarian would quickly and quietly escort you to the door and ask you to not return again.

The organization of information by type is just as important as indexing content by topic.

The Conversation
We are now having conversations everywhere.  Some popular places that I have conversations are:

  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Twitter
  • FriendFeed
  • Facebook
  • SocialMedian

And if you go onto FriendFeed you will see that there are millions of places to have conversations.  Yes, Millions.

Today a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook.  The article outlined how people are being misinformed by mainstream media.  The content of the link prompted a conversation between myself, the user who posted the link and one of his friends.  The new Facebook design allowed us to have this discussion inside each of our News Feed Home pages.  This was great but in about 2 days this conversation will be all but lost and no one outside of our small group will ever be able to offer their opinion or reference the conversation.

A little later on I read a post by Jeremiah Owyang on Twitter asking users to answer the following question

Debate: should the debates continue this Friday? #debatedebate

Being newer to FriendFeed than Jeremiah’s closer friends, I decided that I would reply via Twitter.  After a visit to FriendFeed (which automatically aggregates information from many Social Networking sites like Twitter, Google, Flickr, Blogs etc…) I saw that everyone responded to Jeremiah’s post there.  FriendFeed also provides an easy “comments” section for almost any type of aggregated content.

As conversations move from the traditional Blog Post, Forms and even Twitter – how can we capture that content in a useful way?


Are Images Any Different?

If you told the 10 year ago me that I would be able to type text like “American Flag” into a search engine and find all of the images that have something to do with an American Flag, I would have told you were crazy.  In fact, I might have even asked you to quietly leave.

When you think about what an image is – at some level it is a perfect Microformat and provides all the information needed to be fully indexed by most intelligent search engines today.

I think that if we implemented a common Microformat for comments (or conversations) we could begin to track conversations on any platform and treat them like a type of content (or information).  We could then aggregate this content in special search engines.

The result would be a glimpse into the conversations going on at any given time.


I am finally getting what I once thought was going to give me

May 27, 2008

I was once a member of the social networking site – back before it changed it’s platform from a link sharing format to the current question/answer format.  I wrote about the site a few times and at the beginning was very interested in the content that I had amassed there – and the relationships that I had begun to build.

What I thought was great about the previous format of was how easy it was for me to build my own community.  Instead of the masses of communities available in Facebook, you could create “groups” which were essentially “tagged” with topics. When people shared links (similar to what you do in you could notify your “group” and engage them in conversations.  Since you could create your own groups I likened the experience to a “research group” – similar to those in college around a project or a specific class.

In these “groups” we could share links and add comments and weight responses – with the promise being that I could categorize my community:

– Who in the community knew the most about advertising

– Who had the inside track for latest fads

– Which group member had the best knack for interpreting analytics data

As a specialized group – each with our own goals – we could lean on each other and create a close nit community designed to educate us all – faster and better.

Talking with your community through Social NetworksI have begun using FriendFeed and joined a room (group/community) called “Social Computing Strategist” (thanks Jeremiah).  It is filled with people who want to talk about everything that I want to talk about.  And the nice thing about this – is instead of sharing links we share everything:

  • Messages – directly to the group
  • Blog comments – from any blog that supports “Disqus
  • LinkedIn profiles/changes
  • Posts to Digg
  • Posts to StumbledUpon
  • Heck – Link posts to every linking network known to man
  • Twitter posts
  • Flickr photos
  • Posts to Blogs

With every post (whatever it is) you can add comments.  The information is endless and what you get out of it (in a very chaotic sort of way) is a new way to talk.  A new way to find information.  It is sort of like Mahalo meets Wikipedia with a twist of RSS.  Very interesting.

Happy am I that I know have filled the void left by – to bad they did not have the wisdom to see the possibilities with their original platform.

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 =)