August 10, 2009

A chat with the co-founder of FriendFeed

A chat with the co-founder of FriendFeed from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaToday came word that Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is buying the microblogging service FriendFeed.

This is interesting on a couple of levels. First, it provides further proof that Twitter — the microblogging platform that has taken the world by storm this year — is truly not for sale. Second, it ratchets up the faceoff between Facebook and Google for supremacy in the social networking space. The four co-founders of FriendFeed are all ex-Google employees. Co-founder Paul Buchheit (above), whom I interviewed a few weeks ago at the UGCX conference in San Jose, was the creator and lead developer of Gmail. He also suggested Google’s now-famous motto “Don’t be evil” in a 2000 meeting on company values according to Wikipedia

FriendFeed In this 10-minute interview, a relaxed Buchheit talks about the company’s origins and launch in October 2007 from the very simple idea of “letting me know what’s going on with my friends” (one co-founder came at it from the premise of “friend alerts”).

Early in our talk I asked Paul what differentiated FriendFeed from Facebooks’s personalized news stream and from Twitter. He said that FriendFeed tends to be more content- and communication-oriented, encouraging people to share tidbits about what’s going on with them, instead of alerting people what Facebook group they’d joined or whether they’d been bitten by a zombie.

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FriendFeed’s premise is quite similar to Twitter’s, and I should have asked Paul about how Twitter has successfully leveraged an outside developer community by letting coders build applications on top of its platform — and why FriendFeed hasn’t taken a similar approach. But we did get into some of the differences between the two services. I like how FriendFeed threads discussions, in a way similar to forums and bulletin boards, letting people chime in on interesting conversations and providing some context. You can also “Like” a posted item, which is an easy way of conveying your approval.

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July 24, 2009

Howard Dean: ‘The Internet puts politicians out of business’

Howard Dean on Internet disrupting politics from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaOne highlight of the three-day Fortune Brainstorm:Tech conference, which just wrapped up in Pasadena, came when Howard Dean, former presidential candidate and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, began riffing on the Internet’s impact on national politics.

Some highlights from the 11-minute video:

• Howard Dean: “The technology is moving so fast and it’s having an enormous, enormous effect.” He briefly traced the influence of the Internet on U.S. politics, citing YouTube flipping the U.S. Senate to Democratic control in 2006 because of Va. Sen. George Allen’s Macaca moment.

• The 2008 campaign by Barack Obama made spectacular use of social networking. “2008 was the first election in the lifetime of everyone in this room in which more people voted who were under 35 than over 65,” Dean told the audience. “This is the president of the younger generation.”

• Dean: “Then along comes the 2009 Iranian election and they could shut down the Internet but they couldn’t shut down their cellphone network without shutting down their whole country. How did information get out? Twitter.”

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July 2, 2009

Some ‘Twitter definitions’ are sponsored

Twitter Sponsored Definitions

A Twitter Sponsored Definition

Chris AbrahamThere has been so much conjecture as to how Twitter will start monetizing.  Well, it looks like there have been a few baby steps in the form of “sponsored definitions” that cycle through right above the Home link on the navigation bar. It is very subtle and I didn’t notice it myself until today (Seth Simonds has been talking about this since June 23rd).

You won’t see these sponsored definitions every time as they’re interspersed with Twitter definitions that are not sponsored but simply informational or helpful, I guess.  An example of a sponsored definition is Exec Tweets and Cinema Tweets — essentially text ads in the guise of being factoids and links to useful apps and services.

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June 14, 2009

Corporate social media workshop in LA June 24

To help corporate social media champions and consultants

Christopher S. RollysonI‘m really excited about presenting the Social Network Roadmap in Los Angeles at the Social Networking Conference, so I won’t pretend to be impartial here.

If you are trying to persuade risk-adverse colleagues or clients to adopt social media more quickly, read on. The roadmap is a suite of management tools that helps users to manage the risks that adopting social networks poses for large organizations. I’ll also share the agenda and ask for your comments.

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June 5, 2009

Reflections on using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

A multiple platform perspective to increase engagement

strategyChristopher S. RollysonSpecializing in Web 2.0 and social networking since early 2006, I’ve formulated strategy and programs for hundreds of business and government leaders. The main goal of these initiatives has been engaging people in the most appropriate and effective way. Since many of my clients are B2B (business to business, commercial) executives, I have worked extensively with LinkedIn because it has been most relevant for most situations (it still is).

However, I am increasingly seeing cases in which people have accelerated relationships by connecting in multiple platforms, and this is growing in importance in client work. Here I will offer a cursory introduction of this concept and how it can work.

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May 9, 2009

Twitter revenue from in-email advertising

Chris AbrahamThis is complete speculation so bear with me.  Very recently, Twitter changed its email alert messages  from pithy text-only notices of new followers or direct messages to branded, graphical emails.

Well, Twitter has always been in a conundrum: If they monetize the sparse web interface, they’ll alienate their very touchy early adopters and send people away in disgusted droves; however, if they place banners, contextual ads or sponsored links into alert emails, then no harm, no foul.

Pretty New Twitter Email

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