It is amazing how fast social networking is growing. Every time I am giving a presentation I always ask my audience how many people use one or more social networking sites like Facebook, MySPace, Hyves, LindedIn or another. Since a year this percentage is growing from 20% to more than 70% nowadays. I think especially business oriented sites like LinkedIn made social networking more “salonfähig” than before.
Social networking is I think an area where the idea of “the rich get richer” is especially true. After all, once you have many customers you tend to have more people sending invitation and there is more chance that people send invitations to you. One would expect that only some big sites remain and that newcomers have a hard time growing.
Therefore it is surprising that a new one, Plaxo, is really flooding my e-mail box. Many contacts have send me an invitation. After 10 invitations I decided to take a look, make an account and start using it too. I was a bit weary for this since using lot’s of sites is awkward, I thought.
But I must say this is a sticky one. Firstly they are very easy to link to your existing social networking site like LinkedIn. Secondly they use something they call “pulse”. On plaxo you can fill in the blogs you write, the photo sites you use and all other exhibitionist’s methods and they are shown in a log to all your contacts. This resulted in several comments on the photo you see above, I did not realize that it would be shown to all (welcome to the world of total transparency). Before I wrote about small world networks. One of the effects I see by using Plaxo is that you can see that lots or your contacts make contact with people you also know (and since you see this in the “pulse” you immediately connect to them too …).
One of the interesting developments in social networking is OpenSocial from Google, used by Plaxo too. Google failed miserable with Orkut and other social tools they developed. So they decided to create an API that makes it possible to integrate all social sites in an easy way. And thereby minimizing the advantage you have by having lots of members since everything integrates easily. And thereby minimizing your disadvantage when you have failed miserably in creatign you own social site. You have to admire them…
I came across this article in the paper on Saturday about the fact that civil servants are adding and changing information on Wikipedia during working hours. Some time ago I blogged about the Wikiscanner and of course one can see more and more how important transparency is. There have been numerous cases where with the help of the wikiscanner people have been found out while trying to create their own truth …
However, the question is how are we going to deal with this transparency. Of course ciivil servants also use the Wikipedia during working hours and of course they sometimes also change information. Just like people in companies and people at home. Wherever we are we still remain individual human beings. One of the effects of Web 2.0 is that the different roles we have are more and more blending together. At all times of the day we are private person, employee, citizen, husband and father and can switch easily between all these roles.
Somehow we have to learn how to deal with this transparency. The fact that information came from a computer within a public department has nothing to do with the department. By locking the access to Wikipedia only image may be gained but civil servant will lose access to important information. We have to accept the fact that also aberrations are visible.
Before they existed also and we knew they did, now we can see they do.
I read this post at salesforce:
Salesforce.com is considering bringing to market a new service enabling companies to share leads, opportunities and custom objects with each other (assuming both are using salesforce.com). What would you call this service?
If you have another name suggestion please post it in a comment.
This seems a rather interesting application of Web 2.0 sharing of information. Companies sharing leads in a network through their CRM system. There are of course a lot of questions like how do you protect your leads against competitors, how easy it is to create rules how to share and such. But still, the idea has a huge potential I think.
I think the most interesting new adaptations of technology are the ones that make clever combinations of the real and digital world. You might say the ones that live in symbiosis, where the digital world feeds on the physical world and vice versa.
Second Life I do not like since it merely involves the digital realm. Meeting somebody from a discussion group in real life creates great physical meetings and makes the discussion later on more interesting, knowing the other person also in real life.
At the moment I am talking to an organisation involved in the safety sector. Practice for them is extremely important. Problem for them is that practice in real life is difficult and expensive. Not all situations can be created in real life (too costly or physically so destructive that it can not be done). On the other hand practice in the digital world does not feel real. It is hard to substitute loud noise, a roaring fire and wind and many people putting pressure on you. In a game you also can get the adrenaline working but different …
The idea of the project is to set up an environment where digital and physical practice is completely intertwined. A group of policeman can be training in a special trainings village while their physical coordinates are transferred to a simulation environment. The commander can than command the real people who are training as well as digital troops. These two world you might say feed on one another, like the fish help the turtle to stay clean buy picking of the algae and getting a good meal by doing it.
I think we all know the sorry feeling that we lost track of people we knew and worked with in the past but lost sight of. In the past it a was always very hard to find them again. Since some time now there is a new social network called LinkedIn. The idea is that you can find people by name and that they themselves keep their profiles up date. Meaning you can find them on their current e-mail address.
By using it I already found some old friends from the places I worked, colleagues, customers and partners. It even integrates into outlook and recognizes people you may know from all the old e-mails you have sent (I have an archive of all my mails from 1997 and on)
This linking to each other creates an interesting web. You can normally see the acquaintances of other people and and have a look at their network. Potentially you can get an introduction for people you wish to contact. One of the other interesting features is that you can pose a question that others can try to answer.
It seems to be growing explosively, especially in the Netherlands…
I think one of the reasons it works is that the identity of the people involved is (on average) accurate. People are who they say they are. After all, the network is also meant for finding real people and real jobs. So there is no use in providing false identities. I am really curious in how this network is evolving. Another interesting aspect is that the network that people build based on their role is becoming more their own instead of their employers. This may create a feeling of independence (which is a good thing in my book). Potentially the added value for the users is much bigger than it is in networks like facebook since it keeps track of how your career evolves after graduation.
I sent them an e-mail to find out if it is possible to get (anonymously) their data on the linkages between people. This of course is a small world network but it is interesting to find out what kind of people are the connectors, what is the average separation, and so on. I have not yet received an answer…
You can find me on linkedIn .
Children grow up sooo fast. My son said that he wanted a blog too so I made one for him. He made his first post (and he referred to his dad’s blog on it, nice ). Than he asked that I made a link to his blog. I said to him that he should first write some posts.
His reactions than was that iCrowds deals with social networks so that linking to each other is something that should be done. Duh…
11 years …. here you can find him.
Willem, now you have a moral obligation to write, often.
I remember as a small child that, when you had taken some cookies from the cookie jar you were not supposed to take, your mother somehow always knew. I suppose this must feel the same for the people that got caught by the Wikiscanner.
This is an application that relates the IP adresses from the people who did edits on the Wiki pages. Surpringly (or maybe not so surprising really) a lot of edits come from organisations that are involved in the wiki-article and their intentions are not always without self interest. The page of George W. Bush was edited from the home security office (removal of the fact that he had a drinking problem) and the best of all about the edit from the queen’s home address where information from her daughter-in-law Mabel was edited to make her look a little better.
This all is of course not surprising. When information can be edited there is no reason to think companies and people will not do so in order to make them look better. The interesting part is that it turns out that many of the un-truthful edits had been discovered very quickly and have been repaired withing hours and sometimes even minutes.
Also, the wikiscanner is a new step that “the crowd” can and will use to make the information more trustworthy. More transparency will lead to better information. Not perfect but still a little bit better and better to judge.
These are for example the edits from the Telematica Instituut (looks like we have a lot of mathematicians in the company or are these the edits of one person?). Interesting…
It has been a long time since last post due to vacation and various other activities. But even in vacation time you can still enjoy the possibilities of all the new channels of communication and communities.
There is a (closed) discussion group I am member of that deals with various political subjects. Many of the members are educated as philosophers and the discussions are on a very interesting level. One of the people in this group is an American living in the Bourgogne in France. During the vacation I sent him an e-mail to suggest to meet for drinks when I would be traveling through France on the way back home. He was so nice to invite us to his house and stay the night there. Imagine: in the middle of the beautiful country side in the Bourgogne in a water mill dating back to the year 1300. Great company, great place, great food, great wine (probably the best red wine I ever tasted) and great conversation. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.
One of the other surprises was how my son of 11 years was able to converse in English. Due to his playing games on Internet and chatting with other children all over the world he could really hold a conversation.
This to me shows that it is the combination of real and digital life that makes the current development on communities so interesting. It is not either the one or the other but the possibilities of intertwining those two to create new surprises.
Thanks Bill and Nala for a rememberable evening.
LadybirdOriginally uploaded by Vigdis T
Sometimes the power of the long tail amazes me. The picture on the side is of a ladybird. It is coming from the group “Tiny animals on fingers”. Oh yeah, I suppose this is not a picture of a ladybird but a picture of a ladybird on a finger.
Of this group there are 448 members. Amazing.
This is a comment on the articles by Gorman and Shirky on the Brittanica blog and Many2Many. Major issue to me on this discussion is the consequences of the change we are making from the traditional publishing of information, including the accompanying business model, to the electronic publishing with the “free business model”. In this discussion a comparison is made with the Luddites, 19th century weavers and knitters who fought against the use of textile machines because it threatened their business.
But isn’t there a big difference with he Luddites. The Luddites complained that new technology was making them unemployed, which true but happened in a fair market. Machine fabricated and hand woven competed and the first won.
I think at this moment the case is different. Look at the way everybody is quoting the Luddites. Reading the articles it is my well educated guess that most people are retrieving what they know about the Luddites from … Wikipedia (King Ludd ..). Interesting.
But where do we think that the original knowledge of Luddites is coming from. Again my educated guess would be that sometime somewhere someone copied (rephrased) an encyclopedia.
The new competition for the Luddites did not use work from the Luddites to compete. They had their own full business model. Wikipedia can only be free since most of the original research was done by people that make a business by doing research and whose business model rely on getting paid for it. Who will do our future (original) research. My guess is not the current people filling wikipedia.
Also, at this moment we are all quoting from Wikipedia about Ludd and his companions. I am afraid if it would turn out that the Wikipedia page would be wrong we would all be parotting each other like it would be the truth. That in itself would even make it seem more truthful. Scary when you think of it.