Everything related to social networks, communities, group publishing and editing etc.

Jeeves to Increase Public Presense in Search Community

Thread Title: JeevesGuy Exposed! Thread Url: http://blog.ask.com/2005/02/jeevesguy_expos.html Thread Description:

Kaushal Kurapati has posted on the Jeeves blog the companies intention to increase their presense in the Search forums - and better yet, to drop the stupid nicknames - Yaay!

I know we have at least one or two of the ASK people registered here so you better come out now and damn well post something useful! heh...

Surprise surprise, del.icio.us has a Spam Problem

Thread Title: Tags run amok! Thread Url: http://www.corante.com/many/archives/2005/02/01/tags_run_amok.php Thread Description:

If you're not familiar with del.icio.us, in short, it's a social bookmarking system working on the priniciples of folksonomies - a way of letting users classify content themselves - see the link for a quick primer.

Well, guess what? When you have 30.000+ users and you're giving away free links, people are going to abuse it. It's a crying shame, but it's hardly surprising - the funny thing about many things like this (they come and go on occasion, the kind of "let the users take control kind of things) is that it never appears to occur to the creators that people won't behave in the way that they'd like them too.

del.icio.us is doomed, the poor chap that owns it only works on it at weekends and evenings so unless he can magic some kind of moderation into the system and find people to administer the app then it's dead in the water already...

Trackback Spam

Not sure if anyone noticed other than rcjordan but we've been trackback spammed about 4/5 times today already - as a result, im going to have to shut off trackback while i sleep and take the dogs out etc...

Hate to do it, but as im a pretty deep beleiver in publisher responsibility, meaning that it's no use whining about it, you just have to deal with it, that's the best option available to me.

The Trackbacks on this system come up as comments, i may find time to jig the module, maybe even create a patch for it so that you can choose to have them come up unpublished and awaiting approval, but untill (and if) i manage to do that if you want your trackback to be added, ping me in the morning :)

PS - if you've trackbaced here before and had it deleted, it's nothing personal, TB's are judged on a simple basis - do they add value to the thread? If you're just pointing at us, or pointing at the same thing we are linking to, it generally gets binned, if you're discussing the issues and have linked to TW then for the most part you're part of the distributed conversation and it stays...

Niall Kennedy to manage Technorati Community

Thread Title: Managing the Technorati community Thread Url: http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/archives/2005/01/managing_the_te.html Thread Description:

Niall Kennedy who previously worked for NexTag will be managing the Technorati community according to his blog threadlinked above and this post by Richard Ault, one of the Technorati founders.

Starting Tuesday, February 1, I will start a new job as Community Manager at Technorati. I will be responsible for helping the world understand Technorati's service offerings and providing developers with the tools they need to build and extend Technorati. I will help make your voices heard and build new features to strengthen the links we create while consuming and producing content.

Adding a community manager to a staff of twelve is a big move for any company and a strong signal to a community of users. Expect big things and we will all be working hard to deliver new tools to track the world live web.

and hey Niall, people reply to your comments here dude! I still want an answer dammit! heh...

Good luck with the new job..

VC $$$'s Tuning to Specialized Social Network Startups

Thread Title: Social Networking Sites Move Towards Specialization Thread Url: http://professional.venturewire.com/exclusives.asp?s=DEALBOOK&sid=IPHLQOOPLL Thread Description:

With a rash of relatively general social networking startups last year kickstarted by the likes of Friendster in 2003 VC $$$'s are tuned to more specialized services and structures in 2005. Dating and Business networks being a prime focus:

Opportunities remain, though only a few companies in the space are profitable as of yet. David Sze, general partner with Greylock, sees dating and business networking as the two areas where consumers are willing to pay, but he said that a lot of companies haven't figured out yet how to make money.

In both those markets, users are more likely to pay subscription fees, an extra revenue stream on top of the traditional advertising revenue that social networking sites usually focus on. VCs' belief in these markets in particular can be seen through the example of one round - the $110 million blockbuster round for e-dating firm eHarmony.com Inc., which raised the money from Sequoia Capital, Technology Crossover Ventures and Fayez Sarofim & Co.

Eric Sachs of Google on Digital Identity and Social Networks

Thread Title: Digital identity event at Future Salon Thread Url: http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/archives/2005/01/digital_identit.html Thread Description:

Nial Kennedy has some nice recordings of a presentation at Future Salon on Digital Identity including Eric Sachs of Google who talked about Orkut and Gmail and some of the issues surrounding digital identity and what G feel users want and need.

It's a worthy listen though their is little of surprise in the talk...

Quiet out there isn't it....

Well, i've seen dead weekends news and views wise but this one takes the piss - even the wide eyed bloggers are quiet - i thought i might pick one at random and give 'em a hard time just to releive the bordom but no, not a dickie bird out there today folks...

In other news... I have been busy with the redesign here and it's coming along very, very nicely. One odd thing though: I've found that im no longer quite the css guy i used to be heh.. im getting plenty of help from Claire as i've found that if you're not doing this cutting edge shit everyday then you soon lose it...

I've also been talking to some folks about showing ads to non-members - i've mentioned this a half dozen times but not done it so far but, hopefully some stuff will resolve and that will help float this beast whilst not pissing off the regulars - if you're not registered, do so, and while your at it: introduce yourself - go on, come out of lurk mode, no one's watching anyway heh..!

Weekend Stuff Boring crap i have discovered this weekend:

I like cake - i never used to, but now i do - wierd.. My daughter will be sick if you play "bouncey bouncey" after she's been fed Giving both dogs minimal excersise for two weeks while the big ones leg heals (the vet says its nothing to worry about but it scares the shit out of me) and expecting them to maintain their usually impeccable (yeah ok, well they dont tear up the place too much..) behaviour is not realistic. Tempers are hard to control when dinner is a joint effort over the noise of a crying baby I like it when everyone else is in bed and it's only me left sometimes - the luxury of *quiet* is one that has a 100 fold increase in value since Robyn arrived :-)

And you?

Moderating Online Communities - 13 Tips

Thread Title: Some things I know about moderating conversations in virtual space: Thread Url: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/006036.html#006036 Thread Description:

Nothing winds me up more than bad moderation - Here's a list of tips from Teresa Nielsen Hayden - some are obvious, some not so, but all in all, it's an interesting read if you run a community or participate in one.

Here's my favorite:

There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create a complex, nuanced, civil discourse. If you want that to happen, you have to give of yourself. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden.

via boingboing

Can Anyone add to that?

I'd love to see an extended list - maybe she'll write one after seeing how popular this effort was - one of the obvious things to build on would be handling moderators - who moderates the moderators? heh..

Seriously, i've met some diabolical moderators in my time doing any number of the following:

Glory seeking - only turning up in the forum when thiers some glory to be had Being their in name only - starting a community out with pre-appointed mods is a bad idea imo, promote from your regulars - those that show an active interest and participate regularly coupled with subject expertise and social skills, not those you think *might* work out. This also applies to those that pitch/audition for the gig but then slack off when they get it.. Power Seekers - backstabbing and gossiping for personal gain - kicking down members and other mods to get closer to the top Public floggings - dressing down a member in public - never a good idea, the occasional in-thread note to all, sure but humiliating a member?

That list could go on and on, as could the list of problem areas that members and owners of forums and other types of communities can cause.

Mobile Gossip is the Equivalent of Social Grooming

Thread Title: Evolution, Alienation and Gossip Thread Url: http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml Thread Description:

Facinating piece at the Social Issues Research Center that argues that the humble mobile phone is restoring a need for social grooming that has been lost within modern society and it's fragmented social systems.

Mobile gossip is good for us

Gossip is the human equivalent of 'social grooming' among primates, which has been shown to stimulate production of endorphins, relieving stress and boosting the immune system. Two-thirds of all human conversation is gossip, because this 'vocal grooming' is essential to our social, psychological and physical well-being. Mobiles facilitate gossip. Mobiles have increased and enhanced this vital therapeutic activity, by allowing us to gossip 'anytime, anyplace, anywhere' and to text as well as talk. Mobile gossip is an effective and important new stress-buster.

Mobile phones are the new garden fence

The space-age technology of mobile phones has allowed us to return to the more natural and humane communication patterns of pre-industrial society, when we lived in small, stable communities, and enjoyed frequent 'grooming talk' with a tightly integrated social network. In the fast-paced modern world, we had become severely restricted in both the quantity and quality of communication with our social network. Mobile gossip restores our sense of connection and community, and provides an antidote to the pressures and alienation of modern life. Mobiles are a 'social lifeline' in a fragmented and isolating world.

It's a lengthy read, and im a slow reader but im about half way through it and can tell you that as with howard at smartmobs i think it's hardly a definitive work but it's an absolute eye opener for sure and well worth the read...

RSS meets Social Networking - Social Feed Aggregation

Thread Title: So what are you reading these days? Thread Url: http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/02/issue/forward_content.asp?trk=nl Thread Description:

Interesting piece in Tech Review on Rojo Networks (hmm.. nice site..), a year and half old startup headed by Chris Alden who founded Red Herring that plans to use it's Rojo aggregator tech to link feeds in a social networking environment.

San Francisco’s Rojo is one of dozens of RSS aggregator companies. Like some of its competitors, Rojo has an RSS feed search function and gives readers the ability to flag stories they find important or interesting. But in enabling users to draw on the insights of friends, family, colleagues, and others in their social networks, Rojo departs from most of the competition. Rojo users can invite others to sign up for Rojo accounts; those accounts are linked, much like the accounts on the popular website Friendster. Rojo users can see what RSS feeds the members of their networks are reading and which stories they are flagging. Network popularity also affects the ranking of results when the user searches RSS feeds. “We all depend on our community for content discovery,” says Chris Alden, Rojo’s cofounder and CEO. “Any successful media service has to tap into that.” [Disclosure: Technology Review’s editor in chief worked for Alden when he was CEO of Red Herring.]

As rafat notes, the important question is if users will start new social networks to discover feeds when they probably already maintain networks at places like Friendster...

SEO Pub Meet - 28th May London Stansted

Following a thread started by DougS: Unofficial SEO Gatherings and the subsequent split off of JasonD's post to Arranging a UK SEO Meet it fills me with warm fuzziness to post the results of some great ideas - here go's... Who, What, Where, When and Why? Let me go briefly through all the details you need:

Who - Invites and How to Register

All attendees must sign in on this thread - This will enable us to keep track on how many folks we need to talk to the hotel about and other logistical stuff - its a free gig with no financial motive, there is no money to throw at this so this is the best we can do heh..

Break Google and get a Job

Thread Title: Licence issues, we reward you got breaking them Thread Url: http://www.contractoruk.com/news/001912.html Thread Description:

Sometimes, Google actually "get it"....

Search supremo Google has been inviting UK internet users who tamper with their 'secure' products and programs to visit the company's HQ to try out for a job.

A series of candidates have been called to Mountain View in California, after they tried illegally to tweak Google products or hack the search site for company secrets.

The phenomena, dubbed 'Google Hacking' is now so prevalent that stand-alone sites have been set up to display already exposed secrets, so hackers can't claim someone else's discovery as their own.

Love the Email Addy Laz.....

I wouldn't normally do this, but it's a bit of a special case - Welcome to Threadwatch Lazerzubb! - Do introduce yourself mate...

Love the email he signed in with: fuckyouifyouspammenick@ hehe....

Text Selection at Threadwatch - Help Needed

Thread Title: Selecting text Thread Url: http://www.threadwatch.org Thread Description:

Im one of these people who likes to click on the text, drag what I want for selection purposes then ctrl v's into the text box. This is especially handy for quoting multiple posts or a salient part of whatever point it is that is being made.

At TW this isn't that easy to do. For some reason you have to fiddle about, or highlight the whole page, slap that into the box, and then remove the parts you dont want to comment on.

I'm assuming its a CSS thing, would anyone have a fix or suggestion?


Will Six Apart Kill Live Journal Culture?

Thread Title: The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart Thread Url: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2005/01/04/the_cultural_divide_between_livejournal_and_six_apart.html Thread Description:

With the news of Six Apart's move to buy Live Journal comes an interesting piece from Danah Boyd on the cultural differences of the two blogging communities.

Jump inside LJ culture. People who use LJ talk about their LJs, not their blogs. They mock bloggers who want to be pundits, journalists, experts. In essence, they mock the culture of bloggers that use Six Apart's tools. During interviews with LJ/Xanga folks, i've been told that MovableType is for people with no friends, people who just talk to be heard, people who are trying too hard.

LJ folks don't see LJ as a tool, but a community. Bloggers may see the ethereal blogosphere as their community, but for LJers, it's all about LJ. Aside from the ubergeek LJers, LJers don't read non-LJs even though syndication is available. They post for their friends, comment excessively and constantly moderate who should have access to what.

While you cannot generalize about LJers, a vast majority of them are engaged in acts of resistance regularly (think: subcultures, activists, youth rebels, etc.). They value LJ because it values them. They value LJ because it is a tool of resistance, an act of going against mainstream and representing those already marginalized by society - the geeks, freaks and queers among us. They don't want to be mainstream. They don't want their parents/authorities/oppressors using the same service. At the same time, LJ provides shelter, support, community. When someone threatens to commit suicide, LJ doesn't throw up its hand and scream "not my problem." There are folks who actually work to help friends help each other. They're not just an anonymous service - they care.

While many bloggers love to talk about LJ with disdain, as a low-brow version of the culture, i adore LJ from the bottom of my heart and i'm truly concerned that LJ's culture will be corrupted by an acquisition. It is not like any other blogging service and the needs that it serves are fundamentally different. I understand that Brad would gain much from selling, but it breaks my heart all the same. I can totally understand what he will gain, what Six Apart will gain... but what will LJ folks gain?

Legalities and Moralities or ...

.. illegalities and immoralities ?

A question I ask myself quite often is, "Does this idea breach moralities or legalities?"

As an SEOer I ask myself similar questions every day, putting a hypothetical group of people in place to answer them. This group contains a search engine employee, a priest, a mega capitalist, a policeman, a judge, a jury.

If all the above say that an idea I have is immoral then I smile and carry on with it.

If some of them start to say it is illegal I start thinking harder and when it gets towards the end of that group of people and they too say it is illegal then I am pretty sure the idea gets binned.

But there are those occasions when although an idea will be thought of by some as immoral but others as perfectly legal and some again as potentially illegal. It is these that get me thinking about whether the risk is worth the reward.

The risk is high (well to me anyway) and it is sharing a cell with a guy called Bubba, who weighs 300lb's and enjoys playing kids games. Specifically mummies and daddies!

The rewards can be pretty high as well. We all know what certain keywords equate to in financial terms when a high ranking is gathered.

The fear of Bubba is what stops me 99.999999999% of the time, but there will be occasions when someone isn't scared of Bubba and he can use that lack of fear for his SEO gains. So when does black hat immoralities become illegal?

Let me ask you what would happen in this instance.

A person lives in country A He works for a business incorporated in country B The business trades in country C The web server is located in country D The domain is registered in country E with WHOIS information in country F

The business only markets to people in country G

and even then it goes to an affiliate program in country H that is run by a business incorporated in country I that trades in country J whose web server is in country K and domain is in country L and whose WHOIS information is in country M

Playing with 43 Things

Thread Title: 43 Things Thread Url: http://www.43things.com/home/ Thread Description:

I've been seeing quite a lot of posts about 43 Things over the last few weeks and it's just launched so i decided to have a go and find out a little more.

If you've not heard of it, it's a social network like site that focuses around "things you want to do" - for example, as with the launch post above i thought the start a company that lasts longer than 2 years idea was a good one so i joined that group. I have no idea how i might actually get anything out of this other than a little time filler for a dull rainy saturday but, im keen to find a social network app that keeps my interest longer than a week and is genuinely useful.

By the look of it, I can invite people to "do this thing" - which is cool maybe. I see some stuff in there like contribute to a OS project that would certainly be cool to invite people to - maybe this app will have some use other than filling time?

If you've not tried it, go ahead and have a play around, ive messed with a few things like this and to me, this one actually looks like it might be useful...

oh, and btw, check out my things and feel free to comment/add/join or whatever, i may well add some more later on during the day :-)

Come on then, what are you doing tonight?

For us it's roast rabbit, bit of telly and dealing with one scared and one excited and barky dog - pretty boring.

What are you guys doing on New Years Eve?

Happy New Year folks.

Just a quick "Best Wishes" to all from Woz in Oz. Hope 2005 is better than you could ever hope for.

Onya Woz

Craigslist Chews up Millions in Newspaper Ad Revenue

Thread Title: Craigslist Costs Newspapers Millions In Classified Ads Revenue Thread Url: http://www.internetweek.com/allStories/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=56200498 Thread Description:

Social classifieds site Craigslist is eating up millions in ad revenue that would have otherwise gone the way of newspaper classifieds:

The non-profit site has also cost newspapers millions of dollars more in merchandise, real estate and other traditional classified advertising businesses, Classified Intelligence LLC said in a recent report on the self-service site's impact. Craigslist, which is a quarter owned by EBay Inc., has grown to a billion page-views a month.

"Craigslist has created an extremely important and valuable marketplace, and perfectly illustrates the changing nature of the classified advertising industry," Peter M. Zollman, founding principal of Classified Intelligence, said in a statement.