In technology there are few more important questions than “What’s going to happen with Twitter”. As with many early adopter issues, only the digerati and a few smart marketers understand how profoundly and importantly Twitter is reshaping the online landscape, giving a voice to millions who want to interact casually and superficially with … millions more.
This spinoff effort will be very interesting to watch as it’s a successful niche website that is establishing a Twitter like interface:
The challenge here is that if every website you go to has it’s *own* chatting interface you’ll either 1) get ticked off or 2) spend the rest of your life interacting with people at all these sites.
The answer is not individual site chat areas, rather we need to integrate the real Twitter with websites. (or some other chat standard, but Twitter seems to be the right choice given it’s ease of use and exploding subscriber base)
Open ID, Facebook connect and Google Friend Connect and open social and Disqus (for blog questions) and many other applications have the right general idea but nobody seems to be able to integrate all this across the board. We need to be able to seamlessly move from site to site, carrying our identity along with us so we can comment and interact easily.
>”We need to be able to seamlessly move from site to site, carrying our identity along with us…”
Well, carrying certain portions of our identity along with us.
I fear that I’ve already been outstripped by technology what with all this trackback, digg, stumble, facebook, yoville and newsvine stuff that I neither fully understand nor utilize, but I’ve always assumed that such a situation already existed: a seemless mashup of blog posts and blog comments. Maybe it does not yet exist. I simply assumed that it did. With corporations having Twitter or Facebook accounts, isn’t everyone linked in or must one use the proprietary Link’dIn service?
Open systems may appeal to programmers and hackers, but Proprietary Systems appeal to Wall Street.
Let us say that some noteworthy event took place in a uniquely named geographical area and suddenly the blog world is alive with posts about the events in Fredonia. The various comments posted to such blogs would all be related to these various events in the nation of Fredonia. Is there now a system or site or spider somewhere that would unite all these various discussions? Is there already some way to assemble the Tweets of the Fredonia residents with the Facebook entries of Fredonia pilots and have a MashedUp-Fredonia-AirCrash-Site automatically assembled? Or do I merely imagine that I’ve already been left in the dust by the evolving technology of the web.
Is there now a system or site or spider somewhere that would unite all these various discussions?
Short answer to my knowledge is nothing exists that is ‘well organized’. Topix, Google news, Newsvine are all examples of bringing together different sources on breaking news but Google, e.g. omits blog or Twitter or other “real time” sources in that News feed – I think for spam reasons.
I think this would form the basis of a great website by the way. Google is likely to move more to results that include a more diverse group of social media sources, though often the social media chatter isn’t that valuable to somebody who wants a “good quality” report.
>social media chatter isn’t valuable to somebody who wants good quality.
True. (Most of the time).
If there is a news report of an air crash somewhere in Fredonia social media chatter is likely to consist of well-intentioned but meaningless wishes, basesless speculation as to causes, speculation revealing an abysmal lack of aviation knowledge, etc. However, the social media chatter might well include: residents nearby the site, experienced pilots, etc. And some of the chatters might have reputations which add weight to their comments.
Such “weight” might be the means of monetizing the social media.
A twitter feed about “Dormitory of Death” might normally contain useless chatter about a headline making crime but it might also contain remarks by a noted detective or crime author.
(3) Actually LE (as I am sure you know FG) uses many of the social sites and twitter type technology to investigate things and to keep track.
It still amazes me when people post videos of themselves breaking the law because they think it is cool but are completely surprised when a LEO arrives at their door…lol.
The one interesting part of social chatter is it does afford the opportunity for someone’s voice to actually be heard…like someone in Whoville who actually gets heard.
At the same it certainly lends itself to abuse to achieve the opposite.
FG as usual you have several interesting ideas about how this might shake out favorably. Monetizing might get interesting if a site could offer people unique, real time, expert perspectives on breaking news. This would be cheap to do if you rounded up the right data and people… FOX, CNN claim to do this but generally are time delayed and only working the big ticket stories.
Whoville – good one Mr. Glenn – great Social Media analogy!
Social monetizing would involve perhaps two separate aspects. The easier one would be monetizing of expertise or reputation. The more difficult monetizing would take place on the basis of cyber-friends or a cyber-neighborhood. A grouup of people with common interests can have value since it is already a “narrowcasting” market rather than a “broadcasting” market. I’ve used before an example of a site relating to travel to Las Vegas: gambling, hotels, discounts, real estate trends, nightclubs, restaurants, etc. The assembly of the group can be monetized by advertising but also the social cohesiveness of the group is itself a value. Various members of that group have value based on what might be termed a “defacto cyber-friendship”. Think of how so much money is now made in Product Placement on television shows. Social groups in cyber-space would be an analogous situation.
the social cohesiveness of the group is itself a value
This is a huge point though nobody seems to have found acceptable ways to “mine” this golden value, esp. since users are understandably reluctant to help advertisers market to/with them.
Although there’s a lot of lip service given to the idea of companies truly meeting the needs of customers in the best way possible I think few companies will sacrifice much when profits are at stake. It would be interesting to go to the drawing board and look for the big picture right answers with respect to people and products, and then work to reinvent marketing and shape it more as a way to *optimize* economic relationships more than simply *develop* them.
Concerning metrics for monetizing social sites:
Analogous situations might be the various “front organizations” used by lobbyists to create a grass-roots aura. The depth and breadth of the organization’s membership is touted but its real value is that it is a tightly-controlled lobbyist’s tool for opinion shaping or donation laundering. Or consider perhaps the oriental practices wherein the organizers of gambling junkets wield greater power than in the USA.
It would be difficult to measure the degree of social cohesiveness much less market it.
its real value is that it is a tightly-controlled lobbyist’s tool for opinion shaping
VERY good point, lost on many and routinely denied by the practitioners
>>>>Is there now a system or site or spider somewhere that would unite all these various discussions?
>>Short answer to my knowledge is nothing exists that is ‘well organized’.
>>I think this would form the basis of a great website by the way.
It seems that PixelPipe and ConvoTrack are positioned in this general direction.
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