Archive for the 'Social Software' Category

About that Twitter thing…

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

I signed up for Twitter way early in 2006 (check my RSS feed, it shows a relatively small number) but only started really using it at SXSW 2007 in Austin, TX.

It was initially meant as an experiment to just give it a try, see how it works and then decide if I really needed it. Well, that experiment has lasted for almost two years now (we know it’s addictive).

Twitter has grown tremendously over the past two years and so has my usage. There are at least seven accounts I use on a regular basis (one personal, a few various business and product ones, a couple of community events etc.).

There’s definitely been a lot of cool stuff to see and I still enjoy being amidst this new thing (micro-blogging, whatever) — except for one big problem: it’s too distracting and it costs too much time.

It’s not so bad with the smaller accounts that have up to a couple hundred followers/following, lower posting frequency (less than daily) and are focused around one specific niche topic.

But my personal Twitter stream has become a real drag. Too much noise. Too little signal. And as much as I appreciate that Twitter is stable after the problems we saw last year, the fact that there’s been feature standstill doesn’t help much either: no groups, no ability to fine tune tweet volume, no easy way to manage your followers and followed — pretty much all the basics needed to help me manage are still missing. I’m sure there’s an application out there somewhere that does some of that but seriously, who has the time to go on that quest?

Anyway, time to clear out some of the brush (sorry to un-follow you). And probably step away from it entirely for a while and see if the world still turns.

Yahoo! Upcoming product feedback

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

So Yahoo! is asking Upcoming users for feedback. Here’s mine (the small portion that was free form):

There are ads on Upcoming, really? ;-)

If Upcoming could do private events, I believe it could replace Evite for many.

Automatic notifications (e.g. via SMS) for events that are becoming “hot” fast in my network. General measurement or visualization of “interestingness” for various events (kinda like Flickr does for photos).

For some events, it would be nice to have the option to have the event details be editable to other event attendees (with or without approval, not sure). The use case here is that I may have entered an event prior to the organizers, don’t have the time to keep it updated but trust that others will do so. Have experienced this many times. In fact, it sometimes keeps me from adding new events these days (the ones I don’t own).

Other than that, nice job! ;-)

We’ll see what happens.


Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

I’m on Wordie.

Wordie is for people who love words. Start by making word lists: words you love, words you hate, words on a given topic, whatever. Add citations, comments, and tags. See who else has listed the same words.

For example, here’s my current favorite.

Via: factoryjoe Flickr stream

Change agent at work

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Just for the record:

  • Late March (immediately after landing the job) — Started pushing for team/group/department wiki.
  • April 15, 2007 — Started spreading some Twitter love.
  • April 19, 2007 — Started evangelizing the unconference format and its potential benefits in and around the enterprise.
  • No later than early May 2007 — Started pointing folks to Silicon Valley’s vibrant Lunch 2.0 movement.
  • Etc.

Since then:

  • July 2007 — First internal Lunch 2.0 at Oracle.
  • August 2007 — Oracle is BarCampBlock sponsor.
  • September 2007 — Department wiki launches (internal).
  • October 2007 — First public Oracle Lunch 2.0.
  • November 2007 — Public wiki launches, OpenWorld comes nicely bundled with an unconference, Twitter seems to be all over the place at Oracle.
  • Etc.

Of course, none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the curiosity, open-mindedness and drive of a number of other people at Oracle (both inside and outside the sphere of influence a small team like ours can command). That’s what’s made this job such a fun experience over the past few months. And while I’m well aware that I can’t claim credit for all the good things that have been coming together lately, I’m glad that I was able to give some of the right queues at the right time.

O'Reilly: Collective intelligence the heart of Web 2.0

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Tim O’Reilly:

“… the idea of collective intelligence, which to me is the heart of Web 2.0.”

Source: O’Reilly Radar, SAP as a Web 2.0 Company?


Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Wiki meets Facebook.

First up, the Wiki Project:

theWikiProject is a place for you, your friends, and your groups to write Web pages together. Using the same software that powers Wikipedia, you can share pages with just a few folks, inside Facebook, or with the whole world at!

Another cool feature is a wiki-style Wall, since you can put your own page inside your Facebook profile, and any and all of your friends can edit it.

This is EXPERIMENTAL software by a couple of developers who wanted to use MediaWiki inside of Facebook. We CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR PRIVACY nor the RELIABILITY OF OUR STORAGE. Yes, it’s on’s servers and we make hourly backups, but this is just a very small project at the moment…

… but if you pitch in and join theWikiProject, we think it could be a whole lot bigger!

Read how the makers of the Wiki Project explain “Why a wiki?

Secondly, Wetpaint launched the beta version of its Wiki Whiteboard app on Monday:

Wiki Whiteboard by Wetpaint makes it simple to work together with friends and groups inside Facebook. Adding content, images, videos, and dozens of other widgets is as easy as clicking and typing.

Who knows, there may already be more wiki apps on Facebook than just these two…

Playing with Listphile: “A good citizen is…”

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Listphile just came out and seems very nicely done at first glance:

Listphile is a free website that enables anyone to create collaborative lists, atlases, databases and more. Lists can be broad and ambitious (like a List of All Baseball Players Who Played in the Majors) or niche (Punk Bands from the Lower East Side, 1975-1980), or quirky or ridiculous. You can collaborate with other people to share, create, and make something that will benefit humanity.

I set up a little civics-related crowdsourcing experiment: A good citizen is…

Will be interesting to watch what kind of statements people suggest.

Via Techcrunch: Listphile: Lists On Speed

n2eu — NetSquared Europe shaping up?

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Dan McQuillan, the web manager for Amnesty International, is working on the idea of launching NetSquared in Europe: UPDATE on Netsquared - the European Remix

About NetSquared:

Our mission is to spur responsible adoption of social web tools by social benefit organizations. There’s a whole new generation of online tools available — tools that make it easier than ever before to collaborate, share information and mobilize support. These tools include blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasting, and more. Some people describe them as “Web 2.0″; we call them the social web, because their power comes from the relationships they enable.

They are the makers of the annual NetSquared Conference, which was great last year and which I was unfortunate to miss this year.
More information about the n2eu initiative can be found on their wiki.

Via NetSquared: Net2EU: Join the NetSquared Europe List Serv and Wiki

Checking in with four current examples of wiki-based dialogue and deliberation

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

I’m following a variety of projects in the area of online dialogue and deliberation. This past weekend, I took the time to look in a little more detail at four of the ones that follow a purely wiki-based approach to find out how they have been doing lately (screenshots on Flickr).

Please note that all four projects have slightly different objectives, covering such things as dialogue, deliberation, debate, discussion or argument mapping.

1. More Perfect

About More Perfect: “Imagine an entirely new approach to democracy where everyone is able to participate. Imagine a way to enable more direct public involvement and participation, creating a marketplace of ideas where the public can collaborate with each other on the matters that affect their daily lives. Fundamentally change the way policy makers and citizens approach the creation of laws today. That’s our vision.”

For the ten weeks between April 20 and June 29, 2007, a total of 43 edits occured according to the recent changes page. That’s an average of about 0.6 edits per day for this 71 day period.

2. Politicopia

I had mentioned Politicopia back in January. According to the wiki, Politicopia “gives people a solid handle on the Utah Legislature. Users create summaries of bills, pro and con arguments, comments, links, and more.”

There don’t seem to have occured any edits recently, though the wiki does not allow to examine this in more detail. As a proxy, I looked at number of revisions per page. The wiki currently lists a total of 116 pages. I count 1240 revisions, bringing the average to 10.7 revisions per page. The wiki has been live for roughly six months. Assuming a time period between December 25, 2006 and June 29, 2007 (184 days), the average is 6.7 revisions/edits per day.

To be fair, however, the wiki may have just been a first pilot to prepare for future projects. It was most active during the 45-day legislative session which ended in mid-February. Based on this shorter period (45 days), the average is about 27.6 revisions/edits per day.

3. Debatepedia

About Debatepedia: “Debatepedia is the free wiki encyclopedia of A-to-Z debates and pro and con arguments. It is the home and future of sound reasoning. Debatepedia is a project of the International Debate Education Association’s (IDEA) and Debatemedia, Inc. Debatepedia enables anyone (you included) to click “edit” and engage in a collective endeavor of documenting and structuring unique pro and con arguments on any topic, even topics that you initiate. Debatepedia is quickly becoming an indispensable resource for debaters, students, citizens, and even politicians to uncover salient arguments in important public debates and develop rational positions and perspectives. At its highest level, Debatepedia will help improve the quality of decision-making itself.”

Between March 23 and June 29, 2007, a total of 106 individual edits occured on the wiki. That is an average of about 1.1 edits per day during this 99 day period.

4. Campaigns Wikia

Back in January, I had already noticed a slow-down in activity at Campaigns Wikia. According to their mission statement, “it’s time for politics to become more intelligent, and for democracy to really involve the people. Broadcast media tells you what to think and doesn’t let you get involved. It’s time to focus on what you need, what you care about, and the messages you want to get out.” And: “This website, Campaigns Wikia, has the goal of bringing together people from diverse political perspectives who may not share much else, but who share the idea that they would rather see democratic politics be about engaging with the serious ideas of intelligent opponents, about activating and motivating ordinary people to get involved and really care about politics beyond the television soundbites.”

Between May 12 and June 29, 2007, a total of 447 individual edits occured. That’s an average of about 9.1 edits per day during this 49 day period.

I’m leaving the conclusions and evaluations for a later post, but the obvious question here is why neither of the four projects seems to be able to gain any significant traction.

Civic sensemaking

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Just sayin’.