The blog world, along with my slice of the twitter world, is abuzz with attempts to understand, analyze, deconstruct, laud, and excoriate Google’s new OpenSocial initiative.
One key question seems to be: is this true openness or simply using the (increasingly at risk of dilution) “open” mean as a handy cudgel to ward off Google’s current nemesis, Facebook, with it’s extremely popular but closed application development platform, active and growing userbase, and impending social ad network play?
Another key question I’m hearing people ask is whether this is a hand-off attempt by Google to hew to its roots of faciliating access to information and monetizing the traffic and data that passes through its metaphorical ands or is it an attempt to do judo and place itself at the hub of the social web as it matures?
My meta question might be to ask whether each pair of possibilities is truly mutually exclusive.
But I don’t feel like I really can comment on this right now.
If I were still an independent writer or even just a user experience consultant at an agency with a blog, I’d be much more comfortable jumping into the geek-punditry fray, but I’m not.
I work for a company that view Google and Facebook as competition, a company full of people who use both Google and Facebook, a company in the midst of announcing and operationalizing its new strategy, a company that has just made a commitment to openness and has its own ideas about what that mean, and it’s really just too hard to figure out what has been announced and what hasn’t and I really don’t want to talk out of school, so I’ll just adopt a wait and see attitude and for the time being keep my opinions to myself.
Archive for the ‘Web Services’ Category
So I just wasted, er, spent a half hour surfing twitter pages and poaching friends of friends. I noticed that I had a strong gut sense of who I felt it was ok to befriend, most of the time, but that it doesn’t necessarily map to people who are actually my friends or whom I’ve met, although it may factor in how recently I’ve dealt with them.
For some, I added them because I’m interested in what they have to ssay or what they’re doing. I anticipate that their feed will be intereesting, or the preview of their recent thoughts is copmpelling. I’m aware that some of these people may not remember me, may not add me back (which is fine) or allow me to add them if they are twittering privately.
The etiquette is awkward. The UI at twitter sort of implies you should add people back, but that may be just in the contexts of private twitters.
I often notice odd disjunctions between my friend lists or various social services. Some people have talked about being able to bulk upload friend networks using hcards or something from one service to the next, but I wonder if that mapping really makes sense. For whatever reason, for example, Joi Ito is a contact of mine in Flickr but not on LinkedIn. At least one of us probably wants it to be that way.
The whole topics of reciprocity and social guidelines about when it’s ok to ignore a connection or a friend request and when it carries a social burden to do so is interesting too.
This has been another in a series of posts full of questions and half-baked proto-thoughts with few answers or real insights.
Speaking of twitter, I’ve dressed up my sidebar with badge bling. Been thinking hard about seriously redesigning my main blog and possibly moving it over to mediajunkie, which may be the catchiest domain name I own.
My pal Ted Nadeau just hipped me to yubnub, which bills itself as a social command line for the web. It looks like an extremely powerful meta-syntax for accessing searches and other web services via unix-y looking shorthands, regular expressions, and mini-scripts. It also seems to have a very active community rapidly extending its capabilities.
Grazing through the yubnub blog you can see news about an instant-mashup command, a way to invoke automatic spellchecking of your search on the fly, a fellow who says he is starting to handwrite his notes to himself in yubnub shorthand, and a way to invoke yubnub commands via Yahoo Open Shortcuts.
It’s also possible to install yubnub into Firefox so for example you can run a Yahoo! search from the address bar with “y y searchterm” (the first y invokes yubnub and the second one specifies a yahoo search – you’d use “y g etc” for a Google search and so on).
The energy of the user community is fairly inspiring.
UPDATE: I notice that the blog peters out around April of last year so, (a) this is not really new news to anyone but me, and (b) what happened to the blog?
Mostly a note to myself: When I get a moment free I’m going to follow these instructions from OpenDNS: Instructions for faster DNS on your mobile. Seems at least worth a try.
Quoting from dashLicious:
dashLicious is a Dashboard widget that “implements a post to your del.icio.us account on the fabulous web service created by Joshua Schachter. dashLicious is optimised for Safari and NetNewsWire users. When you enter into the dashboard dashLicious will automatically populate the url and description fields from either Safari or NetNewsWire (and will allow you to toggle between the two inputs).”
I’m waiting for the early adopters to kick the tires on Tiger, but stuff like this is making me drool.
Finally customized my blogchalking icon. I never liked that spiky haired face as my blogchalking icon. I kind of like the tourist icon and the anarchy one is nice for livejournal users (ducking!). But I wanted to make one that kind of resembles me in my sloppy pixelated way.
I just grabbed the gif I was using, opened it in Fireworks, blew it up to about 1600% and started drawing a goatee and glasses on myself. Oh, and erasing a lot of the hair! The result is quite a good likeness if I do say so myself.