After watching the Facebook Home announcement I was instantly enamoured with the concept of people not apps, of content not containers, but after a few hours was left with one thought: is Home the future of Facebook?
Social networks are continually widening their scope to cover more than our just connections and status updates. As usage expands and we search for ever simpler means of achieving our online goals, how far will the networks go to become everything we need in one place?
After the initial anger at the news of Google Reader’s closing came the realisation that this could actually herald a new era for RSS based news consumption.
Feedly have advised they are developing “Project Normandy” a clone of the Reader API and will switch to it automatically and other services such as Digg have announced plans to build their own alternative.
RSS is dead, long live RSS!
The announcement yesterday that Google would be, finally, sunsetting the Google Reader service was met with disappointment, anger and confusion but with a small counterpoint of “it will force innovation”.
Is Google in danger of losing out to Bing in the race to implement a robust relevance engine for content authors?
For over a year, talk of Google Author Rank (based on the search giant’s Agent Rank patent) has been fueling speculation of how it might operate and affect search rankings for content authors.
Much has already been written about the new redesign for the Facebook News Feed (and I have purposefully tried to avoid most of it) including the inevitable comparisons to Google+ but that is only natural – Plus is constantly compared to Facebook after all.
The role of the social web is expanding and its influence is felt far beyond the networks we use to connect. The next step was always to incorporate more data from the rest of the web.
Relevance comes first enabling us to filter for content that matters to us.
Trust comes after as we establish who to listen to within our fields of interest.
Discovery is vital and relevance will be a key “people” metric for search.
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance” – Eric Schmidt.
Ever since it first started ranking pages Google has been in the influence business – the influence of content.
Gaining content influence has been the role of SEO but, regardless of how often Google re-writes the rules and modifies the algorithms, this can be gamed.
Rather than being something to fear, exposing the likes and decisions of Facebook users via Graph Search may encourage them to develop a greater sense of social responsibility.
If there is one thing that the Graph Search launch taught me it’s the strength of the anti-Facebook sentiment in some areas.
The internet, much like fashion, goes in cycles with themes re-emerging from obscurity. One such theme that never seems to go away is that bloggers, developers and technologists lament the passing of the good old days.
Branch builds on the Twitter experience by providing a framework for curated conversations but could it succeed as an integral part of the social network?
Twitter is due a shake-up and I maintain that the #discover tab could become the default view thus enabling the service to further engage the silent 40%. The site has been growing but whether this growth is sustainable with the status quo might be open to debate.
Social networks are crammed full of data about our likes, interests and connections but all too often this is not available in any useful, reliable or easy accessible state. Is that about to change?
The desire to influence can lead us to tailor our behaviour to what appears popular and so the influencer becomes the influenced.
26th December 2006.
Today marks the sixth anniversary of my joining Twitter and what a ride it’s been despite me not even being the most prolific of tweeters.
Six years is an eternity on the internet but, while the core principles behind the site remain unchanged and the maxim of 140 characters is sacrosanct, the service has developed in ways we never envisaged.
Google+ Communities are forums for the social age and, by focusing on interests rather than people, take the social web full circle.
Social influence has its roots in the social sciences but what exactly is it, how is it achieved and how does it differ online?
Influence relies on the ability to draw others to us and maintain those relationships. Social gravity helps to illustrate the complexities involved.
With 40% of users not tweeting Twitter needs to change but is this a good thing or a nail in its coffin? It depends on who you ask.