Day 14: Must not stop, Must not stop…

As I rapidly approach the midpoint of my journey, I am feeling a little like I did this afternoon on my 18 year old mountain bike with squeaky brakes. It seemed like a pretty straightforward trip and before you know it I was huffing and puffing up that last hill to SliceCentral. It was a weekend full of laughter and tears as I added some newcomers to the list.  So here they are: Last.fm – This is a music community that is popular with my colleagues in the UK.  I can see why people really like this site.  It is a virtually limitless supply of music tagged by users and available as streamed audio.  My first search was for the band U2 (I know, predictable).  The site then delivered 8 or 9 related yet randomly selected songs by other artists.  This will likely be one of the greatest slices list at the end of this adventure. Kwippy – Basically it is a simple way to post your status to Gtalk and Yahoo messenger.  Since I don’t use either of these services, this was a bust (after thinking I found one before Limeduck did). Inviteshare – Are you having a tough time getting into that one special private beta?  This is the motherload for people seeking and sharing for beta invitations.  I signed up but will hold it in reserve for those desperate moments later this week. Identi.ca – They unseated Plurk as the flavor of the week.  I signed up over the weekend and it took less than 24 hours for the complaints to start flowing on Twitter about the site being down.  Hellotxt added Identi.ca so this is a freebie for updates. Del.icio.us – I can’t believe I forgot this site.  I discovered Del.icio.us early last year and somehow forgot about them.  Its simplicity is a strength when compared to other social bookmarking sites like Digg (I know, I know, some people believe Digg really isn’t a social bookmarking site). Regardless, I find this site very easy-to-use and expect to have it back in my daily rotation. Enough for now. Tweet you...

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Day 10: The search for intelligent life

Now that I am one third of the way through my journey, I have shifted gears from a sheer volume-based search to a quest for useful and interesting social platforms.  Since we are in the middle of a speculative Web 2.0 bubble, there is a virtually limitless supply of niche social media sites.  For those of you who disagree with this assertion, there is Ning.com where you can “roll your own” social media network. With over 30 sites in the bag, I am looking for tools that can help me keep track of my friends and “share” my status updates (I know this is a broadcast approach to social media but it is the best I have right now). I am still using HelloTxt as my preferred tool for aggregation and distribution. I am regularly logging onto Twitter, Facebook and Brightkite (maybe its because I want people to know that I spend my days on the 42nd floor of the Firstgiving Tower in Davis Sq.) Here are the latest Tangy extensions: Mybloglog:  Now a Yahoo property, this site allows you to aggregage content from 49 sites (yes 49 sites!) in one place.  It also allows you to create an RSS feed or push your content to a bunch of third part sites including Netvibes. This seems intriguing for its sheer volume of sites but I am still trying to figure out how it works. Profilactic: Memorable name aside, this is yet another aggregator (YAA). It seemed promising until I learned I needed a Ping.FM account to update my statuses. Ping.FM: Yep, they are in a private beta.  I signed up for it and offered to say something nice on my blog if they sent me a beta code.  I guess they’ve heard that line before.  Anyone out there have a spare one? SocialThing: YAA.  Surprise, they are having a private beta.  This is getting a little predictable.  I sent in my email but I’m not holding my breath.  Do I have any friends on this site?  My kids’ school PTO really needs the money for cultural enrichment programs. Yoono: (I think it is pronounced “You Know”): This is a browser plugin that functions as YAA.  I like the idea of this as it connect to the biggies (ie Twitter, Facebook, and a bunch of IM clients).  The UI, however, is a little confusing and the sidebar can get distracting.  I’m going to run with it a few more days to see if it grows on me. Enough for now.  Friend you...

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Day 7: Catching up after a good weekend

A couple of big scores over the weekend as I got invitations to the Brightkite “private beta” as well as Jaiku. It seems like some of the sites are using Groucho Mark’s logic (ie “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members”) to get you to sign up.  Basically you need a friend to recommend you for these sites.  It took me about three days to get one for each so how exclusive can they really be? This is starting to get a little crazy.  I’m still using HelloTxt to push my updates to the major sites but otherwise many of them remain unused. Progress: 34 signups, 66 to go Additions: Eons: The community of baby boomers.  OK, technically, I am a baby boomer, but to be honest I still feel like a Gen X’er.  I did find 4,717 members in the June new members group. This seems like a really small number to me.  It doesn’t look promising for these guys. Gather: It is a place to collect interesting information (ie articles, photos, videos, etc).  You get the idea.  Like Eons, it feels like it serves a more mature audience.  I also wonder about their long term viability with only 37,676 members. Brightkite: They promote themselves as a location-based social network.  You can check out who is where in real-time.  I’m in Somerville, MA during the day and Arlington, MA in the evening. I guess this would be more meaningful if I were in some exotic place like Cambridge with no friends in sight. This would be more relevant if you were a jet setter (like say @limeduck) but is less interesting to a predictable suburbanite like Master Slice. Stylefeeder: Get shopping recommendations based on interactive ratings.  This seems to work alot like the collaborative filtering sites that were prevalent in the early days of Web 1.0 (ah, they were heady times).  It is great to see some ideas never die – they just get a crunchy coating of Web 2.0 goodness and a hefty dollop of VC money with each new Web X.0 bubble. Xanga: They describe themselves as a community to start your own weblog, share photos and upload videos.  And get this – you can meet new friends here too!  Am I repeating myself? Utterz: Tell your story from your cellphone in the form of an Uttercast. I can see the point of this when I don’t have time for a proper blog post or want to make a quick point.  My guess is that I will come back to this site after I complete this inane journey....

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Day 4: Too Busy and Falling Behind

Last night I was busy hanging out with the cool kids at the GeekNorth Tweetup at Bukowski’s in Inman Sq. It was nice to meet @thinkjose, @technicalpickles and @pistachio (even though I got a tweet as @thingyslice and my colleagues didn’t believe I actually attended the event). It was interesting to learn what people are doing and how they are trying to make sense of all of these new media. Progress: 19 sign ups, 81 to go Back to the grind: New sites: Hamsterster: I’m not making this up. A site dedicated to hamster and gerbil owners. The gerbil is often discriminated against so I was pleased to see they were included in this site. Sadly, my childhood hamster had a burial at sea a few decades ago so I am going to have to pass. Virb: “A place that lets you put all of the things that make you you – photos, videos, blogs – in one place. So you can find friends (and friends can find you).” Sounds like alot of other places. I did add my blog feed so I can “be there”. Next. Bebo: Recently acquired by AOL, Bebo is big with in Europe. In its words “Bebo is a social media network where friends share their lives and explore great entertainment”. Basically, it is an alternative to Facebook and MySpace. You can find me at http://www.bebo.com/FMD13. It is more center of the universe syndrome as they want to push to my blog rather than me pulling my blog into the site. I know I have friends who use this site. I wonder if they will spontaneously find me. FriendFeed: Another service to aggregate all of your online feeds (i.e. Twitter, Blog, Digg). I like the idea as it is getting more difficult to keep track of things. I’m just wondering if this will get unreadable quickly as I add more content? We’ll see. My public page is: http://friendfeed.com/tangyslice I hope I can add more...

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13 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Street Cred

1. Get a shiny new “persona”. Using the name your parents gave you is boring. Why be Frank when you could be something hipper like Days.fm or Tangyslice. Check out the Internet Anagam Generator where there is an endless supply of hip sounding yet meaningless names at your disposal. 2. Join Twitter and start following the cool people. 3. Start reading Valleywag. 4. Get a new haircut and dark rimmed glasses. This is one of those rare moments in your professional life when a receding hairline plays to your advantage. Go ahead. You can do it. 5. Use Facebook to make fun of your boss’ inability to put his cellphone on vibrate (and see if he notices (sorry Mark)). 6. Dream up unproven, speculative social media promotions and pester your Marketing Director to drop everything because “the future is now”. 7. Attend a Mzinga lunchtime BBQ – again this is where you can meet really cool people. 8. Hire a new PR firm – Despite my recent poking at some of the “old school” firms, these guys are really up on what works and what doesn’t (sorry about the old school label Shift Communications, I let my past experiences cloud the fact you have some of the top social media people in Boston). 9. Get a new PDA/iPhone. I went with the stylish Blackberry Pearl as it works like a PDA yet feels like a phone. 10. Sign up for HelloTxt or Ping.fm so you can look like a hero by posting your status updates everywhere with one click. 11. Find a couple of friends for regular Twitter banter and inside jokes (OK, enough with the duck jokes). 12. Bore your suburban neighbors by endlessly babbling about how social media will change their lives. 13. Sign up for every social media site you can find to see if there really is something different out there. Social media coolness is a few clicks away. What are you waiting...

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The Web 2.0 or is it the Web 3.0 Organization?

A colleague passed me this article about how organizations are changing from “push” to “pull” oriented approaches to deal with the 21st century challenges.

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