As a follow on to my social profiles post I'm adding more images to help examine the way in which users find each other on a given social network. Billions of dollars have been made solving the search for content problem, but for the most part finding people is still a fairly tedious task. Most networks like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter depend on you having some other type of relationship. For example, you might already be friends or coworkers and then send a friend request with Facebook or LinkedIn. I might discover your twitter account because I found your link or because you happened to come through via a trending topic etc. Facebook does offer a recommended friends feature now which occasionally finds someone that I know.
Niche social networks face a very difficult challenge when it comes to user discovery. Much of the user to user interactions on such networks are serendipitous. I find someone interesting by chance because their photo was on the home page and I happened to no...Continue Reading →
My wife thinks it's funny that I never check Facebook anymore. I got her into it and now she checks it daily. I got my account way back when you still had to have a .edu email address to get an account. It was worthless for a while because no one else I knew had an account. Then for a while it was a great way to communicate. Now Facebook is basically worthless again.
I get that I can connect with old friends and I like that. I can track the daily actions of people I haven't seen in years by watching the constant stream of attention metadata. It's kind of a social pornography. I can watch. I don't have to engage or put any meaningful social effort into the interactions. I think that is the addiction people have to Facebook. You know when your friend is furious with their kids. You can see that an ex boss/girlfriend/bff etc just experienced something rotten and feel the disgusting elation of another human being's misfortune. There's a constant stream of photograph...Continue Reading →
For lack of a better place to put this right now I am posting the roadmap for the Ruby on Rails social network we are building here. There has been quite a lot of interest in the project and quite a bit of willingness to contribute for which I am grateful. There are some features on this list that are a bit out there and we might not every get to. The idea is to do a brain dump and collect feedback. If you have interest or ideas feel free to add comments.
I am not great at meeting people especially at conferences. However, the biggest reason to attend a conference is to meet people. (If you think you are paying $1500 to learn about how Rails routes work then its time to rethink your life.) iPhones may not be ubiquitous yet, but they are popular enough that some social networks have started targeting them specifically. When bluetooth was born free thinkers imagined a meetup system that everyone on the network would use. Just set your phone to 'meet me' and you would find yourself swamped with babes in no time. 8 years later the network never emerged. The prospect of opening yourself up to anyone on the street was a little much to bear even by the dandiest socialite. Like so many other things in life - generic development platforms, my education, etc - the idea lacked context. Context sells.
Back to the iPhone. The phone has wifi. There is a sweet SDL available. Here goes. Build a rich 'intro to the virtual me' application...Continue Reading →