Tag Archives: Social Networking

social media

I hate social networking

I hate social networking. I despise it. All of it.

For me it’s a tool (like me, some would say).

“But, Aaron. You have 1500 friends on Facebook and nearly 10,000 on Twitter. You’re lying.”

Oh but I’m not. I used to love social networking. I used to travel to conferences where other social media people were just to, in hindsight, make myself look more like a stud. That’s why there are so many.

I’ve dated or slept with social media women just for access.

I’ve been that guy at SXSW that, as a former Austinite, I now mock. That one cutting to the front of the blocks-long line to a hot party just to utter those predictable, and douchey words, “Do you know who I am?”

I have the cred I so craved. Even years after I stopped the social whoredom. I get added to Social Media lists on Twitter every day? Why? Because someone thinks if you have 10k followers, you must be important, and therefore, you must be “social media”.

I am important. But not in that way. I am important to my 9 year old son who I don’t see nearly as often as I’d like. I’m important to my company because I can take their WordPress life farther than they dreamed.

I’m important to my friends… My real friends. The ones who drink beer with me or wish they were drinking beer with me like they used to.

I’m not important because I have friends or followers. And the quality of my life is not contingent on my social presence. I could give a shit less.

When you introduce me as technosailor, instead of Aaron, you do a disservice to me and you. You are the one caught up in the social insanity. Go drink a beer or watch Breaking Bad or, for god’s sake, go fuck your wife.

Come with me for a minute as I revisit a moment of my life.

It was 1998 and I was in my religious mode. I realize that most readers aren’t aware of this past and really prefer if I don’t get preachy. So I won’t.

But what was said from a pulpit 15 years ago lives on in me, as a life principle.

In the Old Testament book of Joshua, the story is told of the Children of Israel, after a generation of wandering in the Sinai desert after escaping Egyptian captivity, finally had the opportunity to cross the Jordan River into their promised land.

Joshua, their leader, was instructed to construct a monument in the middle of the river where they crossed on dry land. The monument was to be made of 12 stones (representing Abraham’s twelve sons an the tribes of Israel) and it was to be a celebration of gaining the Promised Land.

It would be really easy, after 40 years and finally attaining your goal, to stay there and live life there. Live in that glorious history and moment.

Except they had a job to do and a land to conquer. They couldn’t stay in that moment. They had to move on. That moment was glorious but they couldn’t stay. They had to do work.

And so we come back to social networking. I’ve been on Twitter since early 2007. I’ve been on Facebook since late 2006.

I could live in the glory of the Internet and social networking but I’ve got a life to live.

Some of you are still mindlessly operating with the idea you can make a living doing social media on the Internet. When you simply can’t. Only very few people can do it well.

As the Jordan River became a part of Israel’s every day life, social networking is a part of mine. I use it. I live it. I meet people there. It is not my life. And if its yours, you really need to re-examine your priorities.

Aaron Brazell

How Has Social Software Changed Your Life?

This is an open comments style post, so I want your comments.

The thing about my “beat”, as they’d call it in the newspaper business, is that I’m not really all that interested in “the news”. I’m not trying to cover all the stories, nor am I trying to cover most of them. I’m not trying to “break” anything or peddle products. I want to understand how social software affects my life. And yours.

Text comments will be deleted in this thread as I want video comments. ;) Click on the Sessmic Video comments link below. If you don’t already have one, grab a free account over at Seesmic.com.

This is what I want to know. How has social software benefited you? This is open ended and I want you to define what I mean by this. Some example questions might be:

  1. How you got a job using LinkedIn
  2. How you found an old crush on Facebook
  3. How blogging helped you gain support for a good cause
  4. How you used Flickr to communicate to your family on the other side of the world
  5. How you used Brightkite to track your migration habits
  6. How Twitter made the World Series special for you
  7. How you had a brilliant entrepreneurial idea from a discussion on FriendFeed
  8. How you used VC portfolio companies to attract the attention of a VC and get funded
  9. How you made a career by offering advice on a blog

These are easy examples. I want you to offer your own insight on how, sometime, somewhere, social tools have enhanced your life. Tell us your story on video. If you don’t, I’ll look like a complete idiot for this format – but I’m okay with that. :)

Aaron Brazell

Where Social Gets to Business – Panel at GSP East 2008

Continuing the Live coverage of Graphing Social Patterns. We’ll be bringing live coverage of a panel entitles “Where Social Gets Down to Business”. On the panel is Michael Lazerow, Kevin Barenblat, Eddie Smith, Chris Cunningham and Shiv Singh.

The description of this panel is:

How does traditional advertiging work on social networks? What products and techniques are required to develop a viral marketing campaign? Find out how to use social networks, social advertising, and social applications to reach hundreds of millions of today’s online users.

Aaron Brazell

Facebook Business & Marketing Solutions – Kent Schoen, Facebook

9:53 AM – This is going to be an interesting session considering my “history of hate” with Facebook Beacon, etc. Who knows? Maybe Beacon won’t even be mentioned. We’ll see.

The description of the session is as follows:

This session will present an overview of Facebook advertising and marketing solutions, including the Facebook Social Ads system and the Facebook application platform.

Uh huh. Watch it live as I live blog this session beginning around 10:30 AM Eastern time using CoveritLive.

Aaron Brazell

Graphing Social Patterns – LinkedIn Keynote – Adam Nash

Thanks to Cover it Live for the software.

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Graphing Social Patterns – Day 2 (06/10/2008)
Powered by: CoveritLive
LinkedIn Keynote beginning
We are a purpose drive network. We believe in trust. We believe in Business Relevance
This is Adam Nash from LinkedIn on stage
Showing a slide tghat shows LinkedIn as #4 social network after MySpace, Facebook and Classmates Online (WTF?!)
Average age of LinkedIn users is 41. On par with Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Business Week
Execs from all 500 Fortune 500 companies on Linked in. 3M small biz professionals
Jumping into Why Advertise on LinkedIn?
9:30 [Poll]
Are you more interested in social netwrok application development or the business/advertising potential in social networking?
Applications and Development

( 0% )

Business and Advertising

( 100% )

None of the Above

( 0% )
Advertising possibilities – Run of Professional, inCrowds or Custom Segments
Fundamentally, our advertising is based on profile-based targetting
Jumping into the Platform. LinkedIn uses OpenSocial http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/
LinkedIn was one of the original charter members on board the Google Open Social movement
I think, considering the Technosailor.com niche, I think I need to explore some of the advertising/OpenSocial API opportunities
OpenSocial platform launch for LinkedIn is NOT launched yet. It will be launched later
Platform: Home, Profile Canvas views
Platform: Currently selecting parrtners (Criteria: Productivity apps, extension to professional profile, targeted verticals)
Platform: We will open up over time
Adam’s profile on LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/adamnash
Taking audience questions
Question: LinkedIn already has a set of monetization strategies?
Answer: We make money on 1) Advertising, 2) Classifieds, 3) Subscription/Premium products and 4) Enterprise class products sold directly into large organizations
Question: Does LinkedIn have plans to make a way to visualize connections between people, businesses, etc?
Answer: Platform will help with this. Currently we also provide a way to see this within a company, including most pageviews for profile, etc.
Question: What is the spread geographically across the world? Top three countries?
Answer: Half members are from US. Very successful in countries like the UK, India, Netherlands and other places in Europe. It’s a moving target and Adam is not entirely clear – not wearing his PR hat.
Question: LinkedIn apps for the iPhone 3G?
Answer: LinkedIn has a iphone web app that they’ve been impressed with. Whether therre will be a July 7th app launch, LinkedIn is a fan and will pursue aggressivley – but this is not an announcement. Just a hint
Session Over.

Aaron Brazell

Day 1: Graphing Social Patterns

I’m sitting here at the Hyatt in Crystal City, Virginia. Planes fly in low overhead to touchdown on the runway at Reagan National Airport a mile away. It is hot, muggy and trains are derailing not far from here. Generally, it’s the kind of day that sets folks on edge.

I’m at the Graphing Social Patterns East conference, put on my O’Reilly Media. Full disclaimer: I’m not a fan of Tim O’Reilly. However, this conference is shaping up to be an interesting one as developers and businesses tackle the social landscape. Specifically, the social landscape as it pertains to applications.

Today has been tutorial day, as developers have been introduced (or reintroduced) to developing Facebook and MySpace applications. Meh meh meh. More zombies. The highlight (for me with my twisted mind) being when the speaker referred to a friend building a Masterbeat.com which resulted in an awkward, yet funny, pause. It’s music, people! It’s not what you think!

Regardless, today has been nowhere near as internet-shattering as Steve Jobs’ Keynote. Maybe tomorrow.

Aaron Brazell

Live Coverage of Graphing Social Patterns East

Picture 1.pngStarting tomorrow through Wednesday, Technosailor.com will be bringing you coverage of the Graphing Social Patterns East conference here in Washington, D.C. We were a last minute applicant for media credentials, but squeaked in by the skin of our teeth. Thanks, Dave McClure and Maureen Jennings for making that happen!

GSP is an interesting conference to be had here in Washington, but it goes to the nature of a very rich (and somewhat untapped) community of social app developers here in the area. Refresh DC is one of the largest of the Refresh Movement cities, but because of the disjointed nature of the different DC communities, a lot of us in the “social media” community don’t necessarily see those in the developer community.

But cool things are happening. Social Times is doing a good job covering a lot of it.

So, I’ll be at GSP bringing live coverage. It’s looking to be a massive event and though I’d rather be at WWDC, GSP is a great alternative. For those of you who plan to be there, look me up. I’m @technosailor on Twitter.

Aaron Brazell

I Own My Data, Dammit

Micah had a very encouraging article last night about two commenting social networks, Disqus and Intense Debate. It was all about listening to your customer base and making trajectory adjustments as needed to ensure you’re meeting real needs, instead of just assuming your business model has everything mapped out for you and you know exactly how to execute on your vision.

The discussion over Disqus and Intense Debate has been an interesting one. Particularly perceptive readers may have noticed me playing around with both of these services a few weeks ago in the wee hours of the morning. If you didn’t notice, never fear… it was only for a minute before switching back to my default WordPress comments.

So here’s the thing. I met Intense Debate, and perhaps Disqus, at Blog World Expo. At the same time, I met SezWho, a competitor. Each of these services offer a “social network” around commenting. But what set them apart was in who owned the data.

I use the word “own” loosely here. What I mean is, “Where is the comment data being hosted?”

There’s legitimate reasons for this. One example of why it is important for me to own the data is in the case of a legal issue or subpoena. Very relevant concern. At b5, there were several times where the Police called us asking for data about some random person on some random blog who was a person of interest in some random crime. In all cases, we could not give up data without a subpoena. When provided, we cooperated. When we were not served, we didn’t relinquish data.

This is pretty common and the bigger a property (or in b5’s case, group of properties) get, the bigger the target that is on your back.

In the case of Intense Debate and Disqus, none of this data is controlled by me. It’s controlled by them for a variety of reasons. SezWho did not host the comments which was a big selling point for them.

In the case of blogs, there are many things that can be done via mashup that doesn’t place any kind of liability on the site owner or blogger. However, in the context of comments, that is actually content.

In order for me to use Disqus or Intense Debate here – both of which I’m interested in using as it adds some nifty functionality to the blog – I need to host the content and control the styling. Without that, it’s a no-go.

Aaron Brazell

A Manifesto for Mobile and Location Based Social Networks

Mobile is hot. Untethering from computers is the next generation of the web and I’ve said it for awhile.

FindWhere CEO Jaap Groot and my friend and DoC co-host Geoff Livingston have co-authored a white paper (they call it a manifesto) for mobile and location-based social networks outlining eight requirements for a successful mobile endeavor.

The true local, mobile and social breakthrough requires a completely converged product that will be so intuitive and robust that community members won’t have to wrestle with such a service. Instead, it will be so easy and fun, online community members will clamor to be a part of the craze. They will actively engage, and voluntarily spread the word about their experiences, in hopes that their friends will join them online. The winning service will be so compelling that it will be viral.

They go on to describe the eight factors:

  1. Provide a base offering free of charge. Today’s social network user does not tolerate paid-for services.
  2. Work on a wide selection of phones.
  3. Offer an intelligent, simple user interface for accessing information.
  4. Use GPS rather than force users to manually enter their location every time.
  5. Integrate intelligently into existing social networks rather than further inundate people with a new one.
  6. Allow users to share and use their location data in as many ways as possible.
  7. Enable individuals to set various levels of privacy control for personal security.
  8. Monetize in an intelligent, non-intrusive way

Some of these factors are implemented better than others and some are not technically possible with the mobile client and telcos the way they exist now. Things need to change within the four walls of the carriers.

Twitter Brightkite Facebook Mobile
Free Yes Yes Yes
Phone Support Yes Partial Some
Mobile/iPhone Interface Partial Yes Partial
GPS Compatible* No No No
Existing SocNet Integration Partial Yes No
Location Data easy for Users to Use Yes No Yes No
Privacy/Security Controls Yes Yes Yes
Low Impact Monetization No No Yes
*GPS is carrier-sketchy. Verizon Wireless, for instance, disables in phones

As with all white papers, it is a call to action. A spotlight on gaps in the industry. One day, all of these items will be inherent in the social offerings but it could take 5-10 years to see that occur.