Dopplr: Discovering ‘the Net’

Dopplr Badge Recently I joined Dopplr, a new travel-oriented social networking site. Or social networking for frequent travelers. Or something like that. To be honest, I’m still not really sure what it’s for.

I’ll admit, I joined it because it has a straightforward, clean design, and the tone is light, fun, and polite in a very British way. It doesn’t seem like the kind of social networking site that’s going to pressure (or trick) me into inviting everyone I’ve ever sent an email or instant message. It doesn’t seem like the type that’s going to give me the hard sell, or pimp out my personal info.

Ok, no major barriers to entry. So I tried it. But, as I said, I’m still not quite sure I get the point. I connected to some people I know. I added information about some trips I’m going to take. I discovered that a Europe-based conference buddy will be going to SXSW, where our paths will cross again. Kinda cool, I guess. And…now what?

I’ve read some posts (including this one by creator, Matt Biddulph) which say it’s designed to increase serendipity. Well, I guess I can invest some time in pursuing a goal like that.

Earn it, social websites!

Recently a couple of my friends joined Shelfari and I received email from them, inviting me to join. The messages were friendly, but generic. The only variation was the user name and email address of each friend. This seemed particularly weird because the folks at Shelfari clearly wrote the email very carefully to sound casual and personal, but really, what are the chances that both of these friends would say:

I just joined Shelfari to connect with other book lovers. Come see the books I love and see if we have any in common. Then pick my next book so I can keep on reading.

Click below to join my group of friends on Shelfari!

Next came the part that really bugged me…

Continue reading “Earn it, social websites!”

Disinformation Architecture

I enjoy Facebook, but I find some of the available apps increasingly annoying. Aside from the fact that many of them are pointless, I’m really disturbed by the tactics they frequently employ to make themselves ubiquitous.

One of the apps that, in a general sense, I actually like is an app that lets me rate and review movies, share my opinions on films, and read about the opinions of others. It includes a “Movie Compatibility Test” which tells me how close my taste is to my buddies’, based on comparing our ratings for some 50-odd movies. It alerts me every time one of my friends has taken the quiz, so I can go check how well we matched up. I love movies, and all this sounds pretty cool. The problem is… Continue reading “Disinformation Architecture”