My Facebook Status is… Meta

I love checking the status of all my Facebook contacts. I do this whenever I’m bored or need a distraction. I can check them on my phone, so proximity to a computer isn’t a requirement. And, since categorizing things is what I do, I’ve noticed some patterns.

Types of Facebook Status

(Note: All examples are completely made up. Any similarity to any of my Facebook buddies is purely coincidental.)

  1. Cryptic – no one knows what your status means, but it shows off your creative and/or mysterious side. Ex: Rachel is indefatigable.
  2. TMI – sometimes people don’t need to know what you’re up to. Ex: Rachel is getting drunk and going home with strangers.
  3. Inside Joke – only a few people know what your status means, everyone else is saying “huh?” Ex: Rachel is missing blue boy, already.
  4. Meta – you’re breaking down the fourth wall. Ex: Rachel is checking Facebook on the train.
  5. Mood-based – describes how you’re feeling. Ex: Rachel is bored.
  6. Activity-based – describes what you’re doing. Ex: Rachel is shopping.
  7. Location-based – describes where you are. Ex: Rachel is in Washington.
  8. Health-based – describes your physical or mental state. Ex: Rachel is coughing, again.

These types are not mutually exclusive. Someone’s status can be TMI and Activity-based. But everyone’s status fits into at least one of these categories. Want to know the breakdown of the 65 status updates of my Facebook contacts? Continue reading “My Facebook Status is… Meta”

Enterprise Solutions Summit 2007

Last week my office arranged a summit on Enterprise Solutions. The first day was employees only, so we could discuss the current and future practice of Enterprise Solutions at Avenue A | Razorfish. It was a day full of animated discussion.

Having a strong interest in Content Strategy, the semantic web, and knowledge management, I’ve thought a lot about how these elements could be put to use within an organization, to help support the goals and needs of an enterprise. But I hadn’t had a chance to discuss it with a lot of people that I work with. The summit was attended by people from all different disciplines – technology, strategy, client relations – and I got to see a wide range of perspectives on the issues.

Jimmy Wales

The second day included clients, and we had a range of speakers and use case presentations. Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) gave a keynote, though in some ways it was more interesting talking to him at the cocktail party the night before. Kind of a mysterious character. He must have people talking to him all the time about their favorite topic, and they’re stunned when he doesn’t have the entire body of knowledge represented by Wikipedia at his immediate disposal.

I say this because I saw him, a couple times, respond to people with what can only be described as pride about his ignorance of some topic or other. I can only imagine that he’s developed this technique as a defensive measure against people who would otherwise say, “But how can you not know about [insert nerdy topic of interest here]??”

I’m as guilty as the next nerd, in this respect. One of my colleagues enthusiastically mentioned that I’m interested in the Semantic Web and Wales responded that he doesn’t get it, and he doses off every time he tries to read the article. I prodded him a little bit, and asked what he thinks of people using Wikipedia to extract concepts and generate ontologies. He said he thinks it’s pretty cool, since, after all, it’s the biggest collection of human knowledge ever.

I had a feeling that was about as far as it was going to go, so I told him that if the movie The Fifth Element were made today, Leeloo would have learned about human life by speed-reading Wikipedia (instead of absorbing encyclopedic video feeds). He seemed to like that idea.

You can read a more thorough account of the highlights of the Enterprise Solution Summit over on Shiv Singh’s Workplace Blog. He also gives a good account of Jimmy Wales’ keynote and the very lively panel that closed out the day.

I want to Twine

Can I use that as a verb? Well, I’m going to anyway.

If you haven’t seen or heard of Twine, it’s a new Semantic Web Application from Radar Networks. The project was kept secret for quite a while, but Nova Spivack unveiled it last week at Web 2.0.

From what I’ve seen, it’s a social, semantically enabled, co-brandable information collecting & sharing service. Well, that makes it sound a lot more clinical than it really should. Picture something like Facebook+Digg+del.icio.us+flickr+blog+email+??. Only it’s smarter because, while allowing you to tag the content you want to share, it also extracts concepts and makes tagging suggestions. By “co-brandable” I mean that one can create different communities, and they’ll sort of stay distinct, but your profile can cross communities and mingle. Or something like that.

Honestly, there’s probably more to it that I’m not able to express. I requested an invite to the beta on Monday, but haven’t heard back yet. I’ll post more when I do and I’m able to try it out first hand.

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”