Now We're Talking: Peered Data Portability

Excellent, excellent new post by Data Portability Workgroup founder, Chris Saad on the future of data portability and why Open Standards is only the means, and not the focal-point end. Essentially, as Saad points out, what we conceive of as data portability right now through Facebook Connect (data portability on training wheels) is a hub-and-spoke model that ultimately puts the power and control over the accessibility of one's data in centralized, commercialized hands. As Chris explains:

"The problem, however, is that it (the hub-and-spoke model, i.e. Facebook Connect) has a central point of control, failure and commercialization. A monopoly, or market confusion, is inevitable. At the very least this model leads to reduced innovation along the connections. Can you imagine if there was only one Web server? One FTP server? One Email server? Companies like Google would have certainly never been allowed to exist. They might have been sued by the Acme Web Server company early in their life much like Power.com is being sued by Facebook today."

Now, my argument is that this centralized data portability might be a necessary baby step, for now, while consumers as a whole (and not just the early-adopter dp-geek few) become used to the idea of accessing their data (files, pictures, friend connections, etc) from various touch points across the Web (help them get over the potential "creepy" factor)...but ultimately, this is not the open, socially contextual (and ultimately semantic) Web we all envision and hope for.

However, as Saad illustrates for us below, the end goal is of course a decentralized social graph, accessible on and from any application or vendor that a user may so choose...and that this "Peered Data Portability" model is most analogous to the internet itself. Indeed, as we say here at Socialized, that data portability will become embedded into the very fabric of the Web itself is precisely what we mean by "the Web IS social." And Peered Data Portability would actualize this in a most fundamental and intrinsic way.


What Do YOU Hate About the Internet?

Urlesque Does ROFLTHING 2009 from Urlesque on Vimeo.

Note our friend Rex in there...and lets see, I LOVE Tron Guy and his answer...and I like the 3rd response...


Meme of the Year

Watch because its dividing 4chan right in half, because you can't get enough...oh, and because context is everything


Addicted to Rhizome Vids and Amy Poehler on Tech

The Technology Readings 5/6 from Rhizome on Vimeo.

This from Rhizome.org's lecture series at the New Museum...Amy is hilarious as per usual...and for the geek in you, check out Rhizome's video archives of all their lectures and events. I've been to a few and they really are stimulating, with fantastic panels and subject matter. Love it!


American Apparel Getting it Right

I love it when you do it right!

American Apparel's latest foray into social media is an example of social participation gone right...why? Because American Apparel embraced its most loyal customers. Did they build some fancy widget or social network? Nope, they took the behavioral route-- simply enabled and empowered their customers, reached out to them, and rewarded them. Its also a perfect example of online-offline integration. Details below via Mashable:

Chictopia and America Apparel have hooked up, giving real girls real model moments to pose for the ├╝ber chic brand.

The social network, which lets you crowdsource for trends that fit you, has an incredibly active community of fashionistas, with a lucky few getting their big break. The Chictopia blog post highlights the site’s big win.

Both companies are touting the fact that the campaign, “rebels the notion that fashion is dominated by models held to unobtainable body standards. Chictopia’s tools give girls with no access to agents or expensive makeup and clothes the ability to segue into modeling for a major fashion company within just a few months. American Apparel, who is well known for refusing to use airbrushing in their advertisements, and Chictopia are showing that traditional media beauty standards are obsolete and inefficient.”

PS- Thanks to Jackie at SomeNotesOnNapkins for pointing me to this campaign!


I do want to add a caveat to this-- I think that as a model for consumer engagement, this works. I understand that AA as a brand can be controversial, and some of their most recent ad content has become even more so. This post is not intended to condone or condem American Apparel's branding or the ethics of their notorious CEO. Again, as a model for engagement, this particular initiative is a solid example of how to do it.

Facebook Connect Ushers In Obama

Ok...so I know the title is a bit over the top...but you know how I get about Facebook Connect! Getting a sneak peak into the various uses of FBC, CNN live-streamed the inauguration, enabling users to log into their Facebook accounts and share the moment with their FB friends.

There are so many firsts for this presidency...and Obama's "new era of openness" is not only refreshing, it is necessary and oh so timely. Social media, after all, is about just that principle-- openness. Transparency. Authenticity. Listening. Collaboration. GObama!

image via TechCrunch

Oh, and Caroline McCArthy has a roundup of "Inauguration Day by the Numbers" of interesting, social media-related stats around inauguration day....

A Roundtable


Kristen Vang and Naomi Hybariashi are social media strategists at AttentionPR. Jackie Johnson is the social media manager at Pronto.com, as well as the matermind behind fashion eye-candy blog, Some Notes on Napkins.

This little web show of our is an experiment in...perception. Its largely divorced from my work and this blog, as the subject matter varies from fashion to simply nothing at all. Given that my interests include Web theory, the evolution of computing and social behaviors...IJSS has been an interesting departure for me, and a chance to simply chat with friends.

We have seen a lot of negative feedback as well as positive, and we have quickly discovered who our key "audiences" are. The thing is, I fully understand why people would react so negatively to these shows...they do seem random and at times utterly pointless, particularly when there is no context for who we are.

The interesting thing for me is to watch and listen to the dialogue and a few things have become clear from the conversation data around IJSS:

1. Girls are our biggest fans, in general. And more specifically, 20something girls who live in New York, have blogs, and are into fashion and culture (go figure)

2. Males tend to abhor us, thinking our dialogue trite, vapid or utterly "unintelligible" (again, go figure!) :). Their comments are generally "troll" comments in nature, meaning they provide no real constructive criticism, only rants or attempted snarky one-liners (I would also venture to guess they range in age from 20-35, but this is pure conjecture...and we did have one self-proclaimed 60 year old commenter who really, really disliked our girlish banter)

3. People within a particular industry (fashion, marketing, etc) provide constructive feedback, whether positive or negative and are generally fair even in their dislike

4. We publish ALL comments. Negative, irrelevant or otherwise. My favorite part is responding to the negative comments we receive-- you will note we are always very receptive and friendly with our most negative of commenters. This is what I like to call "practicing what we preach"...and you know what? We've managed to turn one vehement commenter in particular from being "NOTAFAN" to "Becomingafan"...and we await his "AFAN" status :)

Being receptive, positive and constructive-- rather than censoring, is a lesson we like to impress upon companies (clients) who venture into this ever-changing social Web. Its tough, and sometimes you'll get a little mud slung, but you can learn a lot from it. For example, I've determined to overcome my California-born, generational-induced overuse of the word "like" :)

And finally, these girls sum it up best:


On "Karl Rove is Following Me"

The multi-talented journalist and blogger Rachel Sklar recently asked me what I thought about Karl Rove's recent appearance on Twitter for her "Karl Rove is Following Me" post on Daily Beast. While at first blush, the topic may seem trivial, it does raise some interesting questions. Below are Rachel's original questions and my comments on each...read her entire post here:

(1) Have you seen his twitter? He follows everyone back, @replies all the time, uses exclamation marks....he GETS it. Do you agree? What did you think when you first saw Karl Rove on twitter?

His enthusiasm for Twittering and participation are evident--whether that lasts beyond the initial 3-6 week Twitter addiction period is yet to be seen....that said, my first gut reaction was "holy crap....transparency, change....oh, brave new world!" This was quickly followed by anxiety about what this means for the future of Internet regulation....and finally, WTF?

(2) Do you think twitter can help Karl Rove improve his tarnished brand? Do you think he can bring in the twitterati, and emerge as Karl Rove 2.0?

Well, that's an interesting question. In many ways, we see just how compelling that old McLuhanite adage "the medium is the message" really is....it does seem as if that just by virtue of being on Twitter it says something positive about you-- like hey, maybe he's more honest, accessible, grounded than we thought? He Twitters! And Twitter = openness, dialogue, transparency, immediacy, etc--RIGHT??. Can he improve his tarnished image? No doubt his Twittering gives some cause for an opinion double-take...However, IMAGE is the operative word here. Can you really improve your image via social media if the actual product sucks? Not really, you've actually got to improve the product (social media amplifies, and the balance between image and actuality grows precarious)

(3) What does Karl Rove have to gain from twitter?

What does Karl Rove gain from Twitter? Well, no doubt he gains a few nods from the media and, there perhaps will be some modicum of improvement in his public image. It certainly raises his profile and pique's the interest of many who may otherwise have long forgotten him in the dark annals of the recent past as we wave the Bush Era a long and gratifying GOODBYE! Also, he may just really like Twittering and seeing his Twick size grow?


A Comment on CNET's "Social Media's Bubble Burst"

Caroline McCarthy points out on CNET today that with the burst of the economy so too may come the burst of the "social media expert's bubble." Well, I actually hope that's a wee-bit true. Here's why in my comment on her post:

Yes, those "social media strategists" and "experts" who Twitter and love the word "widget" are a dime a dozen....they also focus entirely on the wrong thing (and so does most of the media)...which is to say "social media" is not a technology or a "space" or a "there"...and to say its "media" is kind of a misnomer as well.

Social media, rather, is merely evidence of the rapidly changing models of behavior, consumption, communication, power, work and entertainment. It is understanding social media in terms of the underlying macro-trends and applying them to new models that is the ultimate task of "experts." That my own title contains "social media" in it has always been much to my chagrin and I have long touted that this unfortunate epithet has a shelf-life. I am not interested in widgets and shiney gadgets....I am interested in behaviors, trends and new models of business that will result from the undeniable shifts that have and will continue to occur.

And finally, as the Web is iterative and will continue to shift...what we know as a digital/web experience today will be very different in the (near) future, particularly with data portability coming to the forefront of social computing. DP will change the face of internet computing. The real social media "experts" in my opinion? The champions of VRM...

And finally, social media isn't a silo within the digital marketing world-- it is (will be) intrinsic to marketing strategy going forward. Its molding it, changing it...why? Because THE WEB IS SOCIAL.

Note, I use a lot of ellipses in my commenting.


square pegs, round holes

(click image to view larger)


The Viral Stunt Lives On

Ah, so in case you feared agencies were getting a leetle too serious about social media (what with all this talk about measurement and strategy)...Nike lets us know that “viral videos” are still alive and kickin’ and kids, its all going to be OK:


Mashable Lists "Ten Great Facebook Connect Implementations"

Today Mash posted "10 Great Facebook Implementations" with nary a word on MySpaceID late one wonders wither the MySpaceID partners? Here's a summary of Mashable's take:

1. Joost

How it uses Facebook Connect: Joost was an early partner, and they’ve been quick to integrate - notifications, updates, comments, and favorites all stream into your Facebook. Oh, and of course you can log into Joost with a Facebook account with absolute ease.

Why it is a winner:
Joost really shows what you can do with Facebook integration: seamless logins, updates on the website via Facebook, and news feed items that your friends will see.

2. Vimeo

How it uses Facebook Connect:
Vimeo not only allows you to log into their website using Facebook, but it also sends your likes and uploads into the Facebook news feed.

Why it is a winner:
Simplicity is bliss - lowering the barriers to create an account on Vimeo is a simple win for all users. And not only is it easier to join Vimeo, it’s also a great branding opportunity - when a person constantly sees his or her friends putting up new videos on news feed, they’re bound to visit Vimeo.

Oh, and as a bonus, here’s a great Vimeo tutorial about integrating your blog with Facebook Connect:

How To: Add Facebook Connect to Your Blog in 8 Minutes from Dave Morin on Vimeo.

3. Facebook Connect for MediaWiki

How it uses Facebook Connect: Facebook made sure that the software that runs Wikipedia wasn’t ignored. The result is the Facebook Connect plug-in for MediaWiki. If you’re running a wiki, it makes it very easy for your users to log in and start making edits.

Why it is a winner:
MediaWiki is a highly-used software, but because you can edit most wikis without logging in, not as many people sign up. Facebook Connect helps fill in that gap by making it easier to log into a wiki. In addition, you can use XFBML tags in wiki text (though I wouldn’t recommend it until they update the security of it).

4. Workstir

How it uses Facebook Connect: Workstir goes a step farther than most Facebook Connect integrations. Not only can you log into Workstir with a Facebook account, but work requests in your area will immediately pop up. So if you’re looking to get in some extra work or need to find a designer for a project, Workstir and Facebook Connect make it incredibly easy.

Why it is a winner: Work requests are very geographical - you’re not going to hire a carpenter in Minnesota if you live in San Jose. Facebook Connect helps weed out the noise so you instantly see what’s available in your area. It’s just plain smart.

5. BackType

How it uses Facebook Connect:
Backtype allows you to use Facebook Connect to claim comments you post online, and soon it will allow you to import all of your comments, everywhere, into your news feed.

Why it is a winner:
Claiming comments becomes simpler with the Backtype service, and importing all of those comments into News feed will be a good addition, unless you comment on 30 or 40 blogs a day. Then you might just be a bit too noisy for your friends.

6. CNN the Forum

How it uses Facebook Connect:
CNN has been a leader in social media integration for media companies, and it’s no different with Facebook Connect. CNN the Forum allows you to find your friends on CNN and compare, discuss, or vehemently argue the finer points of politics.

Why it is a winner: Sure, you’ll argue with strangers about politics, but you gain an even stronger connection to the website if you’re discussing the issues with your friends. CNN is once again a step ahead of the media companies when it comes to social media.

7. Digg

How it uses Facebook Connect: This one may not immediately come to mind anymore, because Digg integrated with Facebook in April. While you still can’t log into Digg with your Facebook account (Hey, Kevin and Co, you promised this in July), you can import your Diggs into the Facebook news feed.

Why it is a Winner:
It’s a success in branding and traffic driving. Digg was one of the first partners with Facebook on Facebook Connect and news feed. The result of this partnership has been thousands of Diggs in news feeds all across Facebook. As more people join Digg and import their information to Facebook, more people gain exposure to it. They still need to take the next step and make logging into Digg through Facebook Connect available.

8. Red Bull Connect

How it uses Facebook Connect: It’s not a blog, it’s not a plug-in, it’s not a social network - it’s a success at using Facebook to build a brand. Red Bull Connect is a flash-based website that allows users to read information from Red Bull websites, as well as comments, from Facebook friends.

Why it is a winner: They implemented it quickly, they implemented it seamlessly, and Red Bull will not stop with just Red Bull Connect. Red Bull has been successful with its branding through online media and I am curious to see how Red Bull uses Facebook next for its branding efforts.

9. Xobni

How it uses Facebook Connect:
Xobni was also one of the first Facebook Connect launch partners. Xobni’s email management software allows you to see the Facebook profile pictures of contacts as well as information such as status updates and location.

Why it is a winner:
With Facebook Connect, Xobni becomes a far stronger product, especially in terms of contacts. I know I’m a visual person, and seeing a profile picture or location without the need to research is a great feature that saves time, plain and simple.

10. Disqus

How it uses Facebook Connect: Disqus, the YCombinator-backed comment plug-in service, now makes it simple for your blog readers to bypass signing up a for a Disqus account and removes the need to type in a name and email before commenting. With a few clicks, readers of a Disqus-enabled blog can start commenting.

Why it is a winner:
It’s simple - there are more people with Facebook accounts than Disqus accounts. Anything that makes it easier to use Disqus is a win for the company.

Tina Fey to Internet Trolls: "You Can Suck It"

For anyone who has ever experienced the juvenile wrath of internet commenter trolls, Tina Fey's Golden Globes acceptance speech was as gratifying as it was AWESOME...telling her internet haters to "suck it" on national television is epic WIN:


Facebook Connect Ad-Network Imminent?

In a Mashable post designed to explain how Facebook could make money, I postulated the possibility of backing an ad-network into the recently launched Facebook Connect as a revenue stream. Now, take note of their Advertising page, looks like Connect might be getting poised for just such an ad-network? What else is it doing there in their Advertising options...

history of the internet

Well since everyone else has been posting this, I thought I would too...happy Friday!

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

metaphor: semi off-topic visual post of the day

Frozen bubbles are gorgeous...and metaphorical. No commentary, I'll let you derive the what you will. Enjoy the semi off-topic visual post!