Social Media Tools

I feel inspired to create some sort of post regarding my views on the social media tool’s I’ve been playing with. By far the biggest one around right now is Twitter and there is a lot of talk about it. Jeff Pulver thinks it’s better the Digg and I agree to a point. I think it is better in such that you trust the people you get updates from as apposed to what the community chooses. There has been a lot of controversy regarding groups getting together and digging stories to get them to the top which for me hurts the legitimacy of the news on Digg. Do I think there is a place for a site like Digg? Absolutely but take the things you read on them with a grain of salt. I do like Twitter, it brings the online communication with my friends to a whole new level. It can be a great tool for getting the word out fast to a certain group of people. I do think they need a lot of improvement in a few areas. Just the all around stability of the platform need work so they can maintain uptime of the site, the SMS system is the other big stability issue. It seams for me that SMS is never up for more then a few hours at a time. The biggest feature they need to add is Groups. The issue with Groups is how to implement that while still maintaining a message in 140 characters. There are a couple ways to tackle that issue, first you need to use something like”G GroupName Message” which could end up taking a lot of the limit if people are not careful choosing a group name so they may want to use numbers.For the people who really get the mobile aspect of Twitter you may want to check out Groovr. It uses E-Mail on mobile phones rather then SMS and for me has proved to be far more reliable. Maybe it just the user load is not there yet but I don’t know. If you have a camera/video phone you can send pictures and they will show up in your friend’s feeds, which is a cool feature. They also use this kinda cool check-in system to tell your friends where you are. Basically you send a message starting with an @ and where you are. If you have been there before it registers where you are, if you haven’t next time you login to the website you can set the address and other information about the place you are. They also have Shouts that is like what the whole Twitter thing is. I think this would be a better replacement for Twitter then Jaiku. To just touch on Jaiku for a minute it is the same type of service except it allows you to add in external RSS feeds that show up in your stream of posts. This helps get away from people posting about their blog posts. The other big thing that people like about Jaiku is the ability to comment directly on a post rather the the sometimes complicated @ system that has developed on Twitter. I don’t know how well their SMS service is going to work as I still haven’t been able to activate it and from what I’m told is not working yet.The next site I want to talk about is Facebook. It seams to be the current front runner for a replacement to MySpace. I’ve never set up an account on MySpace and I’m not going to talk much about it but I haven’t used it just out of principal. Facebook on the other hand has been a slight addiction of mine. It’s great to reconnect with people you went to school with and it’s been described many times as a digital high school reunion. It is very easy to find people and is extremely open way of communicating as anything you do shows up in all your friends news feeds. I’m not sure how much I like the new layout they just implemented but I haven’t been on much since they switched to it. If you want to be on the current social media wave go there and set up an account, and add me as a friend!If you want to be ahead of the wave goto Virb. Julien Smith stated that he was not going to get on Facebook and he’ll meet everyone on Virb in 6 months. I had an account set up there before and I agree. I think the style of the site is way more Web 2.0. I also like the way they handle media. They will host 10 videos of any length, 50 pictures and bands can upload music to the site. They have a simple metrics system that records profile views as well as video and audio plays. They also feature bands on the front page which is a great way to get discovered. I’ve found a bunch of new music that way.Virb maybe the next big thing unless people find out about Tangler and move there first. I found that one not too long ago and fell in love with the concept right away. Basically you set up a profile and you can add friends just like most other sites. You can also set up and join groups. Now the big difference on Tangler is that everything has a message board. You can have a private conversation on a message board like interface in a group or with a single friend and if you both or a number of members of the group are online you can turn or chat mode and it instantly turns into a chat. There is also a desktop client for Windows, Mac and Linux that will notify you of any new messages. If you sign up there I highly recommend watching the welcome video. I usually don’t do that on sites but I wasn’t getting the concept so I watched it and it really helps. You can also embed audio, video and photos in the discussions but they are not hosted on the site so you will have to use things like Flickr and YouTube for that.Two other services that you should check out but I haven’t had time to play around with enough to make a comment about are Meshly and My Say. Meshly seams to be a Digg like service only you post from IM and MySay is like Twitter but you send a receive voice messages over the phone.This is by far a complete list and mostly just my opinions so go check them out yourself. They are all free to use other then maybe some fees on you cell phone! If you find a new service let me know I love to try everything new. Wherever you go add me as a friend or wherever that service calls a contact. I’m on almost every service out there, just look to the right hand side at the top of my site and you’ll see links to my profiles in most of the sites mentioned and many more. If there is no link there look up Bill Deys or billdeys. I’m always pretty open and always use my real name so…