Thursday, June 25, 2009

Musings on Social Interaction on the Web

Man, like other blog endeavors that I've had over the last bunch of years, this one's not going much better in terms of timeliness of posting. It's been almost 2 months since I last joined ye, loyal readers (all four of you, judging from my stats, if my shit doesn't get buried in your google readers anyway).

At any rate, I'll leave this up as my long form forum for all things Willis/Billhelm/W/whatever you wanna call me. No harm, no foul, right?

I think Twitter consumes most of my daily posting mojo. Sadly, it's in a somewhat restrictive format.

I follow a lot of technology crazy internet celebrities on there like Robert Scoble and Dave Winer over on Twitter. These guys are constantly talking about things like Twitter and new technologies. I've been follwing both of them (and some others) for a while, both always had good blogs, and Winer was heavily involved in podcasting in the early days, which I followed closely at the time.

Scoble's always going on and on about friendfeed. He loves the service and is probably their biggest evangelist. I joined it a long time ago but found it to be not terribly useful. You can follow your friends from other services, but you only see their posts on it. If you mostly follow people that only have twitter, then there's almost no point - particuarly when you check Twitter several times a day.

Last week, I decided to make my feed public, and start following some other people. It's working. I like the stuff that comes up, and unlike Twitter, where I have this strange, insatiable need to view just about every tweet, I can just sample friendfeed when I have some time. I follow enough of a critical mass that there's always new things, and it shows friend of a friend entries.

Another thing came along this week, also courtesy of Scoble, that of feedly. It's a plugin for firefox that combined with the site, provides another way to view google reader feeds. And man, it's pretty sweet. It also integrates with friendfeed so you can see conversations that might already be going on. It has a twitter sidebar, and lots of goodies. I like the digest format when I only have a few minutes to read because it bubbles up things that I'm more interested in to the surface.

Finally, I'm giving foursquare a go again. I had deleted it a few months back because I didn't really like how it integrated with Twitter. But this time, I've scaled it back, and they've also added features to their mobile web and Iphone client to send to Twitter or not, which is helpful. A few of my friends are very big fans of the service and use it quite a bit. It's what dodgeball could have been and then some.