Matt\’s Cuppa

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Archive for the ‘Social Web’ Category

Please, Put My Social Life Back In My Inbox!

Posted by telecommatt on November 14, 2007

Social networks of the future could be email based – Download Squad

The New York Times’ Saul Hansel suggests that Yahoo! and Google are working on bringing social networking features to your email account.

OH, THANK BOB!! As you may know, I’m rather tired of Facebook, and I’m certainly tired of random "women" wanting to by my "friend" on the MySpace account I haven’t once logged into since I opened the account.

Among the biggest problem for me is the maintenance factor. I don’t want to go to someplace else to log in, view messages, respond to requests, and delete spam. I already do all of this with my email account.  Isn’t that enough?

I say CHEERS to Google and Yahoo! and whoever else is going to put control of my social communication back into my email box like it used to be!

Posted in Social Web | 2 Comments »

It’s Not You, It’s Facebook

Posted by telecommatt on November 8, 2007

Facebook News Feed Fatigue – Download Squad

And now, to make matters worse, there is a Facebook News Network! Can things get any worse? Probably.

DLS asks if logging into your Facebook account immediately makes you feel exhausted? I’m tempted to send a poke to let them know I agree! Facebook is starting to seem a lot like spilled milk. It just keeps running across the table and the spill keeps getting bigger and bigger.

After opening my Facebook account months ago, I can officially, and without hesitation, say that I’d rather just get an email.

Oh, yeah, I apologize to all those people who have poked. prodded, bitten, infected, and otherwise abused me on Facebook for not returning your abuse. It’s not you, it’s Facebook.

Posted in Social Web | Leave a Comment »

New Twitter Feature: Tracking

Posted by telecommatt on October 4, 2007

Twitter Blog: Tracking Twitter

You can follow friends on your phone through Twitter, but what about concepts?

New Twitter feature. Track keywords across the twitterverse from your mobile handset or IM.

Posted in Social Web | Leave a Comment »

From The It’s-About-Time Files: New York Times, Google, and AOL

Posted by telecommatt on September 18, 2007


The New York Times pay for content service bites the dust

Filed under: Business, InternetAs
of midnight tonight the New York Times pay to view Select Service is no
longer. The Times began the subscription service exactly 2-years ago
and charged users $49.95 a year or $7.95 a month for the ability to
access specific content online. Overall they managed to get 227,000
paid subscribers which made for a profit of close to $10 million a year.In their announcement
the Times said more users were now coming to the site via search
engines and links on other sites than they were at the service’s
launch. These users couldn’t get to the content (since they were not
subscribers) but were unlikely to pay for it just to check out one
piece on content. By allowing everyone access, the New York Times
stands to dramatically increase their page views and make more money in
advertising revenue than they were off of subscription fees.

It’s about freaking time! Because of the prominence of NYT, I actually began excluding NYT from my Google searches since I couldn’t access the content that came up in my search results. Nor could I justify $50 a year when most stories are available via podcast.

Google Presentation – Google’s PowerPoint app goes live

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Google Presentation

Google’s long-rumored and eagerly anticipated PowerPoint clone has finally shipped. Although we’ve only had a chance to have a first look, here are some impressions:

What it does have or do

  • Importing PowerPoint files
  • Exporting HTML file
  • 15 built-in themes
  • Text formatting
  • Basic image manipulation functionality (adding, resizing)
  • Versioning Collaboration Online presentation sharing

What it doesn’t have or do

  • Animations of any kind
  • Advanced image manipulation
  • Advanced text formatting
  • Sound
  • Video
  • Exporting PowerPoint files

Google has done a very good job of making this new Presentation application (based on code from Zenter)
fit in with Docs and Spreadsheets. It looks right at home, and the
functionality is about what you would expect from another Google App.
File versioning and collaboration functions work exactly like they do
for Docs and Spreadsheets, which is to say just fine.

Don’t get me wrong, this it big new for Google and great news for Google Docs users. But I’m just glad it’s finally launched so I don’t have to read any more of near-daily articles about how this app will be released “any day now”.

AOL launches BlueString personal media management service

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AOL has announced the launch of BlueString,
an online personal media management service that allows users to upload
and store up to 5 GB of pictures, music, and videos all in one place.
BlueString users can also create and manage content right on the Web
site and even collaborate with others to make movies and multimedia
shows. Move over iLife (Oh, and Flickr. And you too, YouTube). There’s
a new kid on the block.

This is cool. It’s gotten fairly good press, and there’s even a screencast out by Demo Girl. But seriously, why didn’t this happen ages ago? It’s not as if AOL didn’t have the platform or the tech to do it. If they’d done this around the time they stopped charging access fees, they would have had a much larger invested user base. They face a huge uphill battle now to tear users away from established services like YouTube and Flickr. Anyone else remember a time when AOL billed itself as a media company?

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Posted in Google, Social Web | Leave a Comment »

Douglas Adams, The Ingenuity of Complete Fools, and Empathetic Web Design

Posted by telecommatt on September 13, 2007

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” – Douglas Adams

Any designer that begins an article with Douglas Adams scores instant points with me! Even without the great opening quote, this is a really good article. Very thought provoking. How often do we really think about feelings during the design process?

Part of being a web designer is trying to understand and make sense of how people are using your design. Therefore, being empathic, or having the ability to share and understand the feelings of another, is a valuable trait to have.

You can find the full article, as well as a few additional thoughts, here.

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Posted in Quotes, Social Web, Webdev | 9 Comments »

IntenseDebate Wants Your Comments

Posted by telecommatt on August 27, 2007

Last week, I did a short write up on eHub of advanced blog commenting system, Disqus. Disqus plans to improve the blogosphere by improving the rather basic and rudimentary commenting system built into most blogging platforms.

I was surprised to receive an email today from one of the co-founders of IntenseDebate. It turns out that Intense Debate is also an advanced blog commenting system. They also offer threaded comments, comment tracking, and comment statistics.

Admittedly, I have not jumped in too deep yet on either product. That said, IntenseDebate has one rather large advantage over Diqus right now. They are already live. Following is an excerpt from his email. Thanks Josh!

We have been profiled on TechCrunch and Download Squad. We already do essentially the same thing Disqus promises to do, but better. We are already in a closed Beta and on quite a few blogs.

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Posted in Blogging, Social Web, web2.0 | 2 Comments »

Zyb Releases More Zyb. Much More Zyb!

Posted by telecommatt on August 27, 2007

I attempted to review mobile backup solution, Zyb, back in June and found that my own phone was not compatible with their service. I had such a great experience with their product support, however, that I did a write up anyway.

I received an email this morning alerting me to some updates that were released and tested on the quiet. I didn’t have a chance to post at the time, but Kristen, over at Mashable, had an early morning post on this.  Honestly, my jaw dropped when I saw what these guys have been up to.  Zyb does more than back up your mobile contacts. Much more! Here is an excerpt from the email I received. Thanks Haider!

Dear Matthew Murphy,

Hope you are doing fine!

reviewed ZYB previously where you highlighted the importance of a
mobile data backup service, and I expect you will agree that as a
mobile data backup platform ZYB has since established its credibility.

then we have been striving to provide something completely different
instead of reinventing the wheel. The goal has been to harnesses the
power of the data that users upload and “bring your mobile data
to life”.

We launched the new version in silent mode a
couple of weeks ago to get some quick feedback, and now we are ready to
go out in the open. We haven’t even notified our users yet, so
you should find the new version to be newsworthy.

If you check out our website: you will see that the interface has improved with the following new features:

Users can connect to the people in their mobile
phone’s address book to keep in touch and share mobile content
• Connected friends can keep their contact information updated in each other’s phones

Users can micro-blog from their phone and
broadcast the blog to people in their phone’s address book

Users can upload pictures from their mobile phone
and tag the pictures using the phone’s address book
• Users can expand their social network by searching for people with whom they have mutual friendsThese are just some of the cool features ZYB is offering without charging a dime from its almost 200,000 users across the world.

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Posted in Mobile, Social Web, web-based services, web2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Enough with the Twitter Spam!

Posted by telecommatt on August 24, 2007

It started with just a trickle. One or two at a time would appear in my inbox. My first thought was that it was rather clever, though clearly a waste of someone’s time. No way would it catch on. Then, quite suddenly, it became a regular flood. My inbox was filling up with Twitter spam!

Those who’ve read some of my other posts might have caught on that I’m not a heavy Twitter user. And worse yet, I’m rapidly tiring of all this social networking garbage. Twitvertising may very well be the last excuse I need to unhook myself from all things virtually social. It started out simple enough. Twitter user Joe533968 (There’s a lot of Joe’s on Twitter) was now following me on Twitter. I’d look up Joe533968 to see if I wanted to follow him as well. Joe533968’s feed would have a lot to say on the subject of mortgages, and by the way, Joe533968 could get you a great deal on a mortgage too. Now it’s become rather blatant. Twitter user BuyMyUsedSocks is now following me. His profile says that he is following 56,004 people. And he has 3 followers. BuyMyUsedSocks’s feed is nothing but messages stating, “Sale! Buy two socks and get a third for free!” Who on God’s rapidly warming earth is actually going to buy something because they were followed on Twitter?!

Because of the open API, I’m sure there’s a million scripts running at this very moment that are adding people to BuyMyUsedSocks’s list of Follows. I seriously think that this is ruining Twitter. I like the concept of microblogging. I like hearing what my friends are up to every once in a while. For these reasons, I keep my notifications turned on and I diligently check out each new follower I get. But what a sour taste it leaves in the mouth to have 6 of 7 new Twitter followers (Like I did this morning.) trying to sell me something. It’s enough to make me want quit the social scene all together.

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Posted in Blatant Stupidity, Social Web | Leave a Comment »

Say No to New Profiles!

Posted by telecommatt on August 20, 2007

The biggest problem with social networks, and the reason I’ve partially abandoned Facebook, MySpace, and Pownce, is that I’m tired of creating a new profile and finding all my friends every time something new comes out. (Which seems like about every other day now…) I totally applaud this movement by LiveJournal founder Brad Fitzpatrick.

LiveJournal Founder Leads Open Social Network Charge


LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick, who has been talking up open
social networks in presentations recently, has published a sort of mini-manifesto for portable, open social networking. The problem, he says: People
are getting sick of registering and re-declaring their friends on every
site, but also: Developing “Social Applications” is too
much work….Facebook’s answer seems to be that the world
should just all be Facebook apps. Essentially, he’s saying that you can’t move your friend data from one site to another.

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Posted in Social Web | Leave a Comment »

Timebridge is a Scheduling Solution for Busy People

Posted by telecommatt on August 15, 2007

Here’s another find by Demo Girl. Timebridge helps you schedule meetings among busy (or lazy) people. What caught my attention is that there is nothing the recipients need to sign up for or register for. All they have to do is reply to your email.

Got meetings? Get TimeBridge!

while back I was a food and beverage manager for a restaurant and every
few months I’d schedule the dreaded staff meeting.  The
servers and bartenders hated it, and so did I, but it had to be
done.  It was typically and hour of me explaining that it’s
not OK to talk on your cell phone while taking an order, that you
shouldn’t tell your tables “sorry, I’m just really
hung over”, and all of the ass slapping and other inappropriate
behavior that goes on between restaurant staff should be done in the
kitchen where no one can see.  What does this have to do with TimeBridge? 
Well, it was a pain scheduling these meetings.  Most of the staff
either had a second job or they were in college and didn’t have
much free time.  I’d always end up with little pieces of
paper in my mailbox from different employees explaining that they
couldn’t make it to the meeting at my proposed time.  This
is where TimeBridge comes in.
makes it easy to schedule meetings that all of your employees can
attend.  You simply enter in the email addresses of your staff,
choose up to five dates and times that you’re available, and
you’re done.  Your employees don’t need to do anything
except respond to the email by checking off their availability on each
day and press send.  They don’t need to sign up for anything
and TimeBridge will figure out the best time for everyone.  I know
there are other scheduling applications out there, but so far this is
my favorite.  Here’s my screencast tour of TimeBridge:

Flash Demo3m24s

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Posted in Social Web, web2.0 | Leave a Comment »