Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Amber Alerts using the Social Web . . . at least somewhat

It's been my experience that government and quasi-government agencies are always the last ones to figure out the technology that helps them accomplish their mission. For the most part, my impression has not changed, though more and more I am seeing a glimmer of hope.

There are police officers , emergency management personnel, homeland security employees, and firefighters on LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and several of the other social networks, and more and more poised to enter The Relationship Economy.

From my time in the criminal justice field (and discipline), I have developed an outside the walls network of thousands of these folks (they are "connected" to me in the address book on my computer, and frequently post on my old-school wall known as an inbox while CCing others). I have seen a select few (and growing) number of folks over the past 15 or so years adopt (and adapt to) the various iterations (is that spelled right?) of communications technology and I am often impressed by their progress. In fact, the friend I mentioned in 4score and . . . how would Lincoln do on Twitter?, where I observed that the combination of my time working for the government and my legal training and my current focus on education was not a good breeding ground for brevity, works in this very field.

In the recent past, though, I have seen a more useful (my opinion) adaptation and implementation, and have noted police and fire departments using Twitter, the microblogging service that feels a lot like a mashup of instant messaging, chat rooms, and 2-way radios. I first noted that three police departments were on Facebook (update: there are now five) and two (there's now a third, but no posts yet, though they have 5 followers) are on Twitter. I made some suggestions in our recent book that police departments could find innovative ways to communicate with the communities, and I have been impressed with those who are (and I am waiting patiently for the tens of thousands who are not). I delved a little deeper into a hypothetical scenario in the post on Social Network Commerce.

I have noted also that a fire department is Twittering (update: Now there's a second). The @LAFD has a very active presence in the Twitterverse, and they add followers by the day (you can follow them, too) though they are only following one. And I just realized that there are nine (yes, 9) Fire Departments on Facebook -- wow!

And today (Wednesday, April 30, 2008), while Twittering with Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), I learned from @wscottw3 (yeah, the Comcast guy) that Amber Alerts are on Twitter, too - see @amberalerts. I knew that Jason, with Herban Media has had an Amber Alert application on Facebook for a while, and our local (Nashville) media does a decent job of putting the alerts out, but Twitter seems to be the perfect place for them (especially since they just received another infusion of funding).

I don't know that the @amberalerts on Twitter are from an official site, but the program is a Department of Justice Initiative, and before now, I had only seen the Transportation Safety Administration getting involved (other than covertly) in the social web. The only problem with this demonstration is that @amberalerts hasn't seen a Twitterpost since three months ago. I suspect that's not reflective of the most recent Amber Alert . . . but it's the thought that counts, right? I did find that the @Amber_Alert Twitter Feed is directly from the national website DM, so make sure you follow the right one!

What do you think?

BTW - I promise to make my next post on something unrelated to Twitter . . ..

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The COMcast ic forecast -- chance of storms

. . . with possible improvement if COMmunication improves

post Can Comcast Reverse the Storm
suggests that Comcast has the opportunity to be a leading brand that leverages the tools of the web for improvement of service and innovation of propositions to their customer base, both personal and business. He suggests that they could be customer service trend-setters and thought leaders, which would be a great improvement over their current ranking by a 2007 J.D.Power survey, that ranked Comcast second-to-last only to Charter in customer service for cable and satellite TX providers. Bob Fernandez, in article in The Seattle Times that Jay quotes, discussed this survey, and noted that in the February issue of Consumer Reports, Comcast ranked ninth of 10 big telecom companies. It was sandwiched between Time Warner Cable, at No. 8, and last-place Charter Communications.

I first got engaged with Comcastic customer service with a post by a (local to me) Nashvillian, named Mark Kerrigan, in a fabulous demonstration of the use of webtime by corporations. Mark was frustrated by the local office's attempts at customer service, so he went to the best distribution channel he had available -- his blog. Mark had a follow-up appointment (after a three day wait) scheduled from 8-11 AM. He wrote, the breakdown in communication became apparent when someone from Comcast called at 9:28 on the day of service to “remind” us that we were scheduled to have a service tech come out between the hours of 12 and three! I read that post and thought, "good for him, he's demonstrating the communication style needed in The Relationship Economy -- talking out in the open." And the next day, Mark blogged again, and it blew my mind (not that he's not that frequent, but what he was writing :-). Mark reported a phone call from Frank Eliason,with Comcast Corporate. Mark explained how it felt to know he was speaking with someone who could actually do something about the service (or lack of service) provided.

Shortly before this, I had been working with Mike Orshan to start a series of initiatives called The Conversation On . . ., on Facebook, and we had posted the first 50 or so companies from the Fortune 100 (and begun a website, too) to try to organize "the good, the bad, the new, the old, the newsworthy and the hopes regarding the United States number 84 company in revenue." Seeing an opportunity for traction and momentum, we pushed the Comcast group to the front of the line for development. Check out the Facebook Group for more -- if you join, you could be member number 440!

But webtime wasn't over yet with the Facebook group addition . . . the Comcastic Twitter initiative had just launched. Two Comcastians, known as @wscottw3 and @ComcastCares (Scott Westerman and Frank Eliason) started responding to Twitterposts by Comcustomers (who were "venting" about Comcast) like they were personal account managers. I saw a variety of high and low-profile technology folks being helped, and even saw some Twittered follow up posts. Take a peek at how messages are passed on Twitter by @mjlambie, @chrisbrogan, @bloggersblog, and @jowyang. if you aren't familiar with this technology. You can see more at The Comcast Tweet Scan. Scott and Frank are doing so well in addressing the issues that they are getting referrals for both customer service and strategy!

So yes, Jay, I think Comcast can reverse the storm.

They were #84 on Fortune's list (they are #79 now)and they have one heckuvan Internet presence, too! Site Stats for show has a traffic rank of: 123 (wow - they were 223 on March 20), and they have been online Since: 25-Sep-1997. But it would take a transition, no, a company-wide transformation, to relationship-based customer serving. As we noted in a previous post, relationship building for businesses seems almost counterintuitive. Back in the day, Customer Relationship Management was the practice of leaving the house, stopping for a cup of coffee at the local diner on the way to work, taking a break to visit with your neighbors who happened to be long-time customers, and generally engaging others in conversations about anything and everything. And that, in webtime, is what it will take to divert this storm.

So how do you engage your customers in webtime? You can use simple tools, like this mini-mashup I got from Steve Rubel to check customer service posts for Comcast (or the company of your choice). You can also search the blogosphere . . . Technorati has 541 blogs listed in a search for Comcast in their aggregated blogs, alone. Now, many of them could be spammer sites, but they all tagged their main blog with Comcast, and at the time this was written, there were individually 2,864 posts tagged with Comcast on Technorati (this should make it # 2,866 if Jay tags his).

But searching these sites, whether manually or automatically, is not the solution. There must be something better!

Imagine a public access portal set up strictly for Comcast communications. In that portal is a live blog collector and a live Twitter stream (among other cool tools). The posts are searchable, sortable by keywords, and threadable. A potentially disgruntled Comcustomer finds the portal (shouldn't be too hard with the search tool of choice) and searches for their specific issue (no service, delay in responding, blocked file transfer, late technician, etc.). They locate an ongoing thread, and see that others, perhaps others in their area, are experiencing the same problem. In this example, the threads will serve as a FAQ section that is updated in real time. Instead of making a new call or sending another email, the Comcustomer can say "me too" by tagging the post or thread with their location or adding a simple comment.

If you really want to kick your imagination into high gear, envision a webcam of the technician speeding to your location . . . That's the webtime way!

What do you think?

Disclaimer: The author is not a subscriber to any cable or satellite TV provider, and has not been one since 1990. Though this may indicate that he does not know much about these providers, it does not indicate that he's unable to know a storm when he sees one. And this, my friends, is a storm!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

4score and . . . how would Lincoln do on Twitter?

I received a call today from a friend who asked for assistance in brainstorming a two-and-a-half hour presentation on a topic she was very familiar with. She doubted that she could keep the attendees' attention for that long, though she knew the material.

My first suggestion was "engage them."

So how's that done? First, you have to get their attention. Next, you have to have something they are interested in. Finally, you have to find the intersection of what they know and what they are comfortable talking about in public. Combine all this with getting them to talk more than you, and you have a winning formula for interactivity!

As long as you keep it brief.

I'm not a natural at this. Many of my colleagues (see either my LinkedIn profile or my Hotlist for some examples) will tell you that the combination of time working for the government combined with my legal training and my current focus on education is not a good breeding ground for brevity. As an introvert, I don't necessarily enjoy the time where I am the only one talking, but I do know how to tell you everything I know about (your topic here) in 3 hours or less. But I recognize that brevity is good in this fast-paced, attention deficient world.

Can you feel my my pain?

I learned from Brian Solis, that technology and thought leader extraordinare Stowe Boyd has begun training others on brevity. Stowe told the world that he is posting a schedule of the times that he will make available for meetings with companies at the Web 2.0 Expo, and he is not going to accept email-based proposals to meet, only Twitpitches.

Twitpitches? That means 14o characters or less to get his attention? Is that possible? The title of this post is over half that long! Sarah Perez from ReadWriteWeb credits Stowe as the inventor of Twipitches . . . so who is going to start the training program?

Brian says he knows that it’s a huge amount of work to shift from a blast mentality to a one-on-one pitch regiment. . . it’s time to change things up. Make the time to invest in relationships with those who can help you tell your story.

Wow! So in order to build relationships with some people, we have to take less of their time? That sounds a lot like a digital elevator speech.

So I got to thinking, how would Abraham Lincoln have pitched the Gettysburg address on Twitter? (the original is here -- it's 271 words -- I'm not counting all the characters)

Here goes:

87 yrs ago we sed all menR equal-Now weR fighting. Lets honor the dead so this nation under God is free & govt of by & 4 people won’t perish
What do you think?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Completely and totally unscientific . . . but Facebook beats LinkedIn and Myspace for growth

. . . and, I'll bet more Twitterers have Facebook than LinkedIn and more Facebook than a MySpace (or at least they talk about Facebook more).


According to Twist, which displays trends on Twitter, Facebook is discussed a lot more than MySpace (at least in the past week).

And there's a whole lot more being discussed about Facebook than LinkedIn, in the same time frame, too.

Is that relevant?

I think it is when you look at the March 2008 statistics, that show MySpace has or is reaching the saturation poinnt and Facebook is doubling year-to-year (no, I didn't plot this out month-by-month). According to, MySpace is up 8%, while Facebook is up 98%. LinkedIn managed a 319% increase in the same period.

To confuse these results even more, see what we, the users, reported to be the 100 best Web 2.0 applications. Over 1.9 million votes were cast to select these Webware 100 winners in the Social space:

What did we miss? Perhaps the OpenSocial initiative is working better as a marketing strategy than an implementation plan? :-)

So what has changed in the past year, since the 2007 Webbys?

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Freelance Security probes on LinkedIn - Rickrolled?

I got this email today . . . from CSIS Security Group []

Dear LinkedIn user: Meet Mr. John Smith!

You have a profile on and you have chosen to connect with "John Smith". This itself is not a problem, if it wasn't for the fact, that John Smith doesn't really exist (in real life). The profile was invented as part of a security experiment in pitfalls of Social Networks to determine and illustrate potential risks using Social networks, such as LinkedIn. The presentation was just released on the Fraud Europe conference in Bruxelles today.

We decided not to release any detailed information about who and how John Smith got connected with in his network. However, we felt obligated to inform all Linkin accounts hooked up with John Smith about this piece of research and the release of the final edition of "Social Networking Risk - Who Do You Want to be Today?".

With the paper being released we will delete the "John Smith" profile!

If you've not already guessed it, you're receiving this e-mail because you are linked with john Smith. We hope this will be a leason learned and nothing else ...

All data harvested during the past year, will be deleted. We will also inform LinkedIn and asking them to remove the profile.

You can download the presentation given at Fraud Europe conference at the following URL:

The technical paper, used as background for this presentation and released in January 2008, can be downloaded here:

Best regards,

Dennis Rand, Security- and Malware researcher CSIS Security Group

CSIS Security Group

A Google search for "LinkedIn CSIS Security Group" found Martin Lynge Hansen at . . . maybe I should Rickroll him? I flagged him and linked to this post. LinkedIn Profile:

what do you think?

UPDATE: I posted it on my blog, and flagged the profile to linkedin as misrepresentation -- it's gone now, go figure.

Thanks LinkedIn, but with over 3,000 connections how many got the email and how many flagged the profile?

I found one other who posted this, see Uncommon Sense Security.

More on a search for

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Claiming your LinkedIn profile on Technorati -- is there a reason?

I learned from @ProBlogger (AKA Darren Rowse) that Technorati made it possible to claim your Twitter account. I went through the process, the most technical of which was extracting the URL from the the pre-designed html code and posting it on Twitter.

And then I got to thinking . . . I have used LinkedIn for a lot longer, and it has a lot more information . . . why not see if I can claim my LinkedIn profile?

Well, I did it. It's as simple as providing Technorati with your LinkedIn public address (mine is here) and then inserting the web address they give into your profile page (I added it to my summary).

Now I just have to figure out whether that's something that will be productive. There are only 4,456 Twitter accounts on Technorati at the time of this post, but it appears there may be only a few on LinkedIn.

And yes, I realize that neither of the above are ranked very high, but I am having fun, and the day ain't over yet!

(and I bet you are going to try one of these out now that you are finished reading this post).

What do you think?

Monday, April 21, 2008

BlogTalkRadio Share Show Widget

More on BlogTalkRadio Show Widget

The above is the first run of the introductory chapter of Online Business Networking, including The Seven Keys to a Powerful Network AND Ways to Maximize Effectiveness.

This is from the course that accompanies Teten & Allen's "The Virtual Handshake." The course (6 modules) is available at

If unavailable, check out or the show here.

The online version of office suites, or a hostile takeover?

In a previous post, we noted a tendency toward focusing on specific social networking sites, and suggested that in the future many of us will simply be using what was "learned" in these sites to just be more social -- out in the open, on an Internet without walls. The people we relate to, the relationships we have with them, and the use of available communication tools are the keys to success in this space, not “the site.”

I'm looking for Unified Communications 2.0, and we aren't there yet.

In the meantime, it is important to find transitional points, since we don't yet have a functional cross-platform personal portal, where all of our documents, email accounts, instant messaging clients, microblogs, and friend updates can converge with our videos, personal learning, and VOIP communications accounts.

So where do we find this virtual office suite?

Steve O'Hear recently highlighted the Facebook apps he calls a few shiny gems that can help you turn Facebook into a super-charged personal assistant. Steve listed and discussed many third-party applications that promise to help run your business, including accessing your LinkedIn contacts. But in this time of economic uncertainty and build-it-so-you-can-sell-it mentality, do we really want to invest time in a Third Party App?

I know that Jeff Pulver recently alerted the world to his Facebook conversion, but should the rest of us follow along? He contrasted the experience of Facebook to LinkedIn by identifying the former as a wealth of opportunity for vibrant interaction between users and groups of users, and at once more rewarding and more nuanced and meaningful. And Jeff is still living on Facebook, though his "community" appears to be limited in number by Facebook (a month or so ago he was maxing out at 5,000), and community (they have a limit on the number of groups you can join, as well).

So should we move all our stuff to Facebook? Andrew McAfee (and others he credits) posted an overview of how Facebook can be used as an organizational intranet. Ultimately, I think highly sensitive documents could be linked within Facebook and hosted on a protected server, but security is not my only concern. Facebook for business is still close to Web 2.0 (or as Doc Searls calls it, AOL 2.0, or AOL done right). So what do we do when we truly have a virtual presence that is unrestricted by the gated community mentality? What's the cost of conversion then? I'm all for mashing up as many parts of my life as possible, but I'm not convinced Facebook (or LinkedIn, or any other gated community) is the place to do this. What happens when they make decisions based on their needs, and not on ours?

What do you think?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Twitter catches on Fire

In an earlier post we saw that a few police departments had begun experimenting with Twitter . . . And now we see the fire departments Twitter, too!

Thanks to Grant Griffiths for his post in the Twitterverse! Grant runs one of the best blogs out there for those who do freelance work. Others covered it previously, but I wasn't connected to them, so I didn't get the message (there's a message there).

In Governing/December 2007, : Ellen Perlman's (Tech Talk) writes "For the department, twittering is an easy, free way to get important information out to the public. If, in the aftermath of, say, an earthquake, Los Angeles wanted to send out a boil water alert, one message could alert millions of people instantly. 'It's even better than the Goodyear blimp flying around,' says Humphrey, who also serves as the department's public information officer."

I can see the value for fire departments. Apparently, though, me and the LAFD and perhaps Ellen are the only ones who can.

In a search of Twitter for subscribers describing themselves as "fire department," the LAFD was "Results 1 - 1 of 1." Now it's possible that there are departments out there who just haven't listed themselves the right way (it's all public access, so like the yellow pages "fire department" would be the most logical).

There are plenty of users with the word "fire" in their name or description, like @SilverFire, @theCOLORofFIRE, @FireAngel, @StrangeFire, @iFire, and @Nuclear_Fire, but the majority haven't posted an update (indicating a lack of participation) in several months. There was one for California Fire News (@CalFireNews), but they appear to be just getting started, so if you would like to follow them that might help get them motivated!

Here's just a sample of the LAFD Twitter posts. Can you see the value in getting these on your mobile phone?

*Greater Alarm Structure Fire* 15222 W. Stagg St.; TG 531-H3; FS 90, 1
story commercial warehou...

*UPDATE: 4630 N. Cerro Verde Pl.* Small fire starting in a pool house,
spread into approx. 1/4 ...

*Brush Fire* 4630 N. Cerro Verde Pl.; TG 560-H4; FS 93, Small amount of
brush burning behind a ...

*UPDATE: 120 E. 8th St.* Incident possibly caused by small fire in
electrical vault. DWP on sc...
Granted there are a lot of leading edge tech-aware folks in the Los Angeles area, but how 'bout some of the other large (and relatively progressive in a technology sort of way) metropolitan fire departments? Off the top of my head, given what LAFD learned, I would say New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston would be prime candidates. Personally, I would think Nashville would also jump into the mix, but . . .

So you can check how many are participating long after this has posted, here are a couple of self-updating links. These will identify mentions of the quoted words on Twitter.
What do you think?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Revamping the learning paradigm

I just spent 1 of 2 mornings with some relatively forward thinking educators from all over for the 13th Annual Instructional Technology conference here in Murfreesboro, TN (near Nashville). Chris Dede brought the opening message -- said (paraphrasing) that educators are doing students a disservice to students if they don't prepare them for the workplace as it is now -- not as it was long ago. He also stressed the mobile learning environment -- today, not tomorrow.

There's more about last years conference on my retrofitting education blog here.

Many of the forward-thinking educators at the conference are talking about the Lessig style of PowerPoint design . . . like this gem.

Dick Hardt

I'm wondering how it would work in the traditional learning environment -- oh wait, we shouldn't be in the traditional learning environment! Does this work outside the world of 2.0?

And then there was a mashup proposal of Guy Kawasaki's 10-20-30 rule.

10) Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting

20) You should give your ten slides in twenty minutes.

30) Force yourself to use no font smaller than thirty points.

I haven't finished processing how this mashup works, but I'm thinking it will make for some much more interesting learning environments, not at all like this one:

More on the 10-20-30 rule in writing and video.

I realize this would be a great opportunity for liveblogging, but I'm not that guy ;-)

What do you think?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thanks for the retweet @problogger !

I was recently one of 116 submissions that responded to a great opportunity for exposure beyond the imagination. Many thanks to Darren Rowse (ProBlogger) for his challenge to submit our best post title (and URL) from the last month on their blogs.

Here's the list, and as ProBlogger said:

Surf them - link up to those you connect with and if you’re on Twitter follow as many of this great bunch of bloggers as you can!

  1. Twit from PHP with cURL by @tosoAplos
  2. Phase One: In which we rickroll a desk - by @CleverUserName
  3. Stu Talk #1 - Practical Community Identity by @theunguru
  4. Being (Online) Social by @radix33
  5. Dude Broke His Foot by @dwendland
  6. Vintage Slug Advertising by @neonbubble
  7. A Salty Chocolate Bar by @wildhoney
  8. Save the Developers! Upgrade Your Browser by @idesignstudios
  9. Creating Stop Signs for Site Traffic - by @jasonboom
  10. Terms of Use - Are they Pointless by @aflusche
  11. 4 Ways to Kick Your Blog in the Butt by @GrantGriffiths
  12. Meeting God at Wells by @pastorshawna
  13. Are you ready to take off or to land? Be the pilot of your business plane! by @terencechang
  14. The Importance of a Day Off by @10kthings
  15. St. Palm Patrick’s Sunday by @coffeesister
  16. Change the Rules, Then Cross the Street by @jacobm
  17. 10 diet friendly snacks that satisfy your need for sweet by @afexion
  18. How Do You Facebook? by@davidgiesberg
  19. If You Do Not Comment On This Post You Fail At Life by @UniKid
  20. Getting people to read your blog i.e. Linkbait by @nickclarson
  21. Real commitment or lipstick on a pig? by @trib
  22. Do You Have Secret Business Syndrome? by @bigbrightbulb
  23. Hate Destroys the Hater by @jnbammer
  24. 17 Habits of Highly Popular Bloggers by @skinner
  25. Terrorism - Why aren’t you afraid yet? by @koreyk
  26. Winos have smaller brainos by @deege
  27. Colorful Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower by @Sundaydinner
  28. And oh, BY THE WAY… by @ericablonde
  29. Start Spreading the News, I’m Leaving in May by @rhyswynne
  30. You are not where you think you are! by @gCaptain
  31. Taking Criticism: Are You A Dinosaur by @SHurleyHall
  32. Oops, I did it again: bubbles, balls and burn-out by @jonathanfields
  33. Fuel Cell Cars :: ride into the future by @cdhinton
  34. Go Go Gadget Ads by Doubleohd
  35. Right Off! by @GoonSquadSarah
  36. Beyond Blogs: The Conversation Has Moved Into The Flow by @stoweboyd
  37. How We Got A $1608 Cash Back Rebate Check by @bargainr
  38. Adobe Photoshop Express & The Mindless Photo Rights Grab by @jimgoldstein
  39. Stallion Battalion by @splitbrain
  40. Last Meal In Singapore by @texasag90
  41. #176 Nahin Saab, Kuch Nahin Bachta… by @dybydx
  42. No Hype But Some People Should Probably Read This by @AndyBeard
  43. Wallet Mouth? How You Spend Speaks To How You Want To Be Seen by @SCartierLiebel
  44. adopt/adapt/apply by @dydimustk
  45. Holding Hands is CHILD ABUSE! by @thepsychoexwife
  46. Hard Lessons for Entrepreneurs by @sbpalding
  47. Take great photos with a point and shoot! by @sduffyphotos
  48. 13 Ways to Move Big Files on the Web by @charpolanosky
  49. Why Not Be A Tiny Cocktail Sausage? by @anneplamore
  50. Don’t Drive Angry: Stepping Back from a Failed Internet Marketing Campaign by @portentint
  51. Jamaican Me Crazy! by @theblanchard
  52. Wardrobe Essentials For College Girls by @collegefashion
  53. Online Storage - MediaMax’s High Tech Extortion by @MadLid
  54. Apple Is a Mean, Hot, Devil-Woman by @MattJMcD
  55. London breaks with theatre show and hotel by @aroberts
  56. 60% of Photoshop Users are PIRATES! by @auer1816
  57. The 007 Twister by @OldManMusings
  58. Ahhh… Umbria by @soultravelers3
  59. Why New Tech Doesn’t Need SEO by @brianlburns
  60. 1 marshmallow or 2? A study on the benefits of delayed gratification by @glbguy
  61. He was the best of candidates, he was the worst of candidates… by @sorenj
  62. First Draft Mantra: Make It Crappy by @QRW
  63. Holy Cow! Beatle Bob Is In Blender! by @patrikd88
  64. Get Your Sleep Or You Will Be Fat & Sick by @myrnaweinreich
  65. 7 Mountain Biking Confidence Killers by @UltraRob
  66. When The Rich Wage War, It’s The Poor Who Die by @TwisterMC
  67. 40 Things to Do with Your Old Socks by @DebNG
  68. Me and My Cash Flow Problem by @MMarquit
  69. Seven Wonders of the Fashion World by @jaybol
  70. Hit Me! SolidWorks and “21″ The Movie by @solidsmack
  71. Jason Calacanis - Just the Opinion of a Simple Kansas Girl by @hawksdomain
  72. UK Circuit RIder 4.0 Round up by @LittleLaura
  73. Police 2.0 - To Protect and to Twitter! by @carterfsmith
  74. Weight Loss Success: Core Commitment and Support Podcast by @queenofkaos
  75. Understanding The Visitor’s Psychology: Becoming One With The Reader by @tibipuiu
  76. Audrina Patridge Explains Why She Accidentally Took Naked Pics by @SheaJ12
  77. My Funniest Frugal Fix by @Lynnae
  78. Ten CD/Book Release Party Don’ts by @deegospel
  79. Tweet me on TWITTER, Tweety! by @RhodesTer
  80. Never Underestimate Commenting by @whojaybe
  81. Registration walls and user exodus water falls (or, how do you get people to comment on your stuff?) by @ebrage
  82. Conscious Breathing-More Than A Health Benefit by @myrnaweinreich
  83. Sony DIME Press Event - Foam City, Miami by @hawridger
  84. You Can Always Monetize Web Traffic by @FeedbackSecrets
  85. How To Install DOMtabs on WordPress by @problogdesign
  86. The Joys of Scaremongering by @OwenC
  87. When Good Friday is just okay by @jakebouma
  88. Broadband Speed Test: How To Estimate Your Real ADSL Speed by @ikaronet
  89. & SportsNet New York Agree to Partnership by @thejetsblog
  90. Enemies Are Important: Branding Your Website With the Right Villains by @doshdosh
  91. Gangsta Rapper = Future Good Husband? by @AGoodHusband
  92. I should stop reading and start doing! by @infektia
  93. Hard times in Al-Andalus by @azizhp
  94. There Is No Future In This Architecture by @schmutzie
  95. 6 Tips For Better About Pages by @jamieharrop
  96. You Gotta Have Friends by @Teeg
  97. Don’t Tell Your Friends You Make Money, but Tell Your Friends by @ianternet
  98. Where Karl Does His First Video Post Naked by @karlerikson
  99. 50 Uses for Plastic Easter Eggs by @Raesmom
  100. Is Your Ann Arbor home Stinkey? by @missycaulk
  101. Apple, La La, and Goat by @stshores24
  102. Happy St. Patricks Day! by @Sorka
  103. Please Don’t SPAM My RSS Reader by @chrisblackwell
  104. Accredited Home Lenders - the kid that touched the stove again by @morganb
  105. The Great Manic Depressive: The Markets by @RhodyTrader
  106. Engadget leads World Top 100 Blogs by @digitalfilipino
  107. 30 Fonts that all designers must own by @justcreative
  108. Classic Mod Daylight for Sale by @Remiss63
  109. Cancer Fatigue: It Feels Like Death by @susanreynolds
  110. How Twitter Helped Me Meet My Deadline by @amypalko
  111. How To Recruit a Small Army by @chrisguillebeau
  112. Instant Head Relief by @lordlikely
  113. 5 Keyword Research Tips to Finding the Questions Your Readers Want Answered by @MartyJ
  114. What The Heck Are Emoodicons? by @johntunger
  115. Lessons learned from a stand up comedian by @JoshAnstey
  116. Beer And Milk = Bilk by @Neil_Duckett
What do you think?

Social Network Portability is coming, with a twist

Microsoft appears set on getting into the social space, whether by owning it or facilitating it. It's kind of like "let someone else build it and if they come we'll go get them and invite them over." Now it appears they are going for the Mall approach, rather than the franchise or leveraged buyout approach. Or at least, so it seems.

In a prior post, we noted Google's opening the cross-platform communications mode with OpenSocial, and the many developers working on an aggregator for users. Could this latest venture serve as an aggregator not just for individual profiles, but also one for groups? We are still looking for a mobile solution, too . . . waiting to be invited to participate in the mashup of Dashwire and ProfileLinker!

Microsoft is working with Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Tagged and LinkedIn to create a safe, secure "two-way street" so we can move our profiles and relationships between social networking sites. It's a little late for that, isn't it? How 'bout something that will synchronize what we have, or maybe even a business and personal profile, with by-individual or by-group access? We've already copy-pasted our "About Me" and a variety of likes and quotes and . . . What happened to the Open Social adventure that Facebook was avoiding making a commitment to?

Microsoft has been using SharePoint, with support for wikis, blogs and RSS feeds, with privacy and security so everyone can feel secure, for enterprise social networking, but now they are going after those who aren't connected by their internal company relationships. And they are proposing that we help them by using Windows Live Messenger to connect with Facebook (available now), Bebo, LinkedIn, Hi5 and Tagged (coming soon). The strategy starts with inviting your friends and connections to connect on Windows Live Messenger (not sounding a lot like portability here -- I am thinking "import from").

So I tried the only currently available option -- Facebook. A login to Facebook screen (with Windows Live logo but a Facebook URL) popped up, and the first try on login failed (hmmm, a phishing site?). But the next screen had the Facebook logo, and it logged me in just fine. I didn't however, see where I could add anyone to an invite list, so . . . I gave up and started blogging.

I was using MS Internet Explorer on XP on a Dell, so maybe that's what the problem was. Next time I find myself with nothing to do but beta-test for Microsoft, perhaps I will try Firefox on Leopard on a Mac.

I'm not sure that this will be a profitable venture for Microsoft, but it's worth a try. We know that owning a centrally located piece of real estate and inviting big names to stake their claim there has worked in the real world in the past. Microsoft has shown their ability in Web 1.0 to make money, and it's apparent that no one in social networking has figured out how to do that yet . . .

So we'll just keep beta testing while Microsoft keeps building . . .

Note that when I recently installed FriendFeed and Twitter on Facebook, it went off without a hitch. They obviously aren't related to Microsoft.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How to use Your IRS Rebate check...

How to use Your IRS Rebate check...

As you may have heard, taxpayers in the U.S. will be getting a tax rebate check to stimulate the economy.

If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China. If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Middle East. If we purchase a computer it will go to China and India. If we purchase fruits and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Japan. If we purchase useless stuff it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it at yard sales/resales, since those are the only businesses still in the US!

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Toss out your calendar -- we're living on Tulsa Time

In a previous post, we asked 'Can relationships help you turn back time?'

Now we're asking, can you live on Tulsa Time? Here's a reminder of what that entails. You probably heard it first from Don Williams, or maybe Eric Clapton . . .

Livin' on Tulsa time
Livin' on Tulsa time
Gonna set my watch back to it
Cause you know I've been through it
Livin' on Tulsa time

We previously pointed out that the Relationship Economy is a place where totally new paradigms will produce totally new actions and reactions. The message was that our networks can help us make better use of our time, but ultimately we could not turn-back time.

Until now!

Leave it to the Google R & D folks to figure out a way to send and email "to the past," and it will appear in the proper chronological order in your recipient's inbox. You can even opt for it to show up read or unread by selecting the appropriate option.

I knew they had some great offerings at Google (I especially like the email, docs, and Grand Central), and just yesterday in two separate conversations referred to a Google product (the calendar in a call about Jiffle and Gmail in a conversation about the new social networking catalyst Xoopit.

But this takes the cake!

You gotta see Gmail Custom TimeTM!

What do you think?

PS -- just so there's no question, check the date of the post and this link.