Applications: November 2007 Archives
I like Tom Davenport as he cuts through the hype to explain what is truly relevant for business. He played the devil's advocate in the Enterprise 2.0 discussions and it looks like he's planning to do the same here. But I disagree with him in the case of Linkedin.
While LinkedIn maybe a job tool for lots of people, it does have two other very important purposes. First, it is my professional address book and one that automatically updates itself. Is this social networking, yes because I can use the "address book" to connect with other people and sometimes do. Secondly, it tells me what's going on in my field. The network updates are similar to Facebook's news feeds. And they're useful for me to keep pace with peers moving between companies, starting new ones and getting promotions.
Can Linkedin be better? Of course, they most definitely can do a lot of things better. In fact, here's my Linkedin wish list -
1. Remove the recruiters from Linkedin. They're an absolute nuisance and distract from the network's purpose. I'm tired of getting spammed by them and I am sure a lot of others are too.
2. Institute some form of reciprocity system. I should have a rating or points to give based on how much I reciprocate. When I ask someone for help, that person should know how helpful a person I am. The recommendations system is useful but this can do a lot more.
3. Figure out how to crack groups. Their group feature is a copy of Facebook's. That's not enough. For example, LinkedIn could partner with industry associations to create actually relevant groups. Conferences could all have LinkedIn pages through which registration, agendas and feedback are handled. LinkedIn could also be telling me which groups I should be joining.
4. Give me more to do on LinkedIn. Yes, I could be using LinkedIn for more business purposes. Just help me figure out what those are. For example, I'd participate in a community of peers that together evaluate trends and technologies using a prediction market. I may even be willing to participate in virtual panels hosted on LinkedIn.
Everyday we see new ideas coming out of the Facebook economy. The ideas are now going beyond applications with social ads and infrastructure too. But the most important question that remains is how successful will Facebook Pages and Social Ads be. They can either really make or break Facebook. While you're thinking about this, visit the Avenue A | Razorfish Facebook page and become a fan!
So what is Twine? Twine helps you organize, share and find information. It is the semantic web for the user side. It is about information networks and building a semantic graph versus just a social one. The emphasis is not your people relationships alone but on managing your information and the information that you need to have access to. Twine learns about you the more you use it and pushes different content based on that. It creates a semantic profile of you, your friends and colleagues and pushes the right content to you as a result.
Think of it as a place, or a personal assistant or even a portal that learns more about you as you interact with it more. All your information can be housed in Twine. Each time you add a piece of information to Twine, it automatically indexes it, creates a data record and semantically connects that information with other objects both within and outside Twine. It looks for the other people, places, networks and organizations being talked about that relate to what you have added. It is certainly a new way to share and contribute knowledge because it automatically creates semantic relationships between the information objects that you have added. And yes, it redefines customization and personalization too. For more on Twine, check out these blog posts -
EarlyStageVC: Initial Experiences with Twine
Radar Network's Twine: Semantic Web meets information overload
Minding the Planet: Quicktime Video Preview of Twine
Twine for Personal Knowledge Management, But Not Yet
And while you're exploring Twine, also check out this graph from Radar Networks too. It certainly is interesting.
Granted, most applications get very few users, but the numbers still tell how much excitement there is in the developer community. In barely a week, 500 applications have been launched on Facebook. The key thing to remember is that it can take as little as a few hours to build one.
As off today, the top Facebook applications are -
Playing the game forces you to take a longer term view of life as your creature lives much longer than a human being does. And with the game changing each time you play because of the social media influence, you're guaranteed an engaging experience each time. Wright calls the game an imagination amplifier. I'd agree with that.
View the graph below to see how Facebook's growth over the last one year compares to MySpace and Linkedin (which historically as been more akin to a phone book).
What Google wants is a more open mobile platform for selling contextual search and advertising. What the company expects: developer drones to embrace an SDK (software developer kit) slated for release next week and to begin creating products and services, now. But the phones are at least a year away. Meanwhile, developers could (and should) create real applications for real operating systems, like Symbian OS and Windows Mobile, today.He does have a point that Google has announced this platform maybe a bit too early. It seems to be defensive strategy not to lose developers. Google is fast learning that any traction with a new platform is dependent on having a large developer ecosystem. Microsoft learn this lesson a long time ago. And later on in the article Wilcox says,
Google controls more information and has a more crucial and growing economic role than Microsoft ever did. And based on the extent of information disclosure and other behavior, Google has about half Microsoft's humility, which can't be good.
Google is certainly huge. And it controls immense amount of information. How it manages that information, is left to be seen. It handled the fuss about Gmail privacy well. Lets see whether it manages customer concerns as well in the future.