Social media & networking

Network effects

Late last week I was flicking through ABC’s iView service and stumbled across the documentary (under the ABC Docs section) entitled ”
How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer“.

I figured it would have something to do with the 6 degrees of separation concept and decided to set aside any misgivings I had based on the title and watch a bit of it to see if it had anything of interest.

It turned out to be a great program, focusing in part on Duncan Watts’ academic work on social networks. I’d thoroughly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in social networking.

As an aside, I’m with iinet for my home broadband, and iView is “free” (i.e. bandwidth consumed watching iView is not counted in my monthly download allowance).

Links links (05-Feb-2008)

  • Twitter is an Event Aggregator – Interesting use of Twitter – posting news related to the “Super Tuesday” primary voting in the U.S.
  • Companies must listen to the Web 2.0 world – I don’t like the “avoid risk” case for social media strategy; I prefer to focus on opportunities. This article provides an overview of the potential risks. I’ve found that blogs can be a bell-weather for broader constituent sentiment, so worth watching.
  • Internet fundraising trends 2008 – A collection of predictions for fundraising and donating in 2008, incl. a spot from Priscilla @ Solidariti and Seth Godin.

(These links were posted to my feed on 05-Feb-2008.)

Social media & networking

Big moves in social media tech

There’s been two big announcements in the world of the social media technology in the past few days.

Google Social Graph API

First came the announcement from Google of the Social Graph API. Ajaxian have a quick code example of what can be done from a technology perspective, and Joshua Porter has two posts looking at the benefits and potential dangers of the API, incl. reference to an excellent (though slightly alarmist, I feel) post from Danah Boyd on the risks, esp. to young people.

I’m on the fence with regards to the dangers. On the one hand I agree with the notion that this information is already public, so shouldn’t be an issue.

But where this argument falls down is that it’s not always obvious when data will be made public – in the past I’ve inadvertently exposed both my mobile number and home address publicly online without realising it – a tool like this may make it easier for unscrupulous individuals to mess with us.

MySpace developer platform

Right on cue, MySpace release the details of their developer API – covered well by Ajaxian.

As the article notes, what’s especially interesting about the API is that they are using the OpenSocial API (which has also just been updated), supported by Google, Ning, Bebo, Plaxo and Six Apart.

I’ve yet to dig into the details of either system, but both announcements are likely to change the social media landscape significantly in the coming months…

Social media & networking

Are parents responsible for MySpace’s aging population

I was chatting with Penny at Digital Eskimo the other day about some research I’ve been reading on teen behaviour online and off.

She made the connection that perhaps the reason that MySpace’s demographic is fairly significantly (and suddenly) shifting to the 35+ age group may (in part) be attributed to parents joining the service to see what their kids are getting up to?

It’s an interesting thought – I wonder how one might test the hypothesis?