When you hear about something called Gnomedex personally I can’t help but think about that adorable Travelocity Gnome. Turns out it’s actually a conference about trolls. Yes those endearing people like myself who stand outside the echo chamber and yell shit in. Ok really it’s a conference for bloggers but lets face it, trolls are a big component of the blog-o-ecosphere. In fact we were even treated to 3 new species of troll. How exciting! Lets exam the specimens:
The Chat Troll: I attended the conference virtually thanks to the feed from ustream.com and saw there was a chat room available. While I’ve watched tons of conference video I’ve never had the chance to join a live chat, sounded good to me. Quickly I was treated to all the keyboard diarrhea that is the Internet with most of the chatters commenting on the female speakers breasts. I found Eric Rice in the chat room who gave me fair warning of what to expect. After having some fun there we were able to get the crowd to yell out things including Eric’s name (and I think mine as well). As far as I know this is the first trolling to make it from cyberspace to meatspace in real time.
The Live Troll: Yes that’s right, a troll seen doing his trolling in the wild! RSS pioneer and "more disruptive than your drunk uncle" Dave Winer just couldn’t contain his Twits and no doubt future blog posts to himself. He heckled with taunts of "Spam!" from the back row, apparently upset by Jason Calacanis promoting Mahalo. This carried over into future presentations which I’m sure the already nervous presenters enjoyed.
The Linked Troll: Jason and Dave went at it a bit virtually and caused even more bloggers to write about it. Jason has even begun to catalog them here. Since both don’t allow comments on their blog posts at the moment what other way can we the trolls respond?
Naturally by making us create more blogs post which I started to do, worked on for about an hour and just now completely erased the rest of this post. I’ve decided that I like to read about the Internet drama but not necessary join in sometimes. I defended Mahalo in the chat room and would do it here or to anyone else I talk to. I’m sorry but Dave only seems to have dollar signs in his eyes when it comes to a new platform or concept. Odd from someone who helped invent something as great and FREE as RSS. You guys are all just bouncing off each other as usual and now you’ve got us caring the tune!
So I’m done but I should also say that a blogger convention crowd is the not the right demographic for Mahalo, their parents and the millions of other search challenged users are. It is however a great place to drum up some press and classic Internet drama.
A great viral video campaign from the good folks at Smirnoff, more info available here. Over a year old but for some reason they are still making the rounds. Also New England looks better than ever, hello Buffy. Can’t wait to move there in 2 months, where my wasps at!
As a follow up to the original Mahalo Badge I made last month I’d like to share the new and improved version. This one pulls several sources and can be changed using the pull down menu. For a bonus I’ve created a feed for the Mahalo Top 50 which displays the most popular pages on the site. Looks like Veronica Belmont has finally been knocked out of first place thanks to Michael Vick and the amazing guides created by Nicole. Why Sexsomia is still up there I have no idea but it sounds like fun.
This is also a belated thank you to Mahalo for giving me chance to be a part of the Greenhouse and of course the Jesus phone they gave me as part of their iPhone Contest. Want your own? Just signup and create 100 pages for Mahalo, they will even pay you for what you create. Lets hear it for getting paid to surf the tubes and if you like, doing it in your underwear at home.
Sharing is caring, please embed on your blog or social network profile.
Say what you will about Jason Calacanis, love him or hate him he certainly has the ability to get people talking. The subject now? No its not Mahalo, or SEOs, or even his dog Toro. Instead it was this post about Facebook Bankruptcy that started a snow ball of opinions from many A-listers and now thanks to this post yet another D-List blogger. Well I’ll give it to you as quick as possible so we can move on to some of the best ways to combat the dreaded social network fatigue syndrome.
While I’m a bit surprised to see it was Jason who brought this to the forefront the feeling has been growing exponentially for many. With the addition of each new web service yet another piece of digital real estate to follow and if you have time, maintain. I talked about this recently on my love fest of a post about Pownce where some users felt using the web site was like cheating on a perfectly good spouse (Twitter). For myself I like trying them all but certainly can’t even begin to use every single one on a daily basis. I can’t imagine how people with normal 9-5 jobs are able to without becoming unproductive on Office Space levels.
On social media sites I also run in what I call "loose circles" meaning I’ll accept a friend request from anyone. At one point my profile on MySpace had 50,000 friends until it was "mysteriously deleted". It was however no mystery that this profile (and others) generated tons of web traffic for me and believe it or not serious revenue. People like Jason and Robert Scoble are good examples of loose circle friends, social network whores even. In between their conversations about recent tech and personal news they sneak in their web properties. The messages goes out to 1000’s of highly engaged "friends" who typically click through and hopefully blog about it themselves. Great for them but what about those that just want a platform for communicating with or forming new relationships? How can you reduce the background noise and simplify your time spent on social networks?
Live in Tight Circles: Be a social prude and only allow real friends into your social networks. If the web site doesn’t offer you a way to lock you profile down fort knox style complain about it. Send them emails, blog it, and even better post it all over their site.
Do Something About it: Build applications that integrate these web sites into a usable fashion. Where is my simple form with checkboxes that allows me to post to (or read email) from several social networks at once. Do we have to wait till Web 5.0 when OpenID tools and free flowing data is more important than corporate greed?
Smash Your Cell Phone: Do you you really need to be so connected that even when offline you still binge on these web sites? Twitter on my cell phone? No thanks, I’m away from the computer I don’t care what CD you just bought or what’s for lunch. Unplug Neo, trust me those twits and status updates are archived so you aren’t going to miss much.
Go Outside: Something I should probably take my own advice on. If you find you’ve just spent the last few hours bouncing from network to network stalking friends you probably need some better off the grid friends. If you only spend these countless hours using social networks because you’re at work and your job is boring then quit. Might as well, you are just wasting their time and more importantly your own.
Obviously there is no easy answer here as everyones usage is different, the problem is like in real life we all have to coexist in these spaces. Maybe I’ll start a Ning network to help with this problem. Oh wait, I already have trouble managing the 5 networks I run there and 10 others I belong to….
(Disclosure: I don’t do disclosures but this one time when I was a kid I stole a pack of baseball cards from the supermarket. Also this post is biased and written at 3am which might explain why there are so many questions.)
One of the biggest Second Life related stories broke this week and naturally was quickly ignored for the more favorable "SL is Dying a Horrible Virtual Death" headline . What happened is Second Life has made some of it’s first steps away from a client based solution to a web based application. New World Notes covers all the details here along with an interview from the brilliant (and 15 year old) developer Katharine Berry. Utilizing the open source libsecondlife she has incorporated some of the basic functionality like messaging, teleporting, search, and map functions. While the "big piece" of actually viewing the environment is missing this is a great step towards the future of virtual worlds. For now this application will greatly benefit those lacking the hardware and the international residents with metered bandwidth usage (can you believe this exists?).
All the code is open source and works primarily on Firefox and Safari. The developer also says it works on your Wii, now that’s metaverse.
There I said it…. after a few day usage I can now protest some love for Pownce. The application is like Twitter on steroids with options for posting messages, links and even files (hello DRM free music sharing). The web site itself has the polish of an Italian sports car with the horsepower to match. There is even a small Adobe AIR (formally called Apollo) application you can download and communicate through. So far the application is limited but everything is still much in the very alpha/beta mode.
Now more than ever Email seems to becoming a dead medium so can micro blogging sites fill in the gaps? Sadly I don’t know if email could ever truly die so we can all look forward to many more years of Nigerian money scams. Since these services work like a "white list" of friends they obviously represent the best type of SPAM protection possible. As far as small team collaboration though there is also great value in an application like Pownce for sharing ideas, events and files.
Some interesting notes from the Pownce launch include the backlash of loyal Twitter users. Many felt and expressed in one way or another that using Pownce is like cheating on a perfectly good spouse. Chalk it up to "Social Network Fatigue" or loyalty many users have been reluctant to embrace the new service. How many social media applications can one person use? I enjoy them all but can only be a truly active user on my favorite of the moment. On the opposite side of the spectrum there has been such demand for this private beta that many users have started selling invitations on Ebay. Sponsored ads on the web site are so subtle it makes me *almost* want to click them. They also use this image for their 404 pages which is naturally HI-LAR-IOUS:
You can add me on Pownce here, if you need an invitation I have a few to give away. Just leave a comment on this post and use the email you would like the invite sent to (only I can see this).
Women withdraws $100,000 to purchase iPhones and sell on eBay. Pays $800 to buy the first place in line. Then finds out there is a 1 per customer rule. Guy first in line still gets his iPhone (plus some extra accessories). The above video is surely a big hit at the womans office the following Monday.