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  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 21. December 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Connections, Interruptions, , , , , ,   

    Mobile: Interruptions, Bad Connections, High Bills 

    Mobile phone owners rue that they can be interrupted easily, bad connections, high bills; http://eicker.at/MobileConnectivity

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:11 on 21. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Connections, , Data Management, , GMC, , , , Google Message Continuity, , , Google Sky Map, Google Social Graph API, , , , , Needlebase, , Photo Editors, , Picnik, , , , , , ,   

    Google’s Graveyard 2012 

    More Google shut downs: Urchin, Social Graph API, Picnik, Needlebase, Sky Map, GMC; http://eicker.at/GooglesGraveyard2012

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:11 on 21. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Here’s an update on some products that will be merged, open-sourced, or phased out in the coming months: Google Message Continuity (GMC) … Current GMC customers will be able to use GMC for the duration of their contract and are encouraged to consider using Google Apps as their primary messaging and collaboration platform. – Google Sky Map … We will be open-sourcing Sky Map and are collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University in a partnership that will see further development of Sky Map as a series of student projects. – Needlebase: We are retiring this data management platform, which we acquired from ITA Software, on June 1, 2012. The technology is being evaluated for integration into Google’s other data-related initiatives. – Picnik: We acquired this online photo editor in 2010. We’re retiring the service on April 19, 2012 so the Picnik team can continue creating photo-editing magic across Google products. … Social Graph API – This API makes information about the public connections between people on the web available for developers. The API isn’t experiencing the kind of adoption we’d like, and is being deprecated as of today. It will be fully retired on April 20, 2012. – Urchin: In 2005 we acquired Urchin, whose online web analytics product became the foundation for Google Analytics, helping businesses of all sizes measure their websites and online marketing. We’re fully committed to building an industry-leading online analytics product, so we’re saying goodbye to the client-hosted version, known as Urchin Software. New Urchin Software licenses will no longer be available after March 2012.

      Google: “The success of Google Analytics has been incredibly rewarding and humbling, and we are very thankful for the support of our early Urchin customers and investors. The Urchin Software product has now been completely overshadowed by its tremendously popular offspring. And so, it is time that we now complete the cycle by officially retiring the Urchin Software product and focus exclusively on online analytics. On behalf of the original Urchin crew and Google, we thank you and hope that we can continue to serve you with amazing products. – Urchin has only been available during the past several years through Certified Urchin Resellers, and new sales will officially discontinue at the end of March 2012. We are encouraging Urchin users to migrate to Google Analytics, although expect that current installations of the software will continue to work fine on most systems for years to come. You can learn more about the retirement of this product on the Urchin Website.

      RWW: “As Larry Page said in yesterday’s earnings call, Google’s current focus is on speeding up its execution. To make way for its main teams, Google has been closing down and open-sourcing its less-used projects over the past year. – Many interesting projects have moved on to bigger and better things as open-source initiatives. The Android App Inventor found a home at MIT. Knol, once Google’s effort at a Wikipedia-like knowledge database, has become Annotum, a WordPress-based system. Google Body became Zygote Body, and now it, and even the 3D viewer software behind it, is open-source. Today, Google Sky Map goes open-source, and it will live on as a student-run project.”

      VB: “Looks like the picnic is officially over. Google announced today on its blog that it will be retiring the picnic-themed photo editing service Picnik in April of this year. – The news comes about a week after Flickr announced it will be dumping Picnik, which now seems like foreshadowing of the news that was released today. – If you use Picnik for your editing needs, you can download your images as a zip file with Picnik Takeout for the time being. You can also move your photos over to your Google+ page until the service shuts down on April 19.”

      TC: “Today’s culling follows this summer’s shut downs of Google Labs and most of the products internally developed by former acquisition Slide. While Google has long encouraged experimentation, its found itself overextended. The company needs all hands on deck fighting the wars for social, mobile, and the cloud. – Google typically reassigns employees from scrapped projects rather than fire them. The teams from Picnik and Sky Map could increase the concentration of product leaders working on Google+. With any luck they can give Google’s social network a more human feel.

      RWW: “Google announced today that it is closing a number of services that it wasn’t able to attract millions of users to without making any effort. The worst of the lot to lose are two: the Social Graph API and DIY data extraction service Needlebase. Following on the heels of the kitten-stomping-bad sunsetting of Postrank, these latest closures are really meaningful, even if the adoption of the services never was. … The worst loss to humanity at the hands of Google’s startup eating monster of late remains PostRank, which Google acquired this Summer. … It was captured by Google and refashioned as a mirror for the fairy’s hideous ogre sister Naked Self Interest, which the ogre (a publisher using Google Analytics) thought made her more beautiful and rich with pageviews, but which really only made her uglier and more vacuous every day. – I can’t believe they are killing Needlebase and the Social Graph API. I can believe it, of course, but I’m thankful that my cynicism is still thin enough that it hurts every time something like this happens again. There are only so many more tools like this on the web left to kill, though.

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Connections, , , , , , , , , , , Peer Groups, , , , Shared Tastes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Peer Influence 

    Study: When it comes to taste, peer influence in social networks is virtually nonexistent; http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

    • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      PNAS, Lewis, Gonzalez, Kaufman: “Social selection and peer influence in an online social network – Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science’s greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends – except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.”

      Wired: “Are We Immune To Viral Marketing? – When it comes to taste, ‘peer influence is virtually nonexistent,’ said Kevin Lewis, a Harvard sociology graduate student who co-authored the study. Lewis cautioned that the experiences of college students on Facebook may not apply to everyone in all circumstances, but the results offer a sobering counterpoint to the conventional wisdom on the ubiquity of taste diffusion. ‘The extent to which friends’ preferences actually rub off on each other is minimal,’ he said. … If we don’t influence each other, does that means viral marketing is a bogus concept? And what does it say about the business value of social media? … The study’s findings suggest that it would be much more worthwhile to invest in understanding how and when friendships are a conduit for preferences, rather than assuming that they are and planning marketing strategies accordingly. ‘They clearly are under some circumstances, but we still don’t know whether those circumstances are common or important enough to warrant the time and money of business strategies,’ said Lewis. … One of the most valuable aspects of social media is who you know. It’s easy to glean information about members of social networks. This focuses sales, marketing and product development efforts. Knowing something about one person gives you insights into the people that person knows. … The Harvard study affirmed that, as in other aspects of life, people’s social media relationships tend to be with people who are like them. … Who you know is arguably a more valuable aspect of social media than who you might be influenced by.

      AT: “Studying the factors that bring people together creates a serious challenge for researchers. Do friendships form because of shared interests, or do those interests develop due to the friendship? A research team has now tracked a set of college students across all four years, using Facebook to identify social ties. The study reveals that people are fundamentally a bit lazy, as proximity provided the strongest predictor of social ties. Once that was accounted for, however, shared tastes in music and film did promote friendships, while books had a minimal effect. … The authors recognize that a Facebook friend probably doesn’t represent the strong social bond that we typically view as a friendship, but it is probably similar to the sort of fluid links that many of us form at work and elsewhere. There’s also a risk that at least some of the choices revealed on Facebook are the product of social posing, rather than deep-seated preferences. Despite these limitations, the study is a rare look at how social dynamics and personal tastes influence each other over the course of some very formative years. It’ll be pretty difficult to arrange a study that provides a clearer picture.

      TC: “Here’s a bit of science that’s contrary to what a heavy utilizer of social networks might expect. Researchers at Harvard tracked the Facebook activity of hundreds of college students for four years, and came away with the rather unexpected result that the interests of friends don’t, in fact, tend to influence one another. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen at all, of course, but it’s clear that propagation and virality are subtler and more complex than some people (marketers and, I suspect, researchers) tend to think they are. … The central source of data for the study, in fact, doesn’t strike me as solid. Tracking the interests of college kids is a sketchy endeavor in and of itself, but tracking it via their Facebook favorites (i.e. what shows on your profile, not what you post about or share) seems unreliable. – After all, not only does everyone use the network in their own way, but the network itself has changed. … The study does establish something that I think we perhaps understand is true already: you befriend people because of your overlaps in taste, but it’s rare that your existing friends change the tastes you already have. This is as much true out in the ‘real’ world as it is online. … The Harvard study does indicate another thing, which is that social networks are, for now, ‘light’ social interaction. … That’s changing, but Facebook doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make the change to ‘serious’ social interaction: the kind of trusted exchanges you have with friends in conversation or in repeated encounters over years…”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:16 on 17. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Connections, , , , , , , , , , , Reconnecting, , , , , , , , Stay in Touch, , , , , , , ,   

    Staying in Touch 

    Pew: Why do Americans use social media?Well, obvious it’s all about staying in touch; http://eicker.at/StayingInTouch

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:17 on 17. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.”

      Pew: “Those who say that keeping up with family members is a major consideration in their use of social networking sites are a demographically diverse group. … The primary difference on this topic pertains to gender, as female social media users are more likely than male users to cite family connections as a major reason for using these sites (72% vs. 55%). … Compared with older adults, social media users under the age of 50 are especially likely to say that these tools help them keep up with existing friends and reconnect with old ones… Women are slightly more likely than men to say that staying in touch with current friends is a major reason for using online social tools (70% vs. 63%) while parents are more likely than non-parents to say that connecting with old friends is a major reason behind their use of these sites (56% vs. 47%). … Among social media users as a whole, the ability to read comments by public figures such as politicians, celebrities or athletes does not come into play as a major factor – fully three quarters of users say that this plays no role whatsoever in their decision to use these sites. … Additionally, Twitter users are more interested in connecting with public figures than are social media users who do not use Twitter. … Very few social media users say that finding potential romantic partners or people to date plays a role in their use of these sites – overall more than eight in ten (84%) do not use these sites for that purpose at all. … (M)en are twice as likely as women to say that finding potential dating or romantic partners is a minor reason for using online social platforms (17% vs. 9%) but overall few men say that this is a major factor (just 4% do so).”

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:20 on 11. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Connections, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Metaphors, , , , Phenomenons, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Sociopath, Sociopaths, , ,   

    No Social Graph 

    Ceglowski on social networks: The social graph is neither a graph, nor is it social; http://eicker.at/NoSocialGraph

    • Gerrit Eicker 10:21 on 11. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ceglowski, Pinboard: “The Social Graph is Neither – Last week Forbes even went to the extent of calling the social graph an exploitable resource comprarable to crude oil, with riches to those who figure out how to mine it and refine it. I think this is a fascinating metaphor. If the social graph is crude oil, doesn’t that make our friends and colleagues the little animals that get crushed and buried underground? But right now I would like to take issue with the underlying concept, which I think has two flaws: I. It’s not a graph – This obsession with modeling has led us into a social version of the Uncanny Valley, that weird phenomenon from computer graphics where the more faithfully you try to represent something human, the creepier it becomes. As the model becomes more expressive, we really start to notice the places where it fails. Personally, I think finding an adequate data model for the totality of interpersonal connections is an AI-hard problem. But even if you disagree, it’s clear that a plain old graph is not going to cut it. – II. It’s Not SocialWe have a name for the kind of person who collects a detailed, permanent dossier on everyone they interact with, with the intent of using it to manipulate others for personal advantage – we call that person a sociopath. And both Google and Facebook have gone deep into stalker territory with their attempts to track our every action. Even if you have faith in their good intentions, you feel misgivings about stepping into the elaborate shrine they’ve built to document your entire online life. … My hope is that whatever replaces Facebook and Google+ will look equally inevitable, and that our kids will think we were complete rubes for ever having thrown a sheep or clicked a +1 button. It’s just a matter of waiting things out, and leaving ourselves enough freedom to find some interesting, organic, and human ways to bring our social lives online.”

      GigaOM: “If you’ve ever gotten a little creeped out by the way social networks have invaded our lives, then you aren’t alone. There are a lot of people who enjoy using the social web, but struggle with it too. … The real problem with the social graph, he argues, is that it’s based around a series of troubling assumptions – including the idea that we can and should model human relationships, and for profit. As he says, ‘Imagine the U.S. Census as conducted by direct marketers – that’s the social graph.‘ – This is partly because the social web has really been spun off from the idea of the semantic web, and ways of describing connections between data that require all kinds of sleight-of-hand to work. How do you interpret messy relationships into things computers can understand, or translate meanings that are complex and constantly moving? … But he’s certainly right that mapping this stuff is very difficult, and perhaps impossible. … The real difference, however, is that while sociologists try to come up with ways to define interaction, technologists end up building systems that define the interactions that can happen. That means the processes behind today’s biggest social networks actually place themselves as a layer over human activity, as much as they help that activity exist. … This conflict is, I think, why Facebook is constantly struggling with privacy issues, or why the real names controversy on Google+ exploded. The social graph, to them, is an attempt to codify what people do rather than act as midwife to their ideas.

      Marks: “People choose to model different relationships on different sites and applications, but being able to avoid re-entering them anew each time by importing some or all from another source makes this easier. The Social Graph API may return results that are a little frayed or out of date, but humans can cope with that and smart social sites will let them edit the lists and selectively connect the new account to the web. Having a common data representation doesn’t mean that all data is revealed to all who ask; we have OAuth to reveal different subsets to different apps, if need be. – The real value comes from combining these imperfect, scrappy computerized representations of relationships with the rich, nuanced understandings we have stored away in our cerebella. With the face of your friend, acquaintance or crush next to what they are saying, your brain is instantly engaged and can decide whether they are joking, flirting or just being a grumpy poet again, and choose whether to signal that you have seen it or not.”

      ORR: “It’s hardly surprising that the founder of a ‘bookmarking site for introverts’ would have something to say about the ‘social graph.’ But what Pinboard’s Maciej Ceglowski has penned in a blog post titled ‘The Social Graph Is Neither’ is arguably the must-read article of the week. – The social graph is neither a graph, nor is it social, Ceglowski posits. … But if today’s social networks are troublesome, they’re also doomed, Ceglowski contends, much as the CompuServes and the Prodigys of an earlier era were undone. It’s not so much a question of their being out-innovated, but rather they were out-democratized. As the global network spread, the mass marketing has given way to grassroots efforts.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 18. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Brand-oriented, , , , Chime.in, , , , Connections, , , , , , , , , Interest Network, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    UberMedia starts its own social network: Chime.in, a Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Facebook clone; http://eicker.at/Chimein

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 18. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      VB: UberMedia CEO Bill Gross isn’t dodging the fact that his latest app, Chime.in, is a patchwork of other successful apps. – ‘It’s an amalgam of blogging and Reddit and Facebook – there’s aspects of each in there,‘ he told VentureBeat in a phone interview last week. – ‘We’re definitely borrowing those good ideas. But this is a deeper dive into their interests and intelligent conversations around [users’] passions.‘ – The Chime.in site will launch tomorrow, but the app is available now in the iTunes App Store. – As Gross mentioned, it has a lot in common with other social media tools. It gives users and brand-oriented publishers a public, online forum for sharing text and picture updates, just like Twitter. You can also share videos and polls, just like on Facebook.

      TC: “A tipster informs us that UberMedia, the company behind social networking apps like Echofon and UberSocial / Twidroyd, has unintentionally pushed its new iPhone application onto the App Store… This is plausible, because the Chime.in website isn’t accessible yet at the time of writing, although the support pages appear to be live already. – So is Chime.in the oft-rumored challenger to Twitter, which UberMedia has had run-ins with in the past? UberMedia has always denied that it had plans to launch a competing social network, so it’s a question worth asking. And the answer is no, not really. – Chime.in is described on the support pages as an online and mobile network organized around interests, or an ‘interest network’ to keep it brief. Still according to the support pages, Chime.in was ‘was created for people who are active in social media and looking for a way to engage in conversations and more deeply interact with content related to their interests’. … ‘All other social networks are all about connecting with people. Chime.in is about connecting with interests and people – it’s an interest network. It lets you tailor the content you see and search for to the topics you care about, so you aren’t bogged down sorting through posts you aren’t interested in.'”

      GigaOM: “Bill Gross wants to take on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ – [H]e is launching a content-focused social network called Chime.in that will compete not just with Google’s new social platform Google+ but with Twitter and Facebook too, and link-sharing sites like Reddit and Digg as well. Does the world need another social platform for sharing content? Gross says that it does, and that his connections with content companies will help Chime.in succeed – but the odds are stacked against him. … Chime.in may not be a direct competitor to Twitter, but it is clearly a shot across the bow. According to the support pages for the service [which have since been taken offline], it will allow users to post to Twitter or Facebook or Google+ as well as to the Chime.in network, and is therefore not competitive but ‘additive to the ecosystem.’ … [T]he biggest hurdle for Chime.in is the simple fact that Facebook now has 800 million users and Twitter has 200 million or so, with Google+ in the 50 million range. Useful features aren’t always enough for a social network to flourish, especially when there is so much competition. In the end, even if you build it they might not come.”

      ATD: “Serial entrepreneur Bill Gross’s latest effort is called Chime.in, a social platform for writing about and discussing common interests. What makes it different from other social network and social news sites is that Chime.in wants to pay people for their contributions. … Gross argued that the Chime.in community will police itself against gamers and crappy content – the kind of stuff that’s plagued sites like Digg and content farms like Demand Media – because users won’t recommend Chimes they don’t like. – ‘The breakthrough that’s happened is if you let people have the flexibility to share, they’ll get the message to the right people and do the dirty work for you,’ Gross said.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:14 on 18. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Brand Connection, Brand Connections, Brand Evaluation, Brand Evaluations, Brand Failure, Brand Information, , , Connections, , , , , , , , , , , , SBC, Self-affimation, Self-Brand Connections, Self-concept, Self-view, , , ,   


    Study: Fanboys treat criticism of favorite brands as a threat to their positive self-view; http://eicker.at/Fanboys

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