Citizen Media Watch

januari 28th, 2009

Major migration of the Swedish microblogosphere to Bloggy

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Bloggy is the new microblogging site of choice for Swedes. In a short time the site has gained about 3 000 users and continues to grow.
– I was thinking: Can I do this better?, says Jonas Lejon, the man behind the service, to Citizen Media Watch.

Jonas Lejon, BloggyIn Sweden Jaiku has to a large extent been the microblog of choice. But with frequent downtimes, no new features for a long time and Google’s recent announcement that they’re turning it into an open source project, people were ready for an alternative.
In steps Jonas Lejon, an entrepreneur who’s behind several blog-related services in Sweden, who puts together Bloggy, a microblogging service in Swedish. He gets enthusiastic cheers, good feedback, and he responds. More than that, he responds quickly, adds new features, tweaks them, and does in a few months what Jaiku with all its Google backup hasn’t done in years.

When he announced a function for importing all your Jaiku contacts into Bloggy, there was no holding back the migration anymore. Over the weekend my mailbox has been flooded with friends requests from Bloggy users who have imported their contacts.
While it’s a bit sad to let Jaiku go, Bloggy is clearly where the action’s at for the Swedish microblogosphere at the moment. One of the great features is that you can easily follow and update both Jaiku and Twitter from within Bloggy, so you’re not really missing much, even if Bloggy still lacks support for channels. It has adopted many of Jaiku’s features, but it is a bit more like a community than a pure microblogging service.
I asked Jonas Lejon what made him develop the service.
– I was using Pownce, Twitter and Jaiku and I was tired of em all. I was thinking: Can I do this better? So i started developing Bloggy 8 months ago and implemented all the functions I liked from the other microblogging platforms, he says.
How come you decided to do Bloggy in Swedish?
– I think that the English language still feels uncomfortable for many Swedes and that providing a service in Swedish makes it more friendly. ”By Swedes for Swedes”.

So far, we haven’t seen how it performs under heavy load. Monday provided one challenge with Thomas Mattsson at Expressen writing about it and giving it lots of space on their front page.

Thomas Mattsson on Bloggy and Twitter in Expressen.se

Also Bloggy was mentioned in Dagens Nyheter the other day.
There were a couple of downtimes Monday, but Jonas Lejon assures those problems are now taken care of.
– I’m working very close to our datacenters and they are helping me out with upgrading the server all the time when I reach the limits and I’m fixing performance bugs all the time and now it seems that all problems are gone.
You deserve praise for the way you handle feedback quickly and keep on improving the features. You seem to be online on Bloggy 24/7. Do you ever sleep? : )
– Thanks! I’ve been working a lot the last few days but I’m trying to take some offline time now and then and relax.


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januari 23rd, 2009

listentoblogs.com at 24 hour business camp

Posted by Gitta Wilen

About 90 internet entrepreneurs gathered at 24 hour business camp. The task was to create a web/mobile based service, during 24 hours. Starting Thursday at noon, ending Friday at noon.

Team Eric Wahlforss (co-founder Sound Cloud), Henric Berggren (Sound Cloud), and David Kjelkerud, student at KTH, worked on an application they call listentoblogs.com.

Henrik Berggren was truly enthusiastic yesterday when he told CMW about the way it works:

– It is a really simple site where bloggers come and blogreaders come, not to read their favourite blogs, but to listen to them.

The idea is that you should be able to read, record and upload your or any blog at listentoblogs.com, and subscribe to it as a podcast straight to your mp3 player.

– We are supporting all big open formats. This is possible because we have built it on top of an awesome platform called Sound Cloud and App Engine. It is a glue between this kind of cloud-based services.

teamlistentoblogs
The listentoblogs.com team: Berggren, Kjelkerud, Wahlforss.

24hbc took place at Hasseludden Yasuragi, about 20 min drive from Stockholm.

tedvalentin

The guy behind 24hbc is Ted Valentin, a Swedish entrepreneur, who has created stuff like: sushikartan (The Sushi Map), Wifikartan (The Wifi Map), Minkarta (My Map) and… Sites that maps different kinds of services and/or places.

– 24hbc is the place to try things out. The focus is to get things done. Not to be afraid to fail, Ted says.

The atmosphere at 24hbc is a mix of hard work, playing around and hanging out.

Erik Starck, one of the participants, said:

– It is like the punk movment all over.

The Swedish TV channel TV4 reported from the event early this morning. On Nyhetsmorgon (only in Swedish).


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januari 20th, 2009

Twingly offers microblog search

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Twingly expands its search engine with a brand new microblog search tool. They’ve been working on it for six months and today it was released.
In the Twingly blog, they write:

When we last summer started to see the microblogging-hype we felt that a search dedicated to microblogs would be a quite natural development for us. We like Twitter Search and been using it a lot, especially at conferences and when news like Mumbai were having the best news source at Twitter. But because we used Jaiku ourselves it wasn’t what we needed in many cases.

Microblogging services covered by Twingly’s search engine are: Twitter, Jaiku, Identi.ca, Pownce (which is dead, but a six month archive remains searchable), Swedish Bloggy.se and the German Bleeper.de.
They will keep adding new services, and aim to cover all microblogging services out there.


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december 20th, 2008

News Mixer – a great new tool for news discussion and fact-checking

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

The recently released test site for News Mixer is a tool for discussing news and posting your own. The focus is on Eastern Iowa – the project is a collaboration between the Medill School for Journalism‘s Crunchberry project and Gazette Communications in Cedar Rapids. So it’s not – atleast not yet – a global or even nation-wide service. But it’s attracting interest because it’s quite cleverly set up. It plugs into Facebook though Facebook Connect, so when you’ve connected your account, you can see who of your Facebook contacts are on News Mixer and follow their actions on the site.

News Mixer

The site has received a lot of love in the comments in the sidebar. What I like most about it is the way that any story can be scrutinized paragraph by paragraph by adding questions and answers, thus providing a tool for collaborative fact-checking and discussion about the validity of statements. It is also a social tool, letting me know when my contacts have been active on the site. And it flattens the news hierarchy (though not completely – you cannot add questions or answers to stories posted by users, and those are limited to 250 words). The news can come from traditional news stories or from other members (through letters to the editor), questions can be posed by anyone, replied by anyone (not just the reporter/writer) and anyone can comment.

Joshua Pollock writes at the Crunchberry project blog:

it harnesses the credibility of an established media company, leverages existing online social networks and gives people a constructive way to interact with each other and the news.

Comments, called quips in News Mixer lingo, are limited to 140 characters, making them similar to microblogging posts.

And, last but not least, it’s open source. So Eastern Iowa will be the first site in what will probably be a long number of local and national efforts. Looking forward to see this evolve. I hope to see a Swedish site not too far off in the future.


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oktober 23rd, 2008

12seconds.tv brings citizens' voices to established media

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

12seconds.tv, a lifestreaming/commentary/microblogging service in video format currently in beta, is becoming a popular tool for bringing people’s opinion to established media sites. The site’s built on really short video clips (12 seconds, duh!) recorded by webcams or cellphones. Quick and simple ways to publish oneself, and the time restriction takes away some of the prestige.

Today the BBC is collaborating with the site by sponsoring the feature called ”the 12second challenge”, a daily question that users reply to. Users get to reply to the question ”Economic downturn – how bad can it get? Give some examples.” The replies may then appear on BBC TV.

Further, 12seconds.tv today announced to its users plans to involve them in extensive coverage of the US election day.

In an email to the service’s users, the 12seconds team writes:

Citizen Journalism is pretty important for the health of a democracy. For this reason, we’re going to put a lot of effort into Election Day. Where appropriate (and legal) we’d like 12ers covering reactions, parties, exit polls and emotions on November 4th all over the world. We’re assembling a team of people and will feature their content on Election Day.


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mars 14th, 2008

Myspace: We've been pioneering the monetization of social networking

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Facebook Garage Stockholm

Jonas Nyvang from MySpace talked a bit about MySpace apps and Open Social.
– We give 100% of the revenues you can get from the app you develop. We’ve been pioneering the monetization of social networking.
Like when Arna and I met him in september last year, he doesn’t want to see Facebook as a threat. He makes this distinction between MySpace and Facebook.
– Facebook is more about the social graph, while MySpace is more about your interests, what you strive for and your passions.
His/MySpace’s view of how the web is evolving isn’t new. It is becoming more personal, more portable and more collaborative.


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november 24th, 2007

David Haddad on the convergence of positioning technologies

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

David HaddadDavid Haddad of Spontu works with social networking on the mobile. Since Hubbub is all about convergence, he focuses on the convergence of positioning, connectivity and powerful mobiles.
He shares some lessons learnt:

  • Be intellectually honest about your motivation. Solve a real human social inefficiency.
  • Choose a technology that works, with an eye on the future.
  • Don’t compete, but rather build on other players. There’s a good basis available to build upon.
  • Build something that’s good enough today. It needs to solve a real problem.
  • Social networking needs to be all-inclusive, and work for everyone. Follow the least common denominator approach when finding your target audience.

– Execute a killer product strategy, don’t plan a killer app, David Haddad says.

He then answers three questions.
How will the mobile look like in the future, i e in four years?
– The Nokia N95 is targeted for the early adopters. Down in four years time, the phone that’s going to be in everyone’s hands is going to be similar to what you have now. The N95 is a good indicator.

How will social networking look in the future?
– If everyone in this room has an N95, how will that affect my experience with for instance Facebook? There are three things that differ from our current experience.
– The social networking will become concurrent, cirkumstantial and fundamentally socially impactful.

David Haddad thinks the adding of friends on social network sites will be automatic, by for instance bluetooth. News feeds will be more realtime.
Like Jaiku! : )

What can we do today to change the social networking environment?

  • Pick your development environment.
  • Choose your method of connectivity.
  • How do you want to position users? There are many different technologies.
  • How will you make money? Find a business model.
  • Who are you going to partner with?

He believes in combined solutions for web and mobile units.

In the q&a a few interesting issues, including privacy and more on killer product strategies came up, but unfortunately there were network problems… and I didn’t catch much. I’m sure others have more, though.


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november 1st, 2007

Stefan Waldeck on Yahoo's mobile services

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Stefan Waldeck

Stefan Waldeck, Yahoo, talks about mobile marketing and search marketing at Daytona Sessions.

Self expression, social networks, and new technologies are the new trends. In the cellphone all of this comes together, he says.
– The cellphone is with you 100% of your waking hours. Plus it has a higher penetration than computers.
When you move from 2G to 3G you start using photo and video a lot more.

Yahoo!Go is a small java applet which lets the user access email, flickr, search and more. It will be in 200 cellphone models at the end of the year.
– It is very easy to use on a small screen.
There’s also an RSS reader integrated.
– We haven’t tried to copy what we do on the internet, but do a special solution for the cellphone.

Mobile seach is based on need and boredom, which translates into people wanting usefull information and games.
Search ads on mobile phones are more sensitive to appearing in the top part of the screen, since people don’t scroll much.
But click through rates are much higher than on the web.


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november 1st, 2007

Two different takes on Open Social

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Today Google will announce its new web API for social networking sites called Open Social.
I’ve read two very different takes from Marc Andreessen and Dave Winer. I am leaning a bit more towards Andreessen, but it’s way too early to tell. Also he is already a Google partner in this, with Ning being one of the initial platforms that has encorporated Open Social.

Marc Andreessen explains the concept as similar to Facebook’s, but without the constraints. Any social networking system can be a container, and any application developed with the Open Social standards can be included in any of these containers.
One thing that seems promising is that it’s all HTML and javascript, making it easier to build applications.

Andreessen writes:

If you recall how I previously described the Facebook platform as ”a dramatic leap forward for the Internet industry”, you’ll understand why I think Open Social is the next big leap forward!
Open Social takes the Facebook platform concept and provides an open standard approach that can be used by the entire web. Open Social is an open way for everyone to do what Facebook has done…
…including Facebook itself, potentially

He has also published some screencasts and screenshots.

Dave Winer is more sceptical:

Standards devised by one tech company whose main purpose is to undermine another tech company, usually don’t work.
In this case it’s Google trying to undermine Facebook.
And I don’t think it’s going to work.
What would be exciting and uplifting, a real game-changer — Internet companies giving users full control of their data.
When Google makes their announcement on Thursday, the question they should be asked by everyone is — How much of my data are you letting me control today? That’s pretty much all that matters to anyone, imho.


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oktober 31st, 2007

Close to one million Facebook users in Sweden

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Facebook stats for Sweden

Very interesting statistics today from Johan Myrberger at The Killer Attitude. He has taken Jeff Pulver’s statistics one step further, with detailed graphs. Sweden has close to one million Facebook users. One million. In a country of nine million people. That is pretty amazing.


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