Citizen Media Watch

oktober 23rd, 2007

Digga + Sovrat = Pusha

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Two Swedish Digg clones have merged. Digga shut down earlier after pressure from Digg.com. Now it re-emerges along with competitor Sovrat, as the two sites merge under the name Pusha.se.
Here’s what the Pusha blog says (my translation):

Digga and Sovrat have been cometitors from the start in the struggle to create a Swedish equivalent to popular American site Digg. At the end of September, Digga was contacted by Digg, who asked them to change names since Digga was too similar to ”Digg”. We then thought it was time to stop competing and instead merge into a strong and unified site.

Pusha will use the same technology as Sovrat and the same database, so that old Sovrat members won’t notice much change. You will also recognize the design, even if we’ve made a few usability improvements.


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september 14th, 2007

Mixed feelings among users as Swedish version of MySpace launches

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

MySpace Sweden release party at Mosebacke

Yesterday MySpace held a big party in Stockholm to celebrate their launch of the Swedish version of the site. Along with a bunch of Swedish bands, LA stand up commedian Pablo Francisco did a gig which was much appreciated by the crowd of Swedish MySpace users and their friends.
Not all users were thrilled about the site being in Swedish though. One person who had journalism as an interest got it translated into belly dancing. And parts of the site still seem like they’re translated by babelfish.
– We’re working on continual updates to make the site more useful, MySpace’s Jonas Lindberg Nyvang told my colleague Arna.
Also, like Hans Kullin noted, the timing of the release was rather bad, since the site was down for maintenance yesterday.Natali, 19, one of the MySpace users we talked to at Mosebacke.
Nevertheless, a large number of fans had made their way to Mosebacke in Stockholm.
Some users we talked to preferred the site to be in English, saying they got on it to improve their English in the first place, and to meet people from all over the world. Others, however, thought it was about time to get a Swedish edition.
– My English is quite bad, so this is a good thing, said Natali, 19.

Pablo Francisco, the lead act at the party, is one of the many artists with a MySpace profile. We got an interview with him about using sites like MySpace for building a career.
– People put my act on the internet, which is a beautiful thing, because the internet is more exciting and more fun to be around than television now. Because you can actually communicate with the stars, get advice and be friends with them, he said.
Check out the video clip from the interview below.


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september 3rd, 2007

Lack of interoperability in social networking sites

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

I’ve created a separate gmail account for signing up to social networking and social media sites. I thought it was a smart move, since they generate quite a few messages. Though now I find myself checking that account as much as I check my regular account, which only doubles the work. The flood of messages from sites like Facebook, MySpace, Jaiku, Orkut (yes, I’ve still got an account), Trig, etc. can be annoying, and at the same time you don’t want to miss out on the action.

Through Robin Hamman’s blog I found an interesting article about the lack of interoperability on social networking sites. Michael Geist writes in the Star that this undermines the networks’ usefulness.

The irony of the current generation of online social networks is that although their premise is leveraging the Internet to connect people, their own lack of interconnectedness stifles their potential.

Geist also points to the regionality of social networking sites, even the international ones. He has a list with some examples, for instance Orkut’s appeal to people in Brasil and India.

A number of initiatives are working towards greater interoperability, though. Some examples:

OpenID
An effort towards a single, decentralized identification system for social media sites. Requires sites to offer OpenID sign-on. Among sites offering OpenID identification are AOL, LiveJournal, Ma.gnolia, Wikitravel and others.
While security issues have been raised, OpenID remains an interesting project.

The Liberty Alliance
Presented as a ”standards organization with a global membership that provides a holistic approach to identity”, the Liberty Alliance are defining standards for open identity, writing guidelines for privacy management etc.

Members work closely together to:

* Build open standard-based specifications for federated identity and identity-based Web services.
* Drive global identity theft solutions.
* Provide interoperability testing.
* Offer a formal certification program for products utilizing Liberty specifications.
* Establish best practices, rules, liabilities, and business guidelines.
* Collaborate with other standards bodies, privacy advocates, and government
policy groups.
* Address end user privacy and confidentiality issues.

Project Higgins
An open source project, Project Higgins has code contributions from IBM, Novell and Parity Communications. The goal of the project is to ”give people more control over their personal online information”.

”Higgins is an open source software project that is developing an extensible, platform-independent, identity protocol-independent, software framework to support existing and new applications that give users more convenience, privacy and control over their identity information.”

Geist again:

Some services may believe that it is in their economic interest to stick to a walled garden approach; however, given the global divisions within the social networking world, the mix of language, user preferences and network effects, it is unlikely that one or two services will capture the global marketplace.

I found this interesting in the wake of the Facebook debate.

PS. I’ve been on a more or less unintentional break from this blog. Most likely I’m back, though don’t expect daily postings. DS.


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juni 12th, 2007

Podcamp Europe under way – Christopher Penn's advice on podcast marketing

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Break at Podcamp Europe

After some pretty bad network problems everything seems to be up and running at Podcamp Europe. I spent the greater part of Christopher Penn‘s talk on marketing aspects of podcasting working out these network problems, but here’s what I snapped up.

Christopher S PennHe talked a lot about evangelists, the people who really like your podcast and so they market it for free. And so you have to give something back to them, to make them want to keep doing it. He mentioned live videos from your podcasts, free cds that bands might send you, have competions where the first people who mail in might get some freebies etc.
Also it’s a good idea to make places for them to hang out.

He had a bunch of useful advice on important features on the podcast’s website.

  • You need text to accompany your media.
  • It might be a good idea to have mailing lists or send lists with show notes, news etc.
  • Have your first episde available for people who are new to your podcast.
  • Give your visitors things to do on your site, obvious calls to action.
  • Subscription has to be one click, or you’ll lose listeners.
  • Offer both download and direct play options.

More advice form Christopher Penn:
It’s important how you name your show – the name needs to be easy to share by word of mouth.
Add your subscription buttons to your social media profiles on for instance Facebook or MySpace.
Use the analytics – see who’s visiting your site, who is linking to you, and go to their site and connect.

A couple of services mentioned:
Reactee.com – you print t-shirts, they set up an sms gateway, and people can text message it and get your url in return
crazyegg.com – shows where on my web page ppl are clicking
feedburner.com – offers good statistics

To check out all my photos from Podcamp, check out to my Podcamp Flickr set.


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juni 2nd, 2007

Law enforcement in virtual worlds

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Interesting Washington Post piece on law enforcement in virtual worlds like Second Life or the game World of Warcraft.

Two years ago, Japanese authorities arrested a man for carrying out a series of virtual muggings in another popular game, Lineage II, by using software to beat up and rob characters in the game and then sell the virtual loot for real money.

The key question is whether for instance rape, child abuse, mugging and killing online should be compared to these acts in the real world. And if so, which country’s laws should the crimes fall under.

Philip Rosedale, the founder and chief executive of Linden Labs, said in an interview that Second Life activities should be governed by real-life laws for the time being. He recounted, for example, that his company has called in the FBI several times, most recently this spring to ensure that Second Life’s virtual casinos complied with U.S. law. Federal investigators created their own avatars and toured the site, he said.

In coming months, his company plans to disperse tens of thousands of computer servers from California and Texas to countries around the world in order to improve the site’s performance. Also, he said, this will make activities on those servers subject to laws of the host countries.


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april 30th, 2007

Why Jaiku outshines Twitter

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Twitter and Jaiku

I was a bit hesitant yet fascinated when I first started using Twitter. Now I see the form mature and I think microblogging is here to stay.

Since Hej!2007, which got me into Jaiku, I’ve been using the service quite a bit, and I am more or less migrating to it from Twitter, though I’m still sending the random update to Twitter. The great thing is that my twitters end up on Jaiku too.

Here’s my brief comparison of the two services, and why I think Jaiku is so much more interesting and useful.

It’s more social. The comments function makes it easier to interact with other users.

You can add any feed. Jaiku can also contain your twitters, along with your recently played songs on for instance last.fm, your del.icio.us bookmarks, your blog headlines, your flickr photos, or anything similar. Just add an RSS feed and it will be scanned for updates.

Jaiku has channels. You can create a more private group conversation by posting updates to a channel. Only the channel members see the updates – they don’t show up on the public timeline. This was used during Hej! 2007, for instance.

Less technical problems. I’m quite frustrated with Twitter being slow or at times inaccessible. So far I haven’t seen similar problems with Jaiku. Let’s just hope they are prepared for a rapid growth in the number of users.

Those are the key points why I like Jaiku. But there are others things that Twitter does a bit better. So far you can only get Jaiku in your cellphone if you have a Nokia phone, for instance (there’s a java version of Jaiku Mobile in private beta). And Twitter has more options for its web widgets.

More on microblogging:
From the Hej!2007 live updates – scroll down to read what Andy Smith of Jaiku had to say about Jaiku compared to Twitter
Using Twitter on the road – why mobile blogging works so well in the micro format
Twittervision – see the world twitter A twitter/google maps mashup
Mashup brings CNN news alerts to Twitter
Twitter was Mashable’s top choice for mobile social networking service 2006
Citizen media or citizen nonsense My initial reflections on using Twitter


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april 20th, 2007

More than two million characters created in Habbo Sweden

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

HabboIn a country with only nine million inhabitants, the virtual world Habbo having 2 098 571 registered characters is quite an accomplishment. Habbo is a community for teenagers where you create virtual characters that inhabit a world that is compared with a virtual youth center by Habbo themselves.
In a press statement, Habbo writes (my translation):

If Habbo was a town it would be bigger than Stockholm, thus becoming the largest city in Sweden. Habbo is also growing globally. Today there are more than 76 million virtual Habbo characters worldwide. This can be compared to Second Life which has around 5,3 virtual inhabitants.
The reason behind the fast growth is a continuos creative development of the community. All the time new activities are added, which are exciting, informative and fun.

Among the activities mentioned is a guest appearance by Swedish singer Darin and q&a with representatives from the youth section of the Red Cross.


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april 9th, 2007

Using twitter on the road, and Bloggvärldsbloggen

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

I’ve been off on vacation in Italy and the UK (hence no activity on this blog), and twitter has proved to be a good tool for keeping myself updated on what my friends and acquaintances are up to, as well as a way of updating them on what I’m doing. It was fun to get mymarkup’s instant impressions from South Africa while posting mine from Cinque Terre, and at the same time get reports from hlantz’s shopping excursions in Amsterdam and belo’s lunch plans. Using twitter at home is fun, but while travelling it comes to more use.

Just my five cents on that. And to let you know that I’m back. Tomorrow I’ll start blogging on Bloggvärldsbloggen in Swedish. I’ll try to keep these two blogs separated, but an excuse for possible double-posting might be in place even before I start out. There is only so much time, and I want to keep them both active, along with my personal blog and Skriva.


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mars 20th, 2007

Twittervision – see the world twitter

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Twittervision

A lot of Twitter mashups have popped up lately. The latest that I’ve tried out is Twittervision, a live world view where twits show in real time. It’s rather addictive watching people’s actions described all over the globe. I’m still pretty hooked on Twitter, and I like that they keep developing the service. Though the increase in numbers of users have caused them some server problems. At times today it’s been impossible to reach the site. Hopefully they’ll fix it soon.

Twittervision is in beta, and is a service from David Troy, who’s also behind Twittermap, which is also pretty cool. You can type in your location and see what others in your area are twittering about. I found myself in Stockholm, though since I haven’t given an exact address it’s not actually where I was at the time of twittering.

Twittermap

When Twitter adds gps data, this will be really interesting. Now the locations are often pinned wrong, twits from people travelling show up in their home town.

Troy is also behind Twittersearch, a search engine for Twitter.

There are also a large number of Twitter widgets to use on blogs or other sites. Twitter has added to their own widgets, or badges as they call them, letting users display the latest twits from their added contacts. Here’s an example on my personal blog.


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januari 29th, 2007

Revenue sharing at YouTube in a few months time

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley announced Saturday at the World Economic Forum that they will start sharing revenues for original work.

We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users. So in the coming months, we are going to be opening that up.

Nicholas Carr at Rough Type points to other reasons than supporting creativity possibly being behind the move.

This is a smart strategic move on YouTube’s part. It’s an even smarter move on Google’s part. As for the users: Don’t quit your day jobs, guys. The money’s in aggregation.

So far, no details have been announced as to how the revenue sharing will work. I4U News points out the gray-zone of what is original work, for instance lip-sync videos.

If you get paid for something you definitely need to have your copyrights in order.


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