Going Off the Grid at SxSW

Image by saidemily Welcome to SxSW, the heart of online nihilism. Whether you are at the event or unfortunate enough to tune in via Facebook, Twitter and other social media, you will witness one of the greatest spectacles of popular pageantry. The art of seeing and being seen is taken to its highest form by the faux famous. All the more reason to indulge in the desirous luxury of going off the grid at SxSW. Is this anti for the sake of being anti? Is it insanity given all the focus on tools like Plancast, Foursquare (3.0, and not much new), and Gowalla? No, it’s not. Here is a list of five reasons to abstain from the all important geolocation/public […]

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The Over Commercialization of GeoSocial

This holiday season has seen a flurry of geolocation deal posts, where people can find great offers by checking in. Foursquare even offers the Holiday Hero badge in conjunction with Radioshack, a 20% discount for mobile courage. But the deals highlight a larger problem, which is a flat (even shrinking) geosocial marketplace according to Pew Internet, with Foursquare and Gowalla showing flat usage during the second half of the year. There are serious problems with geosocial in its current incarnation, including well discussed privacy issues, but also a boredom factor that cannot be ignored. After so many badges, the game element loses its interest. If one is not extremely open about their physical whereabouts (and older people and parents are […]

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The Obvious Next Community Step – Mobile

According to Pew Internet, forty percent of adults use the internet, email or instant messaging on a mobile phone (up from the 32% of Americans who did this in 2009). Of that group, 38% browse the web using their phones. This trend, given the ever growing (and cheaper) smartphone marketplace, represents the greatest sea change on the social web since Facebook opened its walls to non college students. Positioning a company or nonprofit to effectively engage stakeholders on their smartphone, tablet or other portable device only makes sense. Mobility is the most obvious change that communities are making wholesale on the interwebs. As Priya Ramesh pointed out yesterday on the Buzz Bin, mobile web access is expected to surpass desktop […]

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The Death of Facebook

The following is draft material for my next book, Welcome to the Fifth Estate (the follow up to Now Is Gone, which is almost out of print). Comments may be used in the final edition. You can download the first drafted chapter of the new edition — Welcome to the Fifth Estate — for free. Who in their right mind would predict the death of Facebook given its ever increasing dominance? But this is a question everyone asks, “What’s next?” One thing long term Internet citizens have seen over the past 25 years, communities and social networks get huge, even as dominant as Facebook is currently, and then they fade. Some continue to stay relevant as the leader in their […]

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The Delicate Art of Crossing Streams

In today’s world of increasingly integrated social functionality, the ability to cross-post across social networks enables time savings and multiple community engagement. Yet, as we have seen overtime, while easier for the content producer, crossing the streams can actually alienate individual communities. A Foursquare check-in is not a Facebook update, which is not a Tweet, nor a Buzz or a bookmark. There’s no greater example of mindless stream crossing that alienates users than FourSquare check-ins. These are especially egregious when the user simply checks in with no contextual additions (such as, “at baseball game with my son, his first game ever”). Twitter, Facebook and other associated communities are treated with such fantastic, mindblowing contributions as, “I’m at Safeway.” Add dozens […]

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Tonight's Moon by Geoff Livingston
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