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Michael Marlatt's List: A Look at Social Network Aggregators

    • "Managing  scattered online Social Life on multiple Social Networking sites, I sense,  will become a Killer App Category 2008. There are several startups now in the  "Social Network Aggregation" space and this App Category should diversify and  catch momentum in 2008. Some startups are focusing on identity consolidation,  others on messaging consolidation and on tracking friends. Some like Profilefly  offer consolidation of multiple things like Profiles, Contacts and  Bookmarks....The need for users to be a member of not just one but multiple  social networks can be understood through Barry Wellman's concept of 'networked  individualism'..."
      • so true, so true!

    • Too Many Choices, Too Much Content

      Written by Sarah Perez / May 14,  2008 4:00 AM / 42  Comments
    • Too Many Choices


      However, there are certain areas we've noticed that seem to be the biggest  sources of conflict as of late. In these areas, several companies are clamoring  to be the winner of the space, releasing duplicate or similar products,  constantly adding new features, and generally trying to one-up their competitors  in an effort to come out on top. When there are several companies doing the same  thing, it gets confusing for the average user and time-consuming for the early  adopters who play with everything. In the end, the hope is that one great  service would come out on top, but that's hardly ever the case. We're already on  MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, and LinkedIn because there's no one winner for  social networks...are we going to have to use all these newcomers battling it  out, too?

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    • June 3, 2008 (PC World) Whether you're a social  butterfly constantly seeking new sites to cross-pollinate, or a caterpillar  creeping after your friends from one network to the next, you have likely  experienced social-site fatigue by now.
    • Similar  to FriendFeed, it presents the latest actions on the Web from your friends  as a continually updating stream.
    • What makes Spokeo compelling, at least initially, is that it is dead-simple  to set up. In one fell swoop Spokeo can ingest all of your contacts from Gmail,  Yahoo, or Hotmail, and then go out to the 30+ sites it monitors and bring back  any new content from people in your address book. I tried this with my Gmail  account, and it built up a friend reader with more than 500 contacts in less  than three minutes. Before, this was a laborious process on Spokeo. You had to  add each friend’s blog or feed one by one. (In comparison, FriendFeed lets you suck in your Facebook  friends, but only the ones who are also FriendFeed users—plus each member must  specify which sites he wants to expose to others.

      • Hey, Spokeo is pretty cool!

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    • Spokeo combines the top 20 social networking destinations with any RSS feeds you  like into one glimpse through a multimedia RSS reader. But you can’t actually  navigate within the networks. It just gives you a run-down. Sort of like My  Yahoo! for Web 2.0 sites.
    • Companies like FriendFeed — and there seem to be a growing number of them these days — are trying to solve a problem that the Internet itself created. The proliferating number of blogs, user-generated content services and online news sources has created a dense information jungle that no human could machete his or her way through in a lifetime, let alone in an afternoon of surreptitious procrastination at work.
      • the online information jungle

    • Last month, bowing to the appeal of feed services, Facebook began to let users share their activities on other sites, like the photo services Flickr and Picasa, and the review site Yelp. The company says it plans to continue to link more Web sites to the social network.
    •  Data  Portability is working to help make that happen through consensus driven    policies  and procedures. In essence, data portability embraces the Decentralized    Me, but  lets users re-centralize it wherever they please. 


      Frankly, not enough people know much about DataPortability yet. That will  start to change, as founder Chris Saad is starting a road show presentation to  talk at a high level about what he’s trying to accomplish. Some big  partners are joining, even if just in spirit so far.


      Ultimately, Data Portability is to the Centralized Me (all your stuff) as  OpenID is to identity (your literal identity). And just as the big players are  sort of supporting/exploiting  OpenId to maintain their user accounts, they will also support/exploit Data  Portability to remain the place users consider the Centralized Me.

    • Loic Le  Meur sort of summed it all up tonight  in a blog post where he says that we grew used to having a Centralized Me in the  days before all these services popped up, starting in 2004 and spreading since  then. That Centralized Me was the blog. Then we grew used to having a  Decentralized Me - your stuff was literally everywhere. Go here for photos, here  for the blog, here for videos, and here for bookmarks. Robert Scoble today is  sort of the quintessential Decentralized Me - his stuff is everywhere, and he  seems to love the chaos.


      What Loic wants, and I think other people will want it too, is a place that  they control where this information is aggregated. That may be right back at the  blog for some people. For others it may be Facebook (who  understands this fully). Wherever a person considers their home turf is  where they’ll want all this data.

      • we all need a centralized "me"!

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    • Today at the Mobile World Congress in Spain, Yahoo announced a mobile app  called oneConnect that will be available in  the second quarter as part of the upcoming release of Yahoo  Go 3.0. I have not seen a demo of this myself, but it sounds like a  much-needed integration of messaging and social apps. OneConnect will pull  together contacts from your mobile phone, Yahoo address book, and social  networks, including:




      You will be able to see whether your contacts are online, recent messages,  status updates, uploaded photos, and other activity streams for each one. Of  course, you will also be able to send them messages via e-mail, IM, and SMS. The  mobile app will save SMS and IM conversations as a single thread, even if you  are texting and the other person is using Yahoo Messenger. The app also supports  AIM, MSN Messenger, and Google Talk.


      A feature called “Pulse” will give you the most recent updates of all your  contacts across all the social networks it monitors. You’d see, for instance,  that your girlfriend just added a photo to Flickr, your business partner just  updated his Facebook page to say he landed in London, and your brother just sent  out a Twitter. It is like Friendfeed or Spokeo on your mobile phone, tied  to your address book so that you can message your friends based on what they are  doing.

    • Yahoo didn’t invent anything here, but simply integrating all of these services  is powerful stuff. If you think about it, oneConnect is a mobile portal for the  social Web.
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