Archive for juin, 2009

Future of social networking

future_soc_netIn the direct line of the two previous articles about twitter, Francis Bélime’s latest post drew my attention to a great presentation about the future of social networks by  Charlene Li.

Among the many different observations in her presentations, she mentions the problem of dealing with mulitple identities and identifies the need for a plateform grouping all information coming from social network. In the comments, the following questions (and Li’s answer) deserve attention : how is « social data » backed-up ? and who’s the owner of such information ?

To follow-up on twitter and the future of social networks, here are a few other posts worth reading :

And on social networks :

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Gender issues on Twitter?

harvardFollowing my previous post about Twitter, I read a report on a Harvard study about how and why people use Twitter.

The findings were surprising, as the survey’s authors put it…

It seems that there are some kind of gender issue in the way that men who twit have generally more followers than women. Here are the main conclusions of this survey :

  • Although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women
  • They found that an average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman
  • On a typical online social network, most of the activity is focused around women – men follow content produced by women they do and do not know, and women follow content produced by women they know
  • Among Twitter users, the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one. This translates into over half of Twitter users tweeting less than once every 74 days
  • the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets

One thing is sure for me… I do not understand more why people twit after that… I just realize that a lot of people probably tried it and … left it.

As the authors write it in the introduction of their post :

Twitter has attracted tremendous attention from the media and celebrities, but there is much uncertainty about Twitter’s purpose. Is Twitter a communications service for friends and groups, a means of expressing yourself freely, or simply a marketing tool?

More to read about the Twitter phenomenon :

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Will twitter change anything :-)?

twitterBy some coincidence, two articles or posts about Twitter crossed my digital sphere at almost the same moment… A few (geek) friends have tried to convince me that this will / would change my life… or at least the way I see it… I must say that I haven’t been convinced yet!

In time magazine, the cover story is about how twitter will change our lives… and the author, Steven Johnson, is convinced that this new way of communication brings us back to the essential… 140 characters-updates about the substance of your life for your followers… Althought he was skeptical at first, he seems to have changed his mind about this way of creating « ambiant awareness » of what’s happening in your network. The fact is, we cannot just simply ignore the millions of people twitting every day… They must find something (essential?) to it!

In February, Julian Dibbell asked almost the same question in Wired magazine… and wondering what Twitter users find in such a media that doesn’t already exists in SMS, blogs, chat…

Identifying Twitter’s comparative advantage, in other words — the compelling, real-world need that it alone among social media best fulfills — is hard. So hard that a recent blog post by legendary web-tech guru (and avid twitterer) Dave Winer all but conceded Twitter’s core appeal might remain forever shrouded in the ineffable. « There’s something there, » wrote Winer. « The challenge is to figure out what it is. »

[…] And just so, too, by forcing users to commit their thinking to the bite-size form of the public tweet, Twitter may be giving a powerfully productive new life to a hitherto underexploited quantum of thought: The random, fleeting observation.

Well, to say it frankly, millions of people use it and nobody knows why :-) … I hope Twitter users … THEY know! Personally, I still have some trouble to consider adding an important amount of staff to read… when I don’t even have time to read throughout ONE Time magazine every week :-(

But… oh, well… I’ll probably end up twittering in a few months… the same way I said I’d never blog…

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