… on Twitter everyone’s page has tiles of the people who they’ve followed and the numbers of people they are following. Twitter has created a “follower game.” Friendfeed doesn’t make that game so obvious so people don’t play it. – Robert Scoble

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    Tweet #6: Seeking a solution for #followfriday Here it is: I’m setting up a page to give you my list. It will be an evolvingliving list.7 minutes ago from web

  • Tweet #5: I piss off alot of good tweps who do NOT like to play #followfriday and lose alot of otherwise really nice followers. So I’m…8 minutes ago from web
  • Tweet #4: EAch #followfriday I dread TWO things. 1) That I’ll miss someone and their feelings will be hurt. 2) It takes me freakin’ HOURS!9 minutes ago from web
  • Tweet 3#: EAch recommendation for #followfriday is like getting a B-day card and makes me feel so blessed! Here’s the rough part, Each…10 minutes ago from web
  • Tweet #2: Because it’s #followfriday. I said don’t take it wrong! I LUV to introduce people to others & so many make me feel so blessed!12 minutes ago from web
  • Tweet #1: Can I share a secret with you? Don’t take it the wrong way! This will take several tweets. Here it goes: I’m dreading tomorrow…
  • I’d say that hashtags can provide extremely valuable meta-information, because they signal both intent, as well as a certain amount of sophistication/insider information (compared to “incidental”/unconscious use of the same keywords).

    E.g. during SXSW Interactive, Twitter’s time-line on Search.twitter.com was overflowing with SXSW references, and cutting that down by searching for the #sxsw hashtag only was a first step toward cutting through the noise.

    And the great thing is that they can be added to the text flow without needing to repeat the term twice. E.g. you can just write: “This post deals with the way #wordpress handles…”. What’s not to like? Only 1 character need be added…

    Agreed that people need to avoid abusing them by making anything a hashtag. Basic rules for viral “spreadability” still apply: Keep it short, logical/meaningful, easy/enjoyable to say (“#followfriday”) , etc.

    But if used properly, each tweet using them adds an entire additional dimension of communication opportunities, because a vast number of people monitoring Twitter, who are not yet your followers, can find you via hashtags (that number will only grow with increasing Twitter Search literacy coming to the mainstream).

    You can join a much larger conversation. Also see the success of #journchat, #brandchat, etc. as virtual, timebound meetups on Twitter.

    Mr. Williams, along with the other founders, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, first envisioned Twitter as an easy way to stay in touch with people you already know.

    In 2006, when Twitter was just starting, the three men felt a small earthquake in San Francisco. They each reached for their phones to twitter about it and discovered tweets from others in the city. At that moment, it dawned on them that Twitter might be most useful for something else — a frontline news report, not just for friends, but for anyone reading.

    Indeed, the news-gathering promise of Twitter was most evident during the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last November and when a jetliner landed in the Hudson River in January. People were twittering from the scenes before reporters arrived.

    “Twitter reverses the notion of the group,” said Paul Saffo, the Silicon Valley futurist. “Instead of creating the group you want, you send it and the group self-assembles.”

    Read that last paragraph again. You can pretty much explain Twitter to anyone from now on using just these two sentences! They contain one of the 3 secrets to Twitter’s success: The open (asymmetric) follower model. (The other two being speed and simplicty…)

    But I think it’s FriendFeed that Facebook should be more closely following, given what it wants to do with its service. That’s especially true when even more information starts coming into the site by way of Facebook Connect. Twitter has exploded in popularity because it’s so simple — but it’s far too simple for everything that Facebook want to do. But FriendFeed seems to be morphing into exactly what Facebook wants to be.

    So the question I have now, is whether or not Facebook will copy these better features from FriendFeed? I think it will. After all, it had no problem borrowing the “like” feature, the importing of third-party stream elements, or the commenting functionality. (Sure, FriendFeed didn’t invent all of these, but they’ve been implemented on Facebook in nearly the exact same way they’ve been used on FriendFeed.) **** And if Facebook is able to follow that lead, 200 million plus users will essentially be using FriendFeed — just under the moniker of Facebook.****

    My **** highlights. Very interesting take, and yes, these are all key developments in the quest for Social Networking dominance.

    One thing the post also points out that I have been saying for quite a while now is the speed differential between FriendFeed (faster) and Facebook (slower, despite much larger user base), and thereby indirectly between Twitter and Facebook (since Twitter still makes up the majority of FriendFeed users’ entries).

    So in a way, TWITTER’S speed is/has been driving speed on FriendFeed, and it is not clear if Facebook users en masse ever will embrace that level of speed.

    Its more private, more “real-world social graph” oriented (to an extent) set-up so far seems to predict no, while Twitter’s open follow model appears to outright encourage ever GREATER speed, because users are subliminally incentivised to post more due to the ever larger numbers of people thought to be listening.

    This blandness masks the rarity of her brain. Because whatever else Savant is, she is not a fraud. Her IQ has been tested and tested and tested again. When I asked her to describe how her mind approaches a problem, she said: “My first thought, maybe not thought, it’s almost like a feeling, is overview … It’s like, almost, a wartime decision. I keep thinking about all of the fronts, what’s supplying what, where are the most important points … ”

    Jarvik, her husband for the past 21 years, says Savant’s gift is to be able to approach questions dispassionately, without our usual fears of or hopes for a particular answer.

    via ft.com

    You might want to read this several times. The key is DETACHMENT, which in turn allows as much of your brain power (as many of the neural networks as possible) to come into play, without the BLOCKS, stopping points, asf. that usually hinder the development of additional angles and solutions.

    By the way, this is also why a so-called Mastermind Group works: Because it has a similar effect by allowing the “group mind” (the aggregate of the minds of the other participants) to go to work for you more dispassionately. By in a sense “borrowing” their neural networks, you can circumvent any of the blocks that had been creating a particular problem for you.

    BTW, here is a prime example of how NOT to do comments on your blog:

    1) When I typed my comment and hit submit, the AdAge CMS/Blog software pretty much just swallowed it. I assume they wanted me to register/login first, but then you cannot allow someone to write a whole comment and then have it disappear.

    Thankfully, I have been in the habit of ALWAYS hitting CTRL + A and CTRL + C before I submit anything, so my work wasn’t lost (been burnt one too many times with this, including in WordPress admin screens).

    2) Here is the text from underneath the AdAge comment textarea:

    “Note: Comments submitted to AdAge.com are posted automatically and will include the user name with which you registered. Ad Age reserves the right to delete comments that are insulting or personal in nature. Comments may be used in the print edition at editorial discretion. Comments are restricted to 500 words or less.”

    This screams “Do NOT comment here”, it kills audience participation… ask yourself, how much do sites really gain from registering you? How many times have you gotten Emails from those CMS native lists? And while we’re at it, the thing where everyone says “Email (required)” on their blogs is downright cute:

    Unless you are doing double-optin of some sort, you are NOT checking the Email address, so it really is kind of silly. A better way: “Email (if you want your Gravatar to show)” or similar. Just saying…

    I would avoid most of these shenanigans on your own site. If someone can be bothered to comment on something on your blog, they want to do so NOW, not first jump through 5 hoops. Make it simple. Simplicity wins.


    I suddenly realized how closed and impersonal I had become in my copy, and how I had alienated much of my audience because of it.

    I realized that, no matter how I may feel or think, in order to become a trusted advisor to my prospects and customers I needed to open up more about me, about my family, and about my life outside of Strategic Profits. And if I opened the curtain a little, they would most likely respond very positively.

    In other words, John [Carlton] reached out from that sheet of paper, slapped me upside the head and said: “Yo Schefren…take a lesson from Karen Carpenter. They long to be ‘closer to you’. So LET ‘EM!”

    I made a vow right then and there–I was going to create a stronger bond with my audience.

    So I started focusing more on empathizing with them, understanding their situations, feelings, and motives. I dug deep to find out what kept them up at night…what gnawed at their very core…and how my products could help solve that.

    Then I immersed myself into their conversations. I studied the forums and social networking sites they frequented. I made note of the buzzwords they tossed out. I wanted to learn the language they spoke, so I could talk to them more effectively on their level.

    Finally, I just tried to be myself.

    This stuff is so crucial, yet also so easily forgotten…

    We all can get caught up in the process of what Eben Pagan has called “playing business”, and as a result become more impersonal.

    Even though we hate it when other companies/etc. do it to us!

    1. Increase your linkability
    2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy
    3. Reward inbound links
    4. Help your content travel
    5. Encourage the mashup
    6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you
    7. Reward helpful and valuable users
    8. Participate
    9. Know how to target your audience
    10. Create content
    11. Be real
    12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble
    13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh
    14. Develop a SMO strategy
    15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely
    16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices

    I’d add: NEVER forget that it’s called SOCIAL Media… -> avoid violations of social trust.

    New Social Tools and Processes to Emerge
    If the social web is a ‘river of news’ then we’re going to need new sea-faring technologies to manage it:

  • Anchors We need more anchors to slow it down and make sense of it, Friendfeed offers a ‘pause’ button that actually freezes the stream, allowing users to navigate the content.
  • Dams and Distibutaries Dams will stop the flow of content (users will unsubscrbe) and distributary are rivers that split off from the main river, as a result you’ll see a need to use filters and lists to group people in smaller categories.
  • Maps and Compasses are needed to help guide us to what’s important. Expect digests, analysis, and those who boil down what matters to matter more than ever. Traditional reporters will help make sense of thousands of opinions.
  • Everybody is still figuring out this new world of the “real-time Web”… and it turns out that we need a whole new vocabulary and new metaphors to even think about it. Jeremiah is off to a great start…