Wednesday, 10 March 2010

collecting stamps and badges

Notting Hill Brasserie
Its quite difficult to keep up with all the daily new social software now vying for attention. I tend to route most things back to rashbre central as a sort of hub with the occasional link to other things of interest.

Like many, I'm also on twitter, flickr, last.fm, del.icio.us and have a myspace, facebook, friendfeed and similar. Of course, that particular set all seem relatively traditionalist nowadays.

Professionally I use LinkedIn and Plaxo and for fun I've contributed a few entries to Qype when it was starting up as well as adding things to Wikipedia over the years.

I've also gone through that process of unpicking some of the links that cross post between one system and another. I know that OpenId and microformats can make it simpler for these systems to divulge information to one another, seemingly at the click of a tick box. I'm not always sure I whether I really want everything linked to everything else.

There's been the well-reported issue with Facebook and more recently with Google Buzz, both of which seemed determined to become über-aggregators of content. Presumably in Web 3 selective disaggregation will become the new aggregation.

So when we were sitting together in the Brasserie a couple of days ago and the iPhones appeared to type in the latest foursquare rendesvous, I was thinking about the sparks from the electronic trail we are all being encouraged to leave.

Foursquare is another system that uses a community model with little badges as you contribute more things into its files. People become 'mayors' of localities and can be deposed when someone else earns more points.

Qype has a similar model (actually I've no idea who got there first). I can understand the point of getting everyone to create the underpinning reviews for the various venues featured, but I suppose there could be a difference between people filing genuine impressions compared with those simply collecting badges. I was on a site a few days ago and someone had managed to post 25 reviews in just over an hour, which seemed -er - suspect.

The social network issues continue too. Privacy, security, trust, reliability of information, expertise, vested interests, noise, clique filtering are some simple top of mind examples. I suppose most of us get an instinct for the area of the interweb we are browsing and the consequent likelihood of reliability or otherwise.

Caveat browser, I suppose.

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