You’ll probably recall a couple of months ago when Presidential hopeful Senator John McCain’s MySpace page was hacked. McCain’s site wasn’t really hacked at all per se, instead whomever had set up the page for McCain had done so using a popular template but instead of using their own hosted files (as was requested), they took the lazy route and simply hotlinked to the template’s creator, (who also happened to be Newsvine founder and CEO) Mike Davidson’s hosted images. Since McCain’s crew was hotlinking, all Davidson had to do was change the image that was being linked to and viola – McCain had a nice big banner in support of gay marriage (particularly between women) on his page.
When I was in college, the site Hot or Not became wildly successful based on a very simple premise: is the person in this picture hot or not? A new service, iminlikewithyou, takes the same idea, and massively expands upon it – creating something that can best be described as a hotornot-meets-facebook-meets-ebay-meets-game, hybrid.
NewScientist had a great article yesterday about the lifespan of a story on Digg. After a very comprehensive study (they looked at the 29,864 most popular stories during 2006), the researchers concluded that the average sustained surge in popularity that a story receives after hitting Digg’s front page lasts a mere 1 hour and 9 minutes. After this point, the users of Digg have likely found something else newly promoted to the front page to occupy their interests and your story is shuffled off of the front page.
MyBlogLog is a great service for building up your site and encouraging community. However, with the site’s own rise in popularity over the past several months, meaningful interaction was becoming less prevalent and distinguishing those community members who were actively participating in your site from those who simply joined and then never returned was becoming more difficult.
About a month and a half ago, Google Operating System noted that a previous iteration (from 2001) of the Google Toolbar had an intriguing functionality that at the time no one thought much of: voting a site up or down (via smiley face or frowning face). I noted the obvious, that this functionality was identical to StumbleUpon‘s thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote, but also that it was odd that Google would lack the foresight to see the social implications (or potential) of this feature (not only as used by StumbleUpon but it was also similar in many ways to Digg with the up or down vote for a site).
This past week I spent some time setting up a site using the micro-blogging (or tumblelogging) tool Tumblr. The service is extremely easy to use and definitely worth checking out if you are either looking to get into blogging but don’t relish the idea of writing long posts or are simply looking to create another site as an outlet for smaller bits of information.
A few days ago, Facebook unveiled changes on their site meant to improve usability and also enhance interactivity. What once was a student-only site has turned into a full-featured social site that offers you a multitude of networking options. MySpace may have more users, but Facebook has more options in terms of how they can help you spread your content to a wide variety of people.
Last week, Twitter power-user Leo Laporte announced that he was leaving Twitter due to the confusion it was causing over its similarity in name to his popular TWiT podcast. Still wanting a Twitter-like service, Laporte found that Finland-based Jaiku best suited his needs. So which of the two services should you be using, and why?