Social discovery

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/sjlocke

In a recent Economist, in the article on Facebook’s planned IPO, a quote caught my attention:

Some form of social-discovery feature in Facebook is inevitable [Joe Green, the boss of Causes.com, a web business that promotes activism and philanthropy]

This lead me to consider how we engage with new people, and how we are using the internet to engage in social discovery (meeting new people, and engaging in social dialogue, and possibly ‘learning’ from them).

Since starting this post, I’ve also become aware of an upcoming genre of apps which are designed to aid location-based social discovery (more on this below).

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Thoughts on ideas, brainstorming, facilitation, and crowdsourcing

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DrAfter123

Having an “idea” is a uniquely human thing.  It can be fun, beautiful, empowering, motivating, exciting, artistic, valuable. *

Through personal reflection, brainstorming, facilitation and crowdsourcing ideas can be leveraged and improved upon, to the point that the outcome is far better than the initial idea.

Ideas come from creative thinking, considering the previously unconsidered, often referred to as ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking or ‘strategic’ thinking (albeit strategy in many businesses seems, disappointingly, often not to be that creative).

I enjoy the creative process of originating and developing ideas, and so wanted to pull together some thoughts on this.

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Should you bring some Color into your life?

(or, Thoughts on recent, and future developments in location based services and social networking)

In the world of geeky correspondence on Twitter, Quora and tech blogs the last month has seen a lot of discussion about a new app called Color.

There are several reasons why Color is attracting so much attention:

  • It has a high profile team of already successful internet entrepreneurs
  • It has received financing (“$41m!”) from one of the most prominent venture capital firms, Sequoia Capital
  • It has an innovative, and potentially revolutionary approach to the “social graph” (the way in which social networks are built)
  • It is receiving very mixed reviews, from very negative to wildly popular

Color allows you to take photographs with your smartphone, and will share those photographs publicly with anyone nearby (regarding the privacy aspects, it’s really quite simple – if you don’t like that publicity, don’t use Color, at least not for the photos that you don’t want to share).

At the moment, that’s pretty much it. Simple, right? So why the fuss?

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The new ‘news’, and how you find it

How do you follow the news? – Do you read a newspaper, in paper form, or online (or several)?  … watch ‘the News’ on TV? … listen to ‘the News’ on the radio? … read news websites? These approaches to following the news (even online news sites) are grounded in ’20th century’ thinking, and are in many ways inefficient and ineffective.

Which brings us to the question ‘What is news?’ (simply ‘new information’?). When you want to find information, and find that Google doesn’t help you find the full answer, what then? Wouldn’t it be nice if the news and information that we want to hear comes to us in a personalized way?

There are some excellent, recently developed online tools available to assist you finding, more efficiently and more effectively, the news and information that interests you, whether it be current affairs, work related insights, or topics of personal interest.  In this post I comment on some of these tools, in particular RSS feedsGoogle, Twitter and Quora.

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