Over the weekend Loic Le Meur kicked off a conversation in the blogosphere about the centralization of our web personalities. Le Meur is an avid believer in our personal blogs being our central hub on the web. I agree with him, but as the internet evolves, we’re seeing ourselves spread out into different social networks, aggregators, etc. The conversation revolved around a social map Le Meur drew that visualized how he was connected on the internet with his blog being the central point. I found the concept so interesting that I set up Social Graph Central, a blog solely dedicated to showcasing social maps drawn by or hand or by software, of netizens. I encourage you to email me at juskai at shaw dot ca with yours and I’ll either post it for you or set you up as an author on the blog so you can contribute yourself. Let’s make this the world’s largest collection of social maps, centralized. Check out the video above of Le Meur discussing the whole conversation.

The Many Uses Of Qik

March 23, 2008

Qik Logo An interesting article from Los Angeles Times Interactive details the many uses of Qik, the new media startup that allows you to lifestream in real-time from your Nokia cellphone. Video streams live to the Qik website where it is saved for re-broadcast and even enable real-time chat as you’re taping.

While a tool that can undoubtedly be used for fun and games, Qik has several more practical uses according to the article. Hardcore user Jason Calacanis, founder of Mahalo, a human-powered search engine, finds quick a useful addition to his other online social networking activities. “My whole existence online is one big focus group,” said Calacanis, allowing him the insight and connections into his target market that he requires to build a product that people will try.

Besides its obvious business uses, Qik has been used for more compassionate reasons as well. One woman, whose paternal grandmother was in her death throes, was able to broadcast her grandmother via Qik so that her father, located thousands of miles away was able to see her and ultimately get to her bedside the day before she died.

Of course Qik has not-so-great implications as well. Like Calacanis notes, “The worst moment in almost everybody’s life is going to be captured on film”. But then again, we all know how few of us actually learn from our mistakes. History tends to repeat itself over and over again. But with a self-imposed big bro watching over us as technology turns life into one big lifestream, and with big bro’s vision saved on the web, maybe we’ll finally be able to learn from our mistakes by having the ability to review them. Maybe.

The Newsroom Of The 21st CenturyEarlier this week, The State Of The News Media report was released by the Project For Excellence In Journalism was released shedding a dark light on the future of the newspaper industry. Not as dark as originally predicted however.

Yes, the physical newspaper is in much worse shape than even a year ago, but while experts predicted the democratization of information would mean audiences would fragment into new sources of news info such as blogs and social networks, online news sites such as my morning reading The New York Times Online are actually receiving more traffic than the legacy media and blogs are receiving much less traffic than originally predicted. Also important is the fact that the most popular blogs are written and produced by writers that are anything but “amateur”. Often, the most popular blogs are filled with content written by professional writers with backgrounds in traditional journalism.

 

I haven’t had a chance to read the fairly lengthy report myself yet, but JD Lasica over at MediaShift Idea Lab has, and has pulled some interesting points from the Major Trends section:

  • news is moving from a product to a service-the user wants to know how it can empower him
  • a news story is no longer ever finished…stories must always involve incremental updates even in the form of a short email to the reader…it seems this may be taken straight from the blogosphere as most of us bloggers provide incremental updates as a way to develop an internal linking structure for search engines
  • news is no longer one person telling a story to another…yes it still involves the storytelling aspect, but it extends in to the storyteller providing the reader the tools necessary to interact with and interpret the story in a way that is useful to him
  • news organizations and websites are no longer final destinations… they must be a portal into further discussion about any particular story… this is probably why NYT Online provides ways to share stories by submitting them to social networks and info aggregation services and even links to the most popular blog stories of the day
  • “each piece of content competes on its own with all other information on that topic linked to by blogs, “digged” by user news sites, sent in e-mails, or appearing in searches. As much as half of every Web page, designers advise, should be devoted to helping people find what they want on the rest of the site or the Web”

I’ll definitely be looking through the report over the weekend and will undoubtedly have more to share with you.