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Social Networks: mobile micro-blogging

Social Networks aren’t these rigid edifices, tethered to servers, themselves ensconced in air-conditioned rooms somewhere in the world. No, technology is best served as an enabler to life, love and business. And what do we know about life, love and business? They’re often on the move…

In the first installment, I looked at the problem of Social Media Fatigue and a possible cure. The cure being an open, secure and portable means of describing you and your stuff that the various Social Networks would make use of.

In this installment, I’ll be looking at Social Networking while mobile.

When Social Networks go mobile!

While not a Social Network in the strictest sense, Twitter is a good example of a way of keeping tabs on people; their activities and their whereabouts:

“You’ve got your Twitter account, you’ve got hundreds if not thousands of friends. You whip out your mobile phone, you tap out a text message and wait for the people to emerge from anywhere & everywhere and you’re off to flyin’ start!

Much like modern marketing is as much about off-line, ‘old fashioned’ strategies as it is for ‘newfangled’ on-line ones, the new social age is about combining the two in compelling, novel and unique ways that extend how people interact with each other.”

The very moment I looked at Twitter, that’s exactly what I saw. And sure enough, that’s what’s happening right now.

And just where is my evidence? My evidence is a person. This person is a man and he has a name, too!

His name is Dan York, commentator on PR, communication and social media.

Here’s a guy, who through his Twitter profile, keeps people abreast of his movements by posting text messages to Twitter from his mobile phone.

Dan is a spirited proponent of the new upwardly very mobile ‘Netizen, who takes his ‘Worksrteam’ with him wherever he chooses to go:

“I have it on good authority that mashin’ up your various personal feeds is a Lifestream.

Let’s think smaller. OK, maybe not smaller, but add a little more specificity to the Lifestream thing. Let’s think business.

So you have your Twitter account, which only provides updates to known friends. You’ve subscribed to something like the web applications I’m currently working on, so you have feeds for job tickets, calendar events, outstanding tasks, reports et cetera.

Imagine linking all of this together into your own feed that your colleagues can subscribed to – and extend with team data – telling them not only what you’re doing, but when you’re doing it and where.

The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination and certainly not your location…”

I’m here! And here. Oh, and I’m here, too!

If you’re on Pownce, Twitter, Facebook et cetera (a full list of places to find me), then the biggest problem for you is cross-posting. Having to cross-post between Social Networks is a huge inefficiency:

“So I got my Publishing 2.0 feed set up to crosspost to Facebook and Twitter, but I’m wondering about the utility of doing so, given that most of the people I’m connected to on Facebook and Twitter also subscribe to my regular blog RSS feed.

I’m starting to think that this has the potential to be hugely annoying – and misses the point of Facebook and Twitter. I’m basing that conclusion on having come across the same blog post (for several different blogs) in Facebook Notes, on Twitter, and then again in Google Reader…”

This duplication of information is a problem that has a solution. If you’re familiar with Yahoo! Pipes, then you understand the power and relative simplicity in creating your own feed, which is itself an aggregation of feeds based on criteria of your choosing.

There’s the solution, just aching to be utilized. To be brought to bear on this cross-posting problem and bring sense to not just micro-blogging across Social Networks, but doing so while on the move, generating content from your mobile phone.

Now that people have mobile phones equipped with high-resolution stills and video cameras, it’s easy to produce your very own video ‘blogs, from wherever you happen to be.

This opens up and huge new world of possibilities, taking the idea of citizen journalism to a new level.

In a very real sense, your Social Network is the power of one made mobile for the benefit of many.

Sure, there’s going to be an ocean of noise, lapping against far-flung islands of signal, but guess what? This doesn’t matter.

Because of social media, when something is a hit, it’s a democratic process, and you won’t just read about the future after the fact, your votes on the likes of StumbleUpon and Digg will make the future happen.

A future you’ll be an active participant of, no matter where you happen to be…

Recommended reading

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

4 replies on “Social Networks: mobile micro-blogging”

I really do see micro-blogging as the new method to communicate. The opportunity to users to basically ‘text instead of talk’ (micro-blog instead of write) is obviously inviting.

Companies too are able to benefit from this opportunity and use the RSS feed tools to display their latest micro-blogs in their entirety.

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