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My big social web app’ wish list!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008 — by

Social Networking & Social Media websites and applications form a big part of my daily routine. If I’m going to use something on a regular basis, I need them to work just the right side of not being annoying or difficult to use — oh how I wish…


Pownce logoWhen it comes to micro-blogging, Pownce is the place to be. Twitter! I hear you cry. Thing is, Twitter is a status update tool, not a micro-blogging platform.

While both Pownce and Twitter have a place, they are not the same. However, even micro-blogging services get the blues:

  1. For starters, here’s 5 ways in which Pownce could be improved.
  2. Pownce has a desktop client based on Adobe’s Air widget platform. It’s usable, but it’s also really not the finished article! Someone needs to finish this application off.
  3. This wasn’t always the case, but Pownce has gotten slow recently. Plus, there are Twitter-esque outages, too. This needs addressing.
  4. Twitter allows its members to use a picture for their background. Now I know Pownce offers whole themes, but all the same, making that a paid-for feature is a little poor.


Twitter logoThere was a time when I had only good things to say about Twitter. Then I became vehemently opposed to Twitter.

Now, once again, Twitter is in my good books, but it’s still far from perfect:

  1. OK, let’s get the obvious wish out of the way; I think Twitter needs to work on its up-time.
  2. Needs a “mutual friends” option for friend requests, just like on Facebook.
  3. Twitter uses TinyURL to truncate the links added to Tweets. This needs to be supported within the message text box itself.
  4. In a similar fashion to Pownce, a drop-down / pop-up menu of friends which when selected to drops their @name into the text box would be great.
  5. Maybe there’s an argument for turning Twitter into a Facebook application. That way, we’d be pretty sure of a reduction in downtime.


Google logoMore and more of what I do is done through one Google property or another. Over time, I can see me not using Microsoft Office anymore and using Google Docs instead.

That said, things aren’t entirely perfect on planet Google:

  1. Would be great to have GTalk integrated right into Google Docs. That would be a great productivity boost.
  2. The biggest problem Google faces right now is the sheer number of applications they have, some of which, like Google FeedBurner, Analytics and Webmaster Tools should be combined into one application.
  3. Google Browser Sync is a fantastic Add-On for Firefox, but I’d like it to manage and synchronize my RSS feeds, too.


Facebook logoThe amount of influence exerted by Facebook is formidable and growing week by week. A lot of people rely on Facebook, forming the very heart of their on-line social activities.

And since the release of Facebook chat, there’s one less reason for people to use a stand-alone chat client.

And with great power comes even greater responsibility. Just ask Google and Microsoft:

  1. A measure of control over the types of applications being recommended to us isn’t unreasonable. Trust me, Facebook Application Fatigue is a very annoying thing to suffer from.
  2. The ability to remove specific items from the News Feed.
  3. Posted Items on Pages should really appear in the News Feed.
  4. Like a lot of people I know, we use Facebook for both personal and professional reasons. We really need a option to offer more than one type of profile page to specific friends, or groups of friends.


StumbleUpon logoFor me, StumbleUpon is a fantastic place to find stuff. Not only that, StumbleUpon is as good a Social Network as it is a Social Media website.

However, it’s not like StumbleUpon is without its flaws. That said, of all the Social Networks I’ve tried over the years, it’s the one that I’m still on almost every day:

  1. When I use the “Send to” feature in the toolbar, I’d like that message CC’d into my Messages.
  2. When people visit my profile, I’d like to be able to see where they came in from — be that a group, an article I’d published, a friends profile or even a Tag.
  3. I’d like to specify what articles my friends can push my way with the “Send to” tool. Personally, I get annoyed when people send me off-topic stuff. So I’d like to set an option to only allow messages that match the Tags I’m subscribed to.
  4. A proper email client wouldn’t go amiss, either. And while we’re at it, some editing options (buttons for bold, italic, underline, URL et cetera) just like in WordPress.
  5. The 200 friend limit on StumbleUpon is unjustifiable and bizarre. Plus, it’s not well known and causes confusion for a lot of people when they hit it. Remove the limit and let people add as many friends as they like!


Digg logoI’ve sort of got back into Digg recently, if only a little. Truth be known, I’ve never been a huge fan of Digg, but it’s got a place.

For some, Digg is almost like a way of life — their way of making an impression on the Social Media landscape:

  1. Much like StumbleUpon, I’d like to specify what articles my friends can push my way with the “Shout” tool. Personally, I get annoyed when people send me off-topic stuff. So I’d like to set an option to only allow Shouts that match the Topics I’m subscribed to.
  2. Being able to group friends by Topic would make it much easier send Shouts out to specific people.
  3. While the Shout feature is good, it’s also susceptible to spamming, too. So I recently came up with a short how-to guide explaining how to hide spammy Shouts on Digg.

OK, so this edged close to a protracted whinge, but hey! Seriously though, we know everything can’t be perfect, and hopefully, my many issues might just be well received.

Do you have your own list of Social Networking & Social Media peeves? Feel free to share…

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Comment and be known

Andy DeSoto → Tuesday, 13 May 2008 @ 15:14 BDT

Some great points! I agree with most of those… one thing I feel about Digg personally is that the whole community has gotten truly nasty and volatile over the past few months. Almost anything that hits the front page and doesn’t contain the name ‘Obama’ soon gets deluged with a vast array of critical or incendiary comments.

I love Digg because it’s a great way to keep on top of some of the latest stories of general interest to me and the Digg population. However, I feel I’m ignoring the comments section more and more often because I know they’re going to either be completely useless or just plain tick me off!

David Bradley → Tuesday, 13 May 2008 @ 15:26 BDT

With the exception of Digg all of these are my favourite online app, depending on the time of day…


Wayne Smallman → Tuesday, 13 May 2008 @ 20:08 BDT

Hi Andy, what you mention about Digg is essentially why I don’t use it too much.

Whenever I’ve had something on the front page, the first 20-30 comments are just a wasteland of idiotic, meaningless and hateful unmentionables.

It’ a shame because I remember when Digg was better than that.

Hi David, I was pretty sure you’d say that!

Speak soon, guys…

Megapixels → Tuesday, 13 May 2008 @ 23:43 BDT

Pownce is a new one on me, thanks for the tip. I’ll be checking it out. My biggest problem with the whole social web app world, is the amount of time it sucks me into spending. I do try to make a living on line, and I’m far too easily distracted by this fun stuff. I suppose that’s more my problem then the developers of all this cool ware though.

Wayne Smallman → Wednesday, 14 May 2008 @ 19:17 BDT

Yes, these things can devour vast amounts of free time if you’re not careful.

Sounds like a theme for a new article — how to make the most of your time with Social Media & Social Networking.

I’ll give that some thought…

Nick → Saturday, 17 May 2008 @ 22:00 BDT

I really need to give Pownce another shot if it’s as good as you say. I’m still not entirely sure whether I like twitter or not. Same as you, I went on it… got off it… went back, and now I dont really know where I stand!


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