The Promise of Diaspora: The Future of Social Networks

Diaspora was introduced to most as an idea that was to be the open source, privacy focused alternative to Facebook via Kickstarter in 2010. That’s how I learned of it and originally that’s what I expected it to be. Now that the dream is in alpha reality and I have joined the network I can tell you that Diaspora is not exactly an alternative to Facebook (although for some it is). What I’ve come to realize is that Diaspora represents the future of social networking.

Diaspora doesn’t have the luxury of humble beginnings like the great open source success of WordPress. There are too many people who simultaneously love social networking and hate Facebook for Diaspora to evolve slowly and organically. The pressure for features will come from this group. However the most important task Diaspora has ahead of it is to become a connector between social networking sites. Continue reading The Promise of Diaspora: The Future of Social Networks

Bad band marketing on Facebook

I recently clicked on a band ad that intrigued me on Facebook. I’ve given Facebook enough info about myself that the algorithm can somewhat determine I like music of a particular sort. Sure, I do miss the music of the 80s (who doesn’t?). 22k fans. Not bad.

So I get to their Facebook page eager to check out these sounds. They’ve got a big audio player on the page. Great. I click the play button. Instead of sweet synth pulses I get a little popout that requests I ‘Like’ the song (or band, I can barely tell) so I can listen to it.

‘Like’ the track before I listen to it? How could I know I like it? Continue reading Bad band marketing on Facebook

The State of Social Media (as I see it)

Facebook is hemorrhaging American users. It’s been slow to evolve. No good Facebook iPad app? That’s unacceptable for the ‘premier’ social network. Twitter has recently been blessed by all-powerful Apple as the sharing destination. Twitter is an amazing informational resource. It’s also a terrible social network. I held great hopes for Diaspora. I even tried to sign up. It looks like it’s not going to happen and its moment has passed. Ironically Facebook still instigates with its privacy trespasses. I’ve read that Facebook is losing users because of the privacy issues. Not true. People really don’t care about or understand privacy. That’s for elite activists (god bless them.) People are losing interest in Facebook because it has bad User Experience design. It doesn’t easily give them the information they actually care about. Twitter is great and very democratic. But it works better in conjunction with an app like Flipboard to distill all the chaos into a palatable format. I’ve gotten into Instagram. I think it’s more about the effects. It doesn’t seem that great unto itself as a social network except that it sends my pictures to Twitter and Facebook. I’ve come to question why we need Twitter or Facebook to be our hub of social. Google could probably shake things up a bit if not for their ADD/disinterest in terms of UX quality. Apple went with Twitter because it doesn’t see a clear way to eek out profits from really getting into the Social Media game directly. No one wants to buy Myspace. Listen Twitter bots and spammers and marketers. People don’t like ads. They are disingenuous. People can smell them a mile away. It really doesn’t work. It’s why Myspace is crumbling. That need to turn a profit leads to the path of least resistance…advertising. And it is certain death in the social space. Facebook already feels dusty. Are they really giving us something we can’t get elsewhere. They are not. Twitter hit the jackpot by getting into bed with Apple. They can actually sidestep the advertising swamp they may have been heading to by continuing to allow real connections through devices. I believe that there’s a hidden and obvious social winner, still dormant. It’s not Tumblr. Tumblr is a nice and harmless fad. No, it’s WordPress. It still has different concerns and hasn’t tackled social in a meaningful way. But it has the power to change the game in an open source and moral way.