November 05, 2008

Barack Obama The First Social Media President?

By Li Evans After the Presidential WinYesterday was probably one of the most exciting days of this year, if not the past 4 when it comes to the possibilities of emerging media being pushed to the forefront and actually being a factor in something very important in not just our nation's history but quite possibly world history.  Yes, the United States elected its first African American president, but it also elected its first president to utilize technologies beyond email or a cell phone to office to just raise campaign donations.

Barack Obama is the first "Social Media President" in history.  He's the first one to understand and harness the power of sharing and communicating through social media platforms to not only get out his message, but to energize a group of Americans into action.  Of course it wasn't just Barack alone, it was his campaign team that focused in and realized the power and reach utilizing different aspects of web technologies could bring them.  It wasn't just one social media site used either, it was everything working in conjunction with one another, complementing each other and promoting the same singular message of the Change that can happen if people on these sites helped to elect Barack Obama president of the United States of America. 

One of my sources on the inside told me that it was some of the people who were on Dean's 2004 campaign team that came in and built upon what they knew, and that doesn't surprise me in the least.  Not only did they learn the power of the infamous "Dean Scream" hitting YouTube, but they learned the power of fundraising and brought that to the Obama campaign, improved on it and turned it into a finely tuned machine.  So much so that the majority of Obama's donations came from donors giving $200 and under.

So what kind of technology did Obama use? Let's take a quick, deep look at what was implemented.

Continue reading "Barack Obama The First Social Media President?" »

April 08, 2008

Flickr Video - Huh?! 90 Second Videos Can Be Added to Flickr

By Li Evans

Flickr_video_1 I just managed to catch this via a Tweet from @davewiner, did a quick search and found out that just today Flickr's added Video to its features.  I'm scratching my head here, literally in utter confusion!

Yahoo! owns Flickr.  But Yahoo! also owns its own video uploading service.  Also Yahoo! acquired Jumpcut well over a year ago.  I'm befuddled.... yet another identity crisis for another Yahoo owned property?  Guys, come on, stop confusing us!

Granted, Flickr videos are only limited to 90 seconds, when Yahoo Video can upload a lot more, and Jumpcut allows you to mix and mashup videos, it all just really seems a little confusing, doesn't it?  It definitely is tough to keep track of, that's for sure.  While I love Yahoo's dedication to pushing forward in social media, sometimes I wish it would have all of its ducks in a row and utilize services and cross promote a little more, it would lead to a lot less general confusion.

Flickr_video_2 Perhaps taking Jumpcut and combining it with Flickr wouldn't be such a bad idea.  You could mashup your photos into neat videos with sound, or combine them with videos.  That's the really neat thing about Jumpcut.

Regardless - it is aimed at a particular market.  Cellphones and smaller digital cameras that take short clips.  Uploading these straight from the devices just like you can with photos with your Flickr account is who this is aimed at, and with how devoted Flickr users are, it won't take much time to catch on like wildfire.  Right now its just for pro account users, so unless you've upgraded to the pro account, you won't have the unlimited video feature.

Definitely something I'll be using!  Kudos Flickr!  Yahoo .. could you just make up your mind, already? LOL

April 06, 2008

Facebook Chat: Great...Another Chat Client I Need to Manage

By Li Evans

Inside Facebook's Screen cap of Facebook's Chat ClientFor a few select networks, Facebook has rolled out a new way to "chat" online.  Inside Facebook has the scoop on using it, so check out the write up over there which even has screen shots included.

While Facebook is doing some neat integrations, and while developers are coming up with more neat application for user to integrate with their profile, I just sort of find this news of a way to "chat", sort of boring.  MySpace has had this for at least a year, and to be perfectly honest, Yahoo!'s IM just dominates this space.

For people who have been around the internet and chatting long enough to have a 6 digit ICQ ID, this really comes off as a "< insert yawn here >".  What would have maybe had more of a "hey that's cool" reaction is that if Facebook's team would have taken the time and reached out to Cerulean Studios (makers of Trillian) to have them integrate Facebook's chatting abilities into its multi-chat program client. 

Trillian_astra_build_75 In today's world of multitasking and trying to limit the clients running on desktops, adding another place I have to manage people I speak to, is just a real hassle.  Trillian gives me 90% of the management in one simple place.  A lot of people in tech and search utilize Trillian and the impending release of Astra is just really going to rock (I'm testing, and I can vouch for it!).  Adding Facebook in for the launch of Trillian would benefit both companies.

From "Inside Facebook":

"What does Chat mean for developers? Currently, Facebook does not support Platform integration with Chat, though a couple of weeks ago Facebook’s Matt Cohler indicated that adding Chat APIs (and Jabber support) is in their plans. Obviously, just like Facebook, developers are interested in finding additional ways to engage their users."

So...maybe that means we'll see something coming in the next few months along these lines.  MySpace has it already, I kind of feel like Facebook, is a bit behind here.  It would be nice to be able to just add my Facebook account into my Trillian client, heck maybe then I'd actually get notified of emails and friend requests a lot more promptly too!

More discussions over at Techmeme.

September 16, 2007

Yahoo! Mash - First Impressions, It Needs Some Work

By Li Evans

Yahoo_mash_logo Yahoo!'s 2nd attempt at social networking, Yahoo! Mash, has taken off with full steam this weekend.  Across my Twitter I kept seeing people asking for Yahoo! Mash invites all weekend.  I had gotten a few a couple days ago, but didn't start digging around till Alex sent me one.

Notice I said this is Yahoo!'s 2nd attempt at this social networking site space?  Yahoo! has Yahoo! 360, that's it's first attempt.  It's pretty popular with the messenger audience - I know this because I've had a Yahoo!360 account for a heck of a long time (in social media time) and the folks who I have as friends - 90% of them come from my instant messaging clique of friends.

Yahoo! Mash, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed.  Yes, it's a beta, but I think I was expecting much more from Yahoo! in this anticipated beta.  This is sort of like Yahoo's trying to be a cool "Facebook-like" alternative to the MySpace crowd.  I just keep coming back to question - Do We Really Need Another Social Networking Site?

Yahoo_mash_flickr_module Yahoo! - if you are going to own this Social Marketing space, why aren't you putting your best foot forward?  This is incredibly lacking, I expected to see cool widgets from your other social media acquisitions integrated into this beta from the get go.  All I get is a Flickr module?  Wow, that's just lame.  There's about 15 to 20 modules - be warned some of these broke my page (granted these are 3rd party created). 

However, beyond the 3rd party apps, I'd expect for something you've released would have had at least some of your top modules have integration to your other great services - like the following:

  • Integration - have a module for your top bookmarks to share them
  • Yahoo! Videos - integrate your accounts for the videos you upload
  • Yahoo! Answers - this is likely your strongest product, why in the world you didn't create a module for this is beyond me!
  • MyBlogLog - Great product, your widget is on thousands of blog, why can't I have widget for here too?
  • Fantasy Football League - Dude! It's football season (if y'all didn't know I'm a rabid Eagles fan), Fantasy Leagues are HUGE!  People could integrate these into their Mash profile and brag at how great a fantasy football team they have (or cry... in my case I'd cry, I'm not good at Fantasy Football)
  • Any Sports Fantasy Leagues you have - NHL soon starts, NASCAR is now down to its "Chase", but a whole new season starts in February, and I'm sure there's NBA fantasy leagues and what about all those college sports?
  • Integrate some kind of Blogging RSS feature that actually works and doesn't cause me to break the page (see error screen shot below).   Cute dog though.
  • Make it easy to integrate what I have in Yahoo! 360, either combine the profile, or import in what I have there and delete the old one.
  • Make it easy to integrate what I have in "MyYahoo", either combine the profile or import in what I have there.
  • Make it easy to access my Yahoo Mail (and Messenger).   If there's one thing I like about using your other Yahoo properties, its that usually in 1 click, I can easily access my Yahoo! email account - I can't do that with Mash.
  • Integrate Yahoo! Games - Allow a module to see how well you do on the games you play.  Many of my friends play your free games, and brag about how good they are.  Mash would allow them to boast the scores, while promoting this property
  • Integrate Yahoo! Groups - Whatever forums I like, allow me to integrate my most recent posts in Yahoo! Groups.

All of these things are Yahoo! based programs, properties and applications.  These should have come standard, who better than your own programmers to make sure these things work and function properly.  Look to the community to adapt your API and create modules like they currently are (Twitter and YouTube are two nice examples).

Honestly, I'm pretty disappointed in this offering.  I don't really see a reason to use this social network in favor of Facebook, or to switch from Yahoo!360.  I'll keep checking back to see what's updated and offered, but I'm not moving off of what's already working for me, for something this "Beta".

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