TwitterCritic and FriendFeed's "show best of" show best of the rise of the smart people networks
The current state of my online media consumption is driven by two important rising social media tides, which I like to think of as smart content aggregation and smart people networks.
Smart content aggregation can come in the form of social news sites, though I’ve recently mused whether Digg is as useful as it used to be. For me, Techmeme is an absolute goldmine of smart content aggregation, bringing us the hottest and most important tech and online media stories in near real time, neatly clustered with the all of the conversations taking place about them from large media sources and from the blogosphere alike.
Smart people networks are places where people that you know, admire, or find interesting send you news, information, tidbits, and links. The trick, challenge, and beauty with smart people networks is that it’s up to everyone to craft just the right mix of people that you’re “following.” For me, Twitter and FriendFeed have become a key way to tap into what the best and brightest in the Internet industry and from around the world are thinking about, reading, speculating, pontificating, and so on. And in many ways, Twitter/FriendFeed are the fastest ways to get breaking news these days, faster even than Techmeme or RSS.
All of this is prelude to saying that what’s fascinating of late is how our best smart people networks â€“ Twitter and FriendFeed â€“ are adding features and auxiliary services to in effect bring smart content aggregation to the enormous streams of data that their people networks are generating.
Confused? Here’s what I mean:
* TwitterCritic â€“ Based on Twitter’s open API, this service pulls “tweets” that are talking about a select group of current films, such as Iron Man, Sex and the City, and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. It also neatly generates a green thumbs up or red thumbs down based on the mini-review (found via The Inquisitr).
If TwitterCritic proves to be successful (and why not? It’s kind of neat to see short-and-sweet reviews of movies) it’s easy to see a whole slew of additional features and wrinkles being thrown into the mix. And taking a broader view, it’s fascinating to look at all of the ways that data is being pulled out of Twitter to provide additional value. The open API coupled with Twitter’s limitation of 140 characters per tweet makes a nice combination to create a world of potentially useful applications.
So that’s one way that smart content aggregation is being generated from a smart people network. Now let’s look at the FriendFeed side.
* FriendFeed’s show best of – FriendFeed has done a fantastic job of steadily rolling out useful yet non-obtrusive features to its core service over the last few months. The latest are toggles that let you see the “best of” FriendFeed based on the day, week, or month.
It’s an elegant feature at the first because it builds on top of another popular feature, the ability to click “Like” about any FriendFeed post, link, or shared item. Ranking popular FriendFeed entries will create new ways to figure out what are the most important and most popular topics taking place in the FriendFeed-verse. Further, it’s easy to hop in on comments (which are really taking off, anecdotally) from this point and add your own slew of Likes.
As Twitter continues to struggle with scaling issues and keeping its service up and running, FriendFeed continues to be the latest obsession of the web geek-early adopter set. Both services however are proving to be versatile and are paving the way for making online communication, information sharing, and information consumption easier, more fun, and more efficient.