Category Archives: Digital/Social Networks

Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

birdieA while back a Twittering friend of mine, Elizabeth, shared with me a great cheat sheet for using the tiny tool. (She is finishing up a paper about Twitter as literature for an NYU class, so I regard her as an expert. :))

Anyway, this guide has helped me as a reference when navigating Twit-Jargon. Check it out on Deanna Zandt’s blog. And enjoy the continued chirping of all the little birdies—both in the Twitter-sphere and in our own real atmosphere on this lovely day.


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Green Confessions, hosted by Zipcar

zipcarCheck out this great email from Zipcar yesterday. It looks like they (and a few partners) are attemping to foster real-world comraderie among their location-fragmented, island hopping Zipsters—all while shining a spotlight on our lovely planet. There is nothing like free booze to lubricate the conversation.

(My confession is that I took a cab to work today because I was running late. That didn’t save money or the earth! What’s yours?)

Happy Earth Day! (And check out Verdantic.)

Hi Christine,

Ever leave your lights on when you leave the room? Forget to recycle? We understand that nobody is perfect, and that’s why we’re inviting you to confess your eco-sins at Zipcar New York’s first-ever Green Confessions party.

We’ll be at BLVD at 199 Bowery (at Spring St.) tomorrow (Earth Day!) from 6-9pm collecting your green confessions. Be sure to rev up your Twitter accounts and activate your mobile device (install TwitterFon for iPhones or TwitterBerry for Blackberrys) so you can participate in our live Twitter feed of confessions. Flash your Zipcard at the door for plenty of snacks and libations.

And as an added bonus, if you bring a friend to sign up for Zipcar, you’ll both get $75 in driving credit—not a bad way to repent.

See you tomorrow,
The team at Zipcar New York


Filed under Digital/Social Networks, Email, Fostering Sharing, Just HAD to Share (Random)

Digital Sharing Dictionary

Here it is. The official Sharing Cyclone Social Sharing Dictionary.

I’ve been researching these for a while, but this list is not exhaustive. Every time I try I find dozens more. My conclusions after compiling this list are:

  1. I thought about categorizing these by type—the news elevators, the blog aggregators, the friendly gossipers, the link savers and shares—but, frankly, the overlaps make this impossible. Sharers have blogs. Messagers allow saved links. Blogs have highlighted tags. FeedmeLinks Twitters, but they haven’t for a year. Ayayay.
  2. In total, we have a discombobulated mess. If you’re happy, stick with what you’re doing.
  3. Easy come, easy go. Diigo absorbed Furl. Yahoo MyWeb morphed into Yahoo Bookmarks.
  4. Social Bookmarking options are vast, and they’ve run amok. I’ve emboldened the options that stand out to me in terms having a focused audience and a simply user interface. And I look forward to trying out some of these options which pertain to my life (bargain shopping, yes, online gaming, no).

So here you go. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these. It will be fun to look at this in 10 years and see what has survived…

AIM –  The original chat. For people like me, it was THE digital social networking tool throughout college. It’s where you expressed your excitement, your frustration, and your whereabouts (from the library to the shower to bed.) Now it seems to have grown with technology, but usage trends have shifted from this to Facebook, Google Chat, and texting.

Backflip –  A bookmarker and tries to be a bit more. Been around since at least 2000, and looks like it, too.

BallHype – Sports oriented stories, blogs aggregator/sharer.

Bebo – My friend says this is more popular in Europe (her boyfriend is Irish). It appears to be trying to be a one-stop-shop for content, sharing, and aggregating multiple social networks. Seems to share a log in with AIM.

Blinklist – Sharable Bookmarks. This claims to be fastest for saving and finding (“lets you sort pages like iTunes”)-and allows saving of websites for review when one is no longer online.

Blogmarks – Just like it sounds: Blog-based “collaborative link management project based on sharing and key work tagging.” Whew. Cliché mouthful.

Care 2 – An online Community for healthy and green living. Part of me wishes it had only one position instead of two, but I can see how they go hand-in-hand. I give them points for having some sort of good-natured focus.

Current – This is the only 24/7 cable and satellite TV network and internet site produced with the audience. It has a lots of partners (iTunes, Cable companies, etc.). Prosumers submit, the best are filtered, and submitters can grow in reputation. I’d like to look more into this…very cool.

Delicious – The Original. Social Bookmarking. It’s older than Facebook (!) and owned by Yahoo.

Dealsplus – Broken down this is just what its name implies: Deals Plus. Not to be confused with the similar-looking, it’s a bargain shopping aggregator. Nice.

Digg – The famous news aggregator, where the most popular items bubble to the top.

Diigo – Think sticky notes and highlighters that you can see from any computer and share with others. Apparently this helps you read the web.  TechCrunch likes it.

Facebook – Oh come on, you know what this is. It’s the mother network.

Fark – “Edited” news aggregator; not a very pretty interface. Perhaps that their thing, though?

Faves (Bluedot) – “Sites you love from people like you.” Though I must admit that the Bluedot thing throws me off.

FeedMeLinks – Super techie, and the mission appears to be accomplished because they aren’t taking new users. It’s in language called LINUX APACHE MYSQL PHP.  Here is the announcement on the homepage (in currier new font, I’ll add):






Fresqui – I think the question this prompts is “What’s important?” or “What’s fresh?,” but my Spanish is terrible. Another news aggregator, seemingly skewed to video, but I could be wrong. Man, do these span the globe.

FriendFeed – For sharing and discussing with friends. Perhaps a watered down Facebook? My favorite characteristic: The dizzying link love run down on their about page:

Furl – YIKES!  Look at this, posted on the homepage. It’s vaporizing tomorrow:

Furl will be shut down on April 17. Furl is being absorbed by Diigo and will no longer be available. 
Click here to transfer your data to Diggo. For help, please contact

Google Bookmarks – Part of the loveable iGoogle suite

Kaboodle – All about shopping!  Helps users share shopping spaces and deals, and coordinates with Friendster, too.

KiRTSY –  Social Bookmarking, but quite girly. Categories include Design/crafts, Family/Parenting, Fashion/Style, and more. Here is the description. Sounds like they’ve taken Jim Eiche’s positioning class (brand character anyone?).

kirtsy is a social media platform of pure goodness. A plaza for the peachy. A portal to the pretty. A place to find cool things. To read smart scoop. To connect with fab ideas, exceptional people, useful information, excellent products. All of it. And more.

kirtsy is just like that friend who always finds the best stuff. Only better.

Link-a-Gogo – FREE online links manager (are any of them not?). Whoopdedoo. I don’t see what’s different about this and the million others; except that it is uuughly.

LinkedIn – This sits on the networking side of social networking and comes with a more profession (aka job search) connotation.

Live – MSN google. (Note my non-proper noun use of google. That’s right, the brand has become the generic. Too bad for you Live because you’re not it.)

Magnolia – YIKES! This site lost everyone’s bookmarks two months ago. It dug (not to be confused with Dugg) around for a while but to no avail. I wonder what its trusted users think about how everything is-poof-gone. Now it recommends Diigo. And a video explanation of what happened. Read the apology notes on the homepage. Wow.

Meneame Like Digg, with voted on categories, but in Spanish.

Mister Wong – This reminds me of Delicious, but with a more international flair.

Mixx – “Your blend of the web” it says. Another aggregator, with a cute logo and name.

Multiply – More media sharing, this one with a safe, family angle. For “sharing with people you know and not with people you don’t.” Smart position-like Volvo plus multiplying rabbits.

MySpace – Not to be confused with Facebook. Or, to quote a good friend Joe, “facebook or spaceface or facetwit or myface.” Ay, ay, ay.

N4G – Not to be confused with N4C (Northern California Camera Club), this is news sharing and community for gamers. Video/internet/console/moble gamers that is. Nicely targeted.

Netvibes – A “startpage” as they refer to it, similar to MyYahoo or iGoogle, where you can have everything (weather, email, favs) pulled together on one screen when you first hit the net.

Netvous – Online bookmarks, again. Share with friends, again. Discover new websites, again. Green and blue coloring, again.

Newsvine – One click here and I see both a) who was eliminated on Dancing with the Stars last AND b) a story about how Homeland Security is cautioning Rightwing extremism. Similar to Digg, with popular stories bobbing to the top thanks to users, but, like the name says, is more news related.

Oknotizie – Like Newsvine, Italian style.

Propeller – Run by AOL, another user-decided story feed.

Reddit – If you read it, you can Reddit. (Or at least I believe that is how it’s pronounced.) Another news article aggregator, with popularity votes by members.

Segnalo – More social Bookmarking Italian-style. Bravissimo!

Simpy – Another all-in-one: allows users to save, share, tag, search, bookmarks, etc. Lots of verbs. Probably not a lot of users.

SlashDot – A one-stop news source for Techie things-in particular Linux and Open Source platforms. The name says it all. I wonder if the .org means it is a nonprofit?

Spurl – I’m running out of descriptions for these bookmarking sites. Ugh. So many.

StumbleUpon This site uses both user recommendations and machine learning to recommend websites, based on pre-determined preferences. Interesting. Here is a cool and complex diagram of how this works.

Tailrank – This feeder is Blog-focused, scanned posts for common topics. Some say is the closest thing we have to Blogdex, which shut down three years ago when the founder went to work for Facebook.

Technorati – Similar to Tailrank, but with news aggregation in addition to blogs. From my experience with it, bloggers can register and “claim” their blogs to create credibility and more frequent bot visits.

Twitter In a twisted way, all of these dictionary entries are like twitters because they short, sweet, and all jumbled together.

Yahoo MyWeb Yet another casualty. This shut this down last month and transferred all data straight to Yahoo Bookmarks. Why? To “focus,” to “streamline,” and to “reprioritize” efforts to Yahoo Bookmarks for personal bookmarking and Delicious for social bookmarking.

Yahoo Bookmarks – See above.

Yahoo Buzz – Yahoo’s version of Digg, plain and simple. Again, see two above.

Yardbarker – Another sporty one, here is their “about” description:

Yardbarker breaks down traditional barriers, allowing fans and athletes to debate sports, read and write articles, and watch videos. In the Yard, even the famous athletes are treated like fans.

We feature thousands of sports websites and blogs, so you’ll get news, rumors, photos and videos that you won’t find elsewhere. We make it easier to follow your favorite teams, talk sports, and submit links to interesting articles found elsewhere on the web.

You don’t need your own sports blog to join the discussion on Yardbarker. All you need is an opinion. But if you do have your own blog, join the Yardbarker Network. We will promote your site, increase your traffic, and put money in your pocket.

Yigg – Similar to Digg, but in German.


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Deep and/or Wide

I read Vanessa Grigoriadis’ article “Do you own Facebook?  Or does Facebook own you?” in New York Magazine last week and thought she had a great voice and a few great viewpoints. In particular, I’d to point out what she wrote about the term sharing:

Sharing is actually not my word. It’s the most important Newspeak word in the Facebook lexicon, an infantilizing phrase whose far less cozy synonym is “uploading data.” Facebook’s entire business plan, insofar as it is understood by anyone, rests upon this continued practice of friends sharing with friends, and as such it is part of the company’s bedrock belief, as expressed in the first line of its principles: “People should have the freedom to share whatever information they want.” “A lot of times users-well, I don’t want to say they undervalue sharing, but a lot of times they don’t want to share initially,” said Chris Cox, Facebook’s 26-year-old director of products. “And then eventually, they say, ‘Okay, I’ll put a profile picture up here. I’ll do it.’ Immediately, their friends comment on it, and there are no tacky, weird strangers around, and suddenly they start to realize, ‘Hey, wait, this is different. I am on the Internet, but I am in a safe place.

She goes on to state how “In a time of deep economic, political, and inter gene rational despair, social cohesion is the only chance to save the day, and online social networks like Facebook are the best method available for reflecting—or perhaps inspiring—an aesthetic of unity.”

And, in my last quote of this post, I’ll note her note about how, on Facebook, “many actions that take on weight in the real world simply don’t pack the same punch: You can reconnect with long-lost friends without a gooey, uncomfortable e-mail about why you grew apart; you can forget to return Facebook e-mail and nobody minds.”

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Filed under Charitable Giving, Digital/Social Networks, Fostering Sharing

Overheard Sharing Part 1: Playing Hookey via Facebook

busThis is the first of three posts in a series in which I’m going to share “overheard in NY” scenarios involving sharing. The first relates somewhat to online sharing, the second two cause me to side with the Social Network Reject’s general mentality—they each absolutely required real life and not a computer to happen.

On cross town bus this morning I overheard a teenager I’ll call Gus tell his group of five or so friends that he didn’t have an ID.  Apparently “Fred” didn’t either.

Their female friend I’ll call Natalie was upset: “Did you guys even LOOK at Facebook? I created that event for a reason. Ugggh.”

There was some quiet discussion about whether or not they needed their IDs, and the collective decision was that at least a few of them did.  At the next stop they got off the bus. But, before they did, Gus made a final announcement to all of the people nearby who were listening in on this group’s dilemma: “Don’t worry people, we aren’t going to a rated R-movie or anything.”

They have a thing or two to learn from Ferris Bueller about coordinating these types of things. Maybe Facebook isn’t always the way to go.

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Kudos to Erdős

roomatesillustration1My friend Denise recently conquered the NYC roommate search labyrinth. To the right is a diagram of how she won in this oft-frustrating game.  I highlight this successful scenario tonight:

  1. because taking advantage of an Erdős number is way more hip that taking advantage of CraigsList nowadays. 
  2. because I’m happy for her. (Doesn’t it just feel safer to sleep down the hall from a friend of a friend of a…?)
  3. because it’s a relief to know that a broadcast email that made its way to the inbox of stranger to the original sender can do good in this world.

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Share @#$%!

In my quest to learn about  The Knot situation, I decided to first investigate the site that made it possible: Add This. Many such offerings exist; two other popular ones being Add to Any and Share This.

I was hoping to implement the option that suits my requirements for being helpful, but not overwhelmingly so:homepage_bnr

  • an email option
  • icon limits to prevent panic
  • allows readers to stay on my blog

I tried them all. And none had it all, so I turned this investigation into a competition. Whichever responded to my email and forum inquiries first would win not only my use, but my official endorsement. And this competition was not in my head only—I made it clear that my patronage hung in limbo.

The conclusion? You can’t always get what you want:


Because our button is javascript based, only users with a premium account will be able to implement it on their site. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thanks for giving us a try.

ShareThis Support

Broader conclusion #2: When an institution isn’t making money the notion of losing to the competition does not matter.

Would any Blog Spot bloggers be interested in trying this on your platform?

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