Tag Archives: techcrunch

Facebook’s Live-Stream Widget

Last night while adding facebook badge to my blog when I stumbled upon the facebook widget page I didn’t really play around much to checkout the other widgets like live-stream one. But it was now when Techcrunch reported it I thought of checking it out again. So here’s the deal

The live stream widget( apparently meant for website or business widgets as opposed to personal ones)  lets you do the following

1) Update your facebook status from the widget or ‘Page Admin Preview’ as they call it

2) Access and share(with anyone who can see the widget) facebook statuses of your friends and everyone(think CNN-FB integration during Obama’s ceremony)

3) Comment and Like facebook statuses  just as you could do them in facebook.

While all this is quite clear to me, I am not really sure what’s the deal with the option to ‘select an application’, which essentially means choosing a page. I choose a page and posted an update via the ‘Page Admin Preview’ but it didn’t reflect on the fan page which I had selected. If you want to figure out how it all works, try checking out this, it might throw some light

Let’s see what’s the deal like.

Also, seems like facebook is still working on the widgets as the widget doesn’t seem to work properly for most

FriendFeed:To Mainstream or Not is the Question

Despite being a cool service with a solid team behind it, I’ve always looked with skeptism at any talk about FriendFeed going mainstream. Before talking about FriendFeed or any other service going mainstream it’s imporant to be clear about what going mainstream really means.
Crossing million mark for number of users ? Regular mention of the service in mainstream media ? Presence of brands and celebrities on the service ?

To each according to it’s own, for some a service is mainstream if all their colleagues have accounts on it while for some a service is mainstream if national daily/magazines talk about  it regularly but, for me the parameter that can help to decide if a serivce is mainstream or not would be by seeing what % of people who go online regularly( excluding the likes of those who check their emails  only when someone informs them over phone about a new mail) are using it. While fixing an exact % would be a bit hard, lets say roughly that a service that manages to get 1/5th of the regular web users is mainstream.

Coming back to FriendFeed, a service started by Paul Buchheit(creator of Gmail and the guy who gave Google it’s Don’t be evil motto) . No matter what it means to people, for me FriendFeed is an aggregator for various social services, a mighty good one at that. For the uninitiated , it’s a service that lets you store and share your activites across various social platform. Be it bookmarking on delicious, uploading a picture on flickr or posting an update on twitter, FF captures it all and more.

Whether FriendFeed will go mainstream or not is just one part of the problem, if FF does go mainstream when will it happen being the other. If this post by TechCrunch and this traffic comparison with twitter are anything to go by,
FriendFeed vs Twitter
the chances of FF making it big(at least in immediate future) are kinda bleak, here’s why

1)  Friendfeed is catering to a need that isn’t really there yet:
For most people who are still learning their ways around blogs, nings, and ims, an aggregator like FF is not really a need yet.  Don’t believe me ? Ask around. There are lots of reasons for this including the fact that most people aren’t on that many services that they need an aggregator, and not so interestingly using a service like FF increases the time needed instead of decreasing it. By opening another channel for my content I need to pay attention twice as much, which isn’t cool for many.

2) FriendFeed isn’t simple or intuitive:
Call me what you want but I honestly feel that the idea or the implementation(if it’s possible for such an app) isn’t for the simple minded. Getting people who can’t seem to get enough of poking or taking “what fruit are you quizzes” to start using FF is a mammoth task. Did I hear someone say, FF isn’t meant for them ?, that’s mainstream baby.

3) FriendFeed isn’t strongly positioned:
How a service is positioned in a segment/sub-segment is extremely crucial in determining if it will be BIG or not. The fact that it’s first in the game or that it doesn’t have to worry about other services stealing their thunder(traffic) is quite important in determing the course of action for its future. What features to add/remove, how to design/not design, what should be the core offering or target audience etc could be some of the difficult decisions if you have to look around before deciding anything. While FF might not agree but quite a lot of people think FF is trying to go Twitter way(at least in terms of looks) and in this pursuit might have hurt itself. The fact that after doing an upgrade users aren’t sure if the changes are useful or not tells a lot.

4) Information Overload:
Filtering might be the next cool thing but not for mainstream noobs. Look around, do you seriously think the guy sitting next to you or on the other side of Facebook/Myspace/Orkut would need to see what you are doing just on delicious and what your other friend is doing just on flickr, maybe that too with just a particular tag ? No, I don’t think so.
Most people (including me) stand a good enough chance to be overwhelmed by the amount of information that starts flowing on your home page. Now that you’ve invited the problem yourself, you are expected to fix it but either reducing number of people you want to subscribe or doing selective/service based subscription.

These are a few basic reasons why I think FriendFeed won’t be going mainstream in the immediate future.

What do you think ?

An algo for Twitter Authority

This post from Loic Le Meur has sparked a lot of debate that Twitter should have a “search by authority” feature. Keeping the ego factors involved aside “search by authority” could indeed be useful for finding out what people who matter are saying about a particular topic. This will be particularly useful when finding what thought leaders are saying about a particular thing/topic and getting selected and relevant information during crisis times amongst others.

As mentioned here, follower count isn’t the right metric to gauge authority and while twitter ratio(followers/following) could be a better indicator of a one’s celebrity status doesn’t imply authority. Though there is almost zero possibility of Twitter implementing this but just for fun lets see what could possibly be a nice algo to determine one’s authority on Twitter.

1) Re-Tweet Ratio(RTR): RTR = Total number of re-tweets/Total number of tweets. A high Re-Tweet ratio can imply great content, large following and thus high authority. Going a step further if instead of posting something original, you re-tweeted someone’s content which one of your followers further re-tweeted then its credit should be added to the original posters authority and not the middle man i.e your authority will ony include re-tweets for your original content.

2) Tweet Favorite Ratio(TFR): TFR = Total number of favorites one’s tweets got/Total number of tweets. A high Tweet Favorite Ratio is another indicator of great content, large following and thus high authority. Since unlike kwippy where favoriting(and commenting) stats are out in open

, twitter isn’t open about favoriting information and you not even know if someone liked your tweet or favorited it.

3) Tweet Reply Ratio(TRR): TRR = Total replies one got/Total number of tweets . A high Tweet Reply Ratio might not be that clear an indicator about great content or large following it definitely indicates a high level of engagement which in turn can loosely be linked to one’s authority. For ex: this tweet by Chris Brogan
sent two days back got hundreds of replies and still continues to get replies.

4) Tweet Link Backs Ratio(TLBR): The most far fetched and away from reality measure could be TLBR. TLBR = Total number of link backs one’s tweets got/Total number of tweets. Though a link backs for one’s tweets aren’t tracked, if done we could include this data to calculate TLBR. A lot many times people’s tweet inspire blog posts and discussions on various aggregators. A high TLBR can also serve as a indicator about one’s authority.

Now we have atleast four parameters which we can use to calculate one’s twitter authority. If there’s a formula for calculating twitter authority it might look like this

Twitter Authority = 2 * RTR + TFR + TLBR + 1/2*TRT

Since Twitter Re-Tweet ratio is the highest measure of great excellent it’s given most weightage. Twitter Favorite Ratio comes next and is almost same as relevant as Twitter Link Back Ratio they have equal weightage. Twitter Reply Ratio, doesn’t imply great content necessarily but a tightly knit follower base it gets the least weightage.

Its was a fun post written just like that and shouldn’t be taken too seriously but if you did, tell me what you think about it ?