caricature
I prefer Hotmail to Gmail; I like the new features and I like not having my mails mined for advertising. When I linked to pieces I did about Hotmail and the Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 beta, the discussion in the comments brought up a phrase in the Microsoft opt-out policy for personalised ads: "(b) the pages you view and links you click when using Microsoft’s and its advertising partners’ Web sites and services, and (c) the search terms you enter when using Microsoft’s Internet search services, such as Bing, and (d) information about the users you most frequently interact with through Microsoft’s communications or social networking services". I asked Microsoft's PR, Microsoft's PR asked two or three different teams inside Microsoft and we got an answer. I've written it up in full over on our 500 words blog but in short if someone in your Windows Live graph buys something, you might see an advert for something similar - but you won't know who, what (or probably why). The big question for me is, what are the lines that need to be drawn for ad personalisation and the ad-funded free online services?
snark maiden
Comments between two social networks I don't use; not that interesting. A standard that would allow cross comments between arbitrary services I do use so the conversation isn't fragmented by who chose what: priceless.

http://networkedblogs.com/p30435259

Danah Boyd on surfing streams of content

caricature
Very much after the fact, I found a link to Danah Boyd's talk at Web 2.0 last year in New York about the tension between the stream (flood?) of content online vs the fixed amount of attention any of us have. The really interesting commetns for me are about the second-order issues that result.

"With Facebook, you can turn your closest friends into celebrities, characters you gawk at and obsess over without actually gaining the benefits of social intimacy and bonding."
I call this Friendship Lite (or Friendship 2.0); yes, online support and connection can be hugely valuable but it can also supplant real connection and engagement.

"Finally, we need to rethink our business plans. I doubt this cultural shift will be paid for by better advertising models... But when the information being shared is social in nature, advertising is fundamentally a disruption. Figuring out how to monetize sociality is a problem. And not one new to the Internet. Think about how we monetize sociality in physical spaces. Typically, it involves second-order consumption of calories. Venues provide a space for social interaction to occur and we are expected to consume to pay rent. Restaurants, bars, cafes… they all survive on this model. But we have yet to find the digital equivalent of alcohol."

EDIT
link - http://www.danah.org/papers/talks/Web2Expo.html
restatement
I call this Friendship Lite (or Friendship 2.0); yes, online support and connection can be hugely valuable but it can also supplant real connection and engagement if it's broad and shallow interactions rather than actual conversations through whatever medium. If I can find out details about what matters to you simply by browsing rather than learning them through a conversation that requires both of us to invest time and thought and attention, do I actually know you as well? I'd say no.

Server Management: well connected

caricature
As a user, I worry about Facebook's attitude to my information (it's AOL, all over again - once the ads put the dollar signs in your eyes, the business tends to forget about the users who make the ad numbers work). As an IT professional, I worry about the time Facebook eats up and the wealth of personal information on there to be mined. As someone who networks for a living, I look at the networking tools on Facebook and find them pretty primitive. But Facebook is successful enough to make knowledge professionals think about how sites like Facebook and Linked In and LJ and flickr and the like have generated far more organised content with far less investment and bad-mouthing than any CRM or CMS you've ever seen. Standout quote of 2007 for me is still Anil Dash telling us "If you send people away for a week of training on your CMS, they come back and they still don't use the system but now they hate you". Put it all together and social networking techniques ought to be big business inside business. The tools aren't really ready yet - and neither are many businesses - but I've found a selection you can get started with today, ranging from free-but-in-beta (Xobni, SNARF) to build-it-yourself (C#UNG) to pricey-but-powerful (Trampoline). Get the details in Well Connected over at Server Management.

Convergence: Software serving

braids
The opening keynote at Convergence (the Microsoft Business Solutions show in Dallas, for those confused by our road trip
from state to state) was - once the drumming stopped - all about how Office is the place where people live at work and how the Dynamics products will increasingly live there too. The Dynamics CRM toolbar in Outlook 2007 isn't a click away the way it might be if Office 2007 had the ribbon interface; I wonder if the ribbon interface makes sense for finding features you expect to have in a product (charts in Excel, animations in PowerPoint) and less sense for features you wouldn't expect (opportunity management and sales reports in with your email).

Outlook is where I live when I'm at my desk (on the move it's OneNote) and the more I can get to from Outlook the better. One of the disappointing moments for me at MIX 06 was when Tim O'Reilly suggested using Outlook at the basis of social networking and Bill Gates looked completely blank; Outlook houses the pieces of my social network and tools like SNARF are starting to expose the interconnections between them. When I look at a new networking site I don't want to recreate that network one contact at a time by hand. I want Outlook and the service I choose to collaborate, finding my connections, looking first for the people I'm most in contact with and pulling the most useful information from Outlook and the service from one to the other. And if it could use InfoCard to both prove who I am and who you are and to pull across my reputation from LiveJournal or Amazon or eBay or the FT so you know I'm *that* Mary on all those services...

Service plus software: another theme from the keynote, although I haven't yet seen a Microsoft Live service that's had be jumping up and down. Perhaps the demo I'm getting here at Convergence will fire me up ;)

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