The differences between online communities and social networking

Whenever I talk about blogs or social networking to people who haven’t quite yet caught up, it’s likely I’ll hear the same comment: “How is this different from message boards?” I’ve been able to stumble through explanations, but Lee Lefever has posted an articulate and intelligent analysis of the differences over at CommonCraft. There are five, according to Lefever:

  • Use of the member profile
  • Identity without collaboration
  • Explicit relationships with forums and people
  • New forum/group creation
  • Network-centric navigation

Lefever continues to see value in message boards and forums; they have, after all, stood the test of time. But his… Read More »

What RSS could be

If you’re looking at implementing RSS for more than just aggregation of blogs, take a look at David Berlind’s column at ZDNet. Berlind sees huge potential for RSS, noting that it’s the closest most people ever get to XML.

Given RSS’ momentum, it could very well turn into the primary method by which all data (structured or unstructured) gets pumped—regardless of whether the application is just to stay abreast of Weblogs, to retrieve e-mail (boy, wouldn’t that put an end to spam?), or to pass transactional data through a complicated workflow. As such, RSS is also the prime candidate to be a proof-point for point-and-click programming.

But… Read More »

Readers seek financial advice from bloggers

iVillage.com, the women’s online community, has hosted message boards for a decade where women have exchanged financial tales. The company plans to launch blogs within six months, recognizing first that blogs are a natural extension of message boards, and second because readers increasingly are turning to blogs for financial advice.

An article from Dow Jones Newswires appearing in the Chicago Tribune (subscription required) notes that an increasing number of investors depend on blogs “for free financial advice that’s presented in a friendly, non-aggressive manner.”

Blog operators say women in particular are trolling online blogs to…

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Blogs: The new workplace militancy?

Workers represent one of the constituencies that make up the “social audience.” Employing blogs, workers are beginning to shine the light on business practices that might otherwise go unreported. In a post on Bleeding Edge, the example of ea_spouse is offered up as a symbol of the potential for blogs to serve as a nexus for workplace activism. The wife of an employee of game-maker EA uses the blog to “describe the outrageous working hours her partner and his co-workers are forced to endure on a regular basis and the effect on their health and well-being.”

The post also points to an article in The Guardian about workplace-focused blogs,… Read More »

Video to follow podcasting

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a rudimentary application, Vogbrowser, is already available to offer video feeds to subscribers via RSS. It’s the logical evolution from the podcasting phase, according to a Wired News item.

“We think of it internally as TiVocasting,” said Scott Rafer, president and chief executive of the blog search engine Feedster, which has begun offering video feeds through a dedicated site, FeedsterTV. “Video stuff is now coming into play. It’s one thing to have a bunch of video files dumped into a folder on your desktop. The interesting future is when it is put into a TiVo-style mechanism.”

The uses to which such a… Read More »

Separating ads from editorial

There’s already been plenty of chatter about Marqui’s program to pay bloggers to write about the company. Today’s Globe and Mail offers an in-depth look at the program, including interviews with some who doubt its wisdom.

Jason Calacanis, co-founder of New York-based Weblogs Inc., is among those most concerned about the pay-to-blog model. He says the separation of advertising and content works well in traditional media and should be maintained on blogs. He says that although many of Marqui’s bloggers are going out of their way to distinguish the sponsored section from the rest of their blogs, it leaves readers skeptical.

Incidentally,… Read More »

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