试驾 | driving seat | 시험 비행

Come together

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I got an email at the back-end of December from Harrison Tang asking me to try a new service that he’s involved in Spokeo, I delayed posting this as Harrison was going to respond to some questions that I had sent through, but no response . Spokeo is one of them duh, why didn’t someone think of this earlier ideas. In concept it touches on Marc Canter’s idea of a digital lifestyle aggregator.

Like predecessors before it has an impeccable back story with the founders hailing from Stanford following in the footsteps of David and Jerry or Larry and Sergey.


Spokeo is a social aggregator. In the same way that Ziki allows you to gather all your different user-generated content together, the difference is that Spokeo allows you to do this not only for yourself, but also for your friends.With your friends content they do not have to sign up themselves, if you have ‘friend’ status with them you can pull their content into your Spokeo. The service takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of keeping up with where your friends are at.

Some of the information seems disjointed though I expect that this has something to do with the way that different feeds provide information to the service and some of the feeds that I tried to put in were not liked by the service. Its nice to see that data integration problems don’t just occur in enterprise technology applications :-) .

The service features a comments section for feeds, but that does not go through to your MySpace page or flickr account and instead seems to reside inside Spokeo, it would be nice to have a publish-to-service option (of if there is one, make it clear to find and use).


From a more serious note, Spokeo can help social networks and services by reducing user cognitive dissonance is is a factor in they way young people launch, support and abandon profiles.

Making it easier to monitor their communities in a more efficient and effective way is likely make it easier to maintain presence across lots of services easily.

Other companies that touch on the same space are Ziki and Webjam (disclosure in the interests of transparency – one of Webjam’s founders and its soon-to-be-appointed head of marketing are ex-colleagues and friends of mine).

术语定义 | jargon watch | 용어의 정의

Jargon Watch: Spam 2.0 – the yoof are finding the OFF button

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The Clapper

Spam 2.0 – Commercial marketing on MySpace and other social networking sites, from every little gang of gangly youths that want to play in local bars to the Burger King himself.

This probably fuels the transient nature of young people’s digital identities, exasperating the way people have for quite some time drifted along attaching themselves for a while to different cultural tribes (often several at the same time.)

Young people are starting to recognise that privacy doesn’t exist on the web, but by breaking and starting new digital identities they can minimise the damage: whether its employers looking at their MySpace party pictures or marketers trying to keep in touch.

Kudos to Wired magazine Jargon Watch column for the definition. For those of you interested,  additional insight on young people and online identity can be found here (thanks to Iain Tait’s Crackunit blog) and former Yahoo: danah boyd’s blog postings and academic papers are well worth checking out.

试驾 | driving seat | 시험 비행


Reading Time: < 1 minute

I have contacts on spread across a number of different instant messaging platforms: Yahoo!, Jabber/Google Talk, AOL/iChat/ICQ and MSN services. I moved across different services as I moved jobs and clients, yet maintaining those contacts has a high value. Adium is an open source OS X software application that rolls all those messaging services in the one client.

Adium made it to v 1.0 the other day and I updated to the latest version. It has a number of features and a new look and feel that give it feature parity with many of the standalone clients for MacOS X, but without the usual advertising tie-ins. Adium has a whole eco-system of add-ons including a scripting language and a range of themes so that you have a range of look-and-feel options for IM conversations.

Some of the better ideas that have been adopted by latest version of mainstream messaging clients were out in this add-on community for a good while (like your current track playing on iTunes in your status field) and have now been incorporated into the main Adium product.

Organisation of different accounts is really easy and there is a more professional sheen to the latest version. However, the best thing about Adium is the price, free!