Tuesday, June 17

SuperNova 2008 Day 1 - Spotlight on Social Computing

Originally published on ConversationHub

Presentation from Joe Kraus from excite, JotSpot and now google

Social is the new black? Nah.

We have always have been interested in others. All of the social apps are about connecting - social networking is the latest, most efficient way - but it is not new.

Three new paradigm shifts:
  1. Information discovery is changing - changing from a solitary activity to a social one.
    • How we share information moving from active to passive. Less interruptive.
    • Asynchronous relationship to sharing about personal activities: people are often extremely interested in what people are doing, but assume that most others are not very interested their lives.
    • For example: sending photos via email - requires a high social activation energy from the sender. Usually - this requires the person sending to feel that they are "important".
  2. Separating access to content from notification of content existence
    • Clay Shirky’s "publish, then filter"
    • Result: we are sharing a whole lot more. Seeing the rapid uptake on Facebook Newsfeed and FriendFeed.
  3. Moving from focusing on social sites and onto the social web
    • Right now, we go to Facebook and MySpace to "be social".
    • It is always about something we "did" at a site.
    • Web 1.0 examples: epinions, tripadvisor.
    • Today, increasingly social sites are the hubs of social activity. But the web itself should become more "social" - to know connections between people and need.

Thoughts on Google Friend Connect:

Currently, my identity on the web is very fragmented. How do I bring it together and federate it? How do I give secure access to a site to get personal account info?Emerging standards:
  • Identity: OpenID
  • Authorization: OAuth
  • Apps: OpenSocial

Google Friend Connect - trying to bring the three standards together.

OpenSocial allows for embedding social apps onto the blog. Allowing for connectivity - middleware for connecting between apps and data on different sites.

Next up, Presentation from Ozzie Diaz (Wireless/Mobility CTO, HP)

Title: From Mobile Computing to "Always Connected"

Marketplace always starts with: "Mobility and HP???"

Unfortunately, it is not that apparent - HP builds a lot of devices. HP is moving to the "always connected" user experience.

Richness versus Reach - many form factors, UIs and screens - from a user perspective - what is the relationship between/among all my devices. There is a fundamental issue with training behavior with new behaviors.

The Crossover - moving from CPU/device based to Cloud-based user experience:

[Ed Notes: OMG! we are back to the fat client/thin server versus thin client/fat server - I see "Chaos" on the screen].

Ozzie asks for a show of hands on how many connected devices we have. Lots of people with many connected devices. Device complexity and proliferation: grows with an order of magnitude.

The Complexity of Networks: insane number of technologies and devices - permutations insane.

Blurring the lines between our digital and real lives: Work (colleagues) - Home (household) - Community (friends) Connected experiences...always: devices to content.

Connections between people and content are the experiences not the technologies.

General Q/A:

Kwerb: how do social and mobility connect?
JKraus: more than likely the strongest connection is the list of frequently called friends.
Keep up with your friends actions/activities on your device.
Ozzie: seeing in emerging markets (AsiaPac), need for social interaction is no lesser, they are moving to "mobile experiences". Millions to 100s of millions - the two will have to coexist.

Kwerb: Carrier and operators in the middle - think that social computing model will translate into the mobile world?
JKraus: I steer clear of cable discussions.
Ozzie: Lately, sees more "positive" behavior to more open models. Interesting to see how to handle when your business is being eaten away by companies that play the open model. There is always a tension on the CAPEX spend on networks and the drive to make a network just be the "stupid network" - you just get by, we will do the services.

John Patrick: Discussion on moving to the social web - no marketing behind the idea. All of the products mentioned, there are unrememberable URLs, no info for non-techs, no value-proposition that is clearly articulated. When will someone spend the marketing dollars to get clarity?
JKraus: A consumer should never have to know about OpenID - the experience should be seamless and focused on easy login.

Marc Pinkus, Orange Labs: Genie - anyone remember? Multiple devices, multiple networks. How will you handle connectivity across multiple networks - authentication with light-weight devices.

Esther: Heading toward a singularity - going to connect to all of the networks, all of your friends, etc. Should you be revealing your social graph? What happens when we reach the "end state"? And then what happens after that?
JKraus: google lives-or-dies on privacy. My POV - first starts with more granular privacy that previously enabled. I am a "first problem we need to solve" kind of guy. Right now, the challenge is that, for example, giving my gmail account info gives the third party site the ability to access ALL of my information. I know the first step is to offer granularity to the user in terms of what people can access (e.g. address book).

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