Friday, March 25, 2011

Language Matters: Name Your Feature Carefully

Chances Are That We May Never See
'Add As Foe' Button, But It Underscores
Nature of Complex Human Relationship
Just the other day I saw my colleague posted his unofficial feature request to Facebook: Add as foe. In binary world of Facebook where everyone is either a friend or not, either likes what you wrote or not, having this additional dimension to express your complex love-hate relationship seems to be a natural next step. Who knows? This maybe be the next big idea for new wave of social networking sites.

I don't know how realistic it will be to expect love-hate social dimension to be implemented in Facebook. But what is clear to me is the power of semantic. When we talk about a new social networking feature, it is very important to name it right to give the right meaning.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Google Social Search: A Man Is Known By The Company He Follows

To all Google fans out there, Google Social Search is now available to all Googlers in US. I didn't realize this until I saw my name popping up on upper right hand corner a few weeks ago. Then last week while I was searching for Amazon EC2 references, I saw the social search in action.

Google Now Makes Full Use Of
My Social Network When Searching; Well Done!
This is a small but significant step for Google. Since I wrote about the lack of social search feature on Google last October, Google has been working hard at improving search experience to include social discovery. If you connect your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Quora and Yelp account, Google will now search the posts made by friends that you have on the social networks and display the search results.

Since I only connected my Twitter account, I saw results from people that I follow. I'm assuming it works the same way with Facebook and LinkedIn (I've just added about half an hour ago, and I haven't seen any results from Facebook and LinkedIn yet).

I'm little excited about this feature and here's why:

Facebook Comments Box: Who Needs Anonymity?

It's finally here. A few days ago Facebook has officially made a bid to become portable identity service for all Web 2.0 sites. It's called Facebook Comments Box.

What used to be known as Facebook commenting plugin has been fully revamped to create super easy commenting system for all blogs, news sites and every sites in between. It allows users to sign on to their Facebook accounts and start posting comments to participating websites using their Facebook ID.

How To: Create a Comments Box with Facebook Connect in 5 Minutes
from Pete Bratach on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

AngelList: HotOrNot For Startups

After seeing about 20 tweets talking about 'angellist', I couldn't help but look. For a moment I thought it was yet another fallout from angelgate that I wrote about last year. It sounded like a leaked document outlining shady angel investment practices...

Got Killer Idea But No Seed Money?
AngelList Might Get You The Other Wing You Need...
In reality it was not. AngelList is a craigslist-like service for startups, but with a touch of crowd sourcing. In Hollywood executive pitch, I would call it HotOrNot for startups; connecting entrepreneurs with angel investors.

That seemed straight forward, but there have been lots of tweets about what we might be losing and what we might be gaining because of AngelList. Some praised it as break-through in venture funding (as Dave McClure wrote on his 500 Startup blog) while others cautioned the indiscriminate use of it citing increasing signs of overblown hightech startup bubble (as Mark Suster wrote on TechCrunch).

Which is it? Is AngelList a boon to angel investment and startup community or a failed experiment because of decreasing signal-to-noise ratio?