Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Open Source Community Platforms

For some reason, last week was the week of open-source community platforms for me. The topic just kept coming up again and again. Of course, I have a soft spot for open source. The first web server my team ever built circa 1995 was on Linux and Apache. It was easy and accessible, and because of that, it was powerful.

Here are a few of the platforms that have been on my mind of late. I'd love to hear more from folks with experience on any of these or other platforms.

The big news of last week was the opening of the Facebook API.

I spoke with these guys last week. Their product is compelling.

I had lunch with a colleague who runs a community at a large non-profit, and their site is built on Drupal. She had great things to say.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Is MySpace the Woodstock of the Millenials?

I am watching a documentary on the 1960's this evening and thinking about how music carried the message of the time--use drugs, put flowers in your hair, move to San Francisco. The kids at were doing things their parents had never done. And that scared a whole lot of adults.

So you have to think, if drug use and rock and roll can't shake adults today, then maybe social media is, in some ways, a way to rebel. Just like Haight-Ashbury or Woodstock, social networking communities such as MySpace are a gathering place, a place to be themselves and to be together.

I'm not an expert in this exact topic, but if you're interested in exploring it further, I suggest checking out Danah Boyd's work. There's a link to her blog on this page. And if you have any thoughts around this I'd be interested in hearing them. I'll be thinking about this as well.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A Social Media Framework

Even though Web 2.0 is not new, it's still confusing to many organizations. Trying to figure out how to play in the social media space can be challenging.

I put together this Social Media Framework in an attempt to provide some thought starters.

It is divided into four categories based on revenue generation models and user needs. Revenue generation is divided into two very broad categories, advertising and commerce. User needs are divided into relationships and information.

It will eventually be part of a Point of View paper, however, I'm previewing it here and open to feedback.

The Power of Crowds

The people spoke, or rather posted, yesterday. Some say they revolted.

If you haven't heard by now, Digg management removed a posting that included an HD-DVD encryption key that would unlock copy-protected HD movies. In response to the removed post, users flooded the site, posting the key again and again until they took the site down themselves through the weight of their own traffic.

Today Digg is back up and seems relatively calm, but this is an interesting experiment in power, freedom of speech and trust in the online space. From's Digg's standpoint, they were protecting themselves against the threat of legal action, but in removing the post they alienated their user base.

In the end, Digg backed off, but they may still face legal troubles, troubles which may pose the ultimate threat from a sustainability standpoint. Will they survive it financially? Maybe each of their million+ users contribute $1 to Digg's legal fund. Stay tuned.