Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Social Networks Side-By-Side

(updated 4/5- added screenshots & SocialThing) I’ve been doing some informal (ahem) research on social networks: pownce, friendfeed, plurk & socialthing, and here is a featureset cheatsheet, going from old-to-new, so you too can sound in-the-know. This is a select few of frequently used ones- not a survey of the overwhelming amount out there.

MySpace: we all know what this is- profile-oriented site with bulletin boards, free-form design (which makes it ugly, in my opinion) and lots of widgest (ad-hoc applications).

Facebook: same as MySpace, but design is locked. Cleaner, and they’ve setup some privacy. Users can create “statuses” which are live- mobile and iPhone integration is great!- messaging. Scrabble is fun. I get quite a few links to this blog when I post an article. User adoption is very high.

Twitter: Live messaging, from user-to-many or user-to-user. Direct mail is available (private messaging to one other user). You can see all of your friend’s twitters. No other features, it’s very simple. Lately the systems have been faulty and failing, which led me to follow one of my high profile friends to this service… and onto the newer, more noteworthy social networks:


A social oriented extension of Digg, brought to you by (the founders of) Digg. Persnickety barriers to registration, adding friends, etc. turned me off of full adoption and obsession. If you’re a fan, please post as I kind of don’t get the allure. Example of Pownce.


FriendFeed: I call it “bloglines with comments.” It absorbs, or aggregates, feeds from almost every web2.0 site that will give them: youtube, stumbledupon, twitter, facebook, etc. That’s not new- what is new is the algorithm it uses to sort comments and posts- including 2nd degree friends. I’m still into it and it’s been 2 weeks (which is a long time for me!) The comments are kept on FriendFeed (that’s a negative). Example of FriendFeed.
Plurk shot
This is a graphic status view of you & your friends, across a timeline (left to right which is culturally specific!). Status posts are expandable, nice. No support of different feeds, that I can see, so pretty different in concept than FriendFeed. Bonuses: a “karma points” system that opens up more features and benefits. The multi-lingual support is good, and the design is knock-your-socks-off brilliant. Example of Plurk.

(in Beta) I tried this out earlier today, and I don’t have a lot of friends (sniff) so it’s tough to tell what the whole experience will be like. I’ve noticed that with these networks you really have to get a lot of activity to see all the bells and whistles. This is along the lines of FriendFeed- a feed aggregator- or lifestream. Huge additional feature is the ability to post the status to all feeds like twitter, which you can’t do in FriendFeed. Commenting ability is limited here, more expanded on FriendFeed. Still, it’s in Beta. Neat feature: “voting” on feeds, which gives you an idea of the popularity of various social networks. See snippet.
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Written on Wednesday, 04. June 2008 at 12:09 In the category blogging, social networks. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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  1. I don’t know how you keep up with all this. I’m about halfway through joining all of these. It seems like I can barely keep pace with all of it. I’m glad you didn’t review everyone of them as it seems like a new one is being born every single day.

    I just had a tenant lease out space from me and he’s in total stealth mode. He quit his Microsoft job last week and is renting out space from me now. All he would tell me is that he’s going to make Facebook traffic look small. I can only assume that he’s creating yet another social networking web 2.0 company.

    Comment: Peter Chee – 11. June 2008 @ 12:25 am

  2. Can you do the same sort of review with the business-oriented social networks, like LinkedIn, Plaxo, Xing, and Naymz?

    I’m not sure if my mindset is too old, but my default is NOT to join these networks unless I can see an absolute benefit for myself. I’m on Facebook to stay in touch with friends I’ve lost touch with (Hi Anna) and on LinkedIn to keep in touch with work colleagues who move on to other companies. I haven’t been on myspace or Plaxo in eons, and I never bothered to sign up for twitter, xing, pownce, or any of the other many many social networking sites. My time is pretty limited, and I just don’t see the benefits of most of these.

    Comment: Paul Ardoin – 25. July 2008 @ 10:09 am

  3. Paul- totally. I recommend Jeremiah Owyang’s blog, Web Strategy- and namely the social networking category, and he orients almost 100% of his stuff to business application. I met him at a slosh-con at House of Spirits on 2nd Street, a Valleywag mixer.

    Peter- I allocate an hour or so a day catching up to a few of the key ones that I like. I signed up for about 10 to write this post, and also just to “catch-up.” I think it’s healthy to check in maybe every month or so with ones that have lapsed. And some networks dont’ require 24×7 maintenance, liked LinkedIn. But of course, it’s how long the network lasts, who’s on it, and how into it you are. I am kind of suspicious of people that spend tons of time on them – like, don’t they have a *job* haha. Myself included of course.

    Comment: banane – 28. July 2008 @ 4:42 pm

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