Friend Connect for Blogs?

May 15, 2008

You might have read about Google’s new Friend Connect service. There’s definitely been no shortage of news coverage about it.

I haven’t seen that much of it so far, other than the examples on the web site. I’m looking forward to watching the campfire videos over the next few days. But I have to say, I am very interested and intrigued by the service. So, I’ve signed up for the preview release.

Lots of bloggers, myself included, want our blogs to be about community. We want our blogs to be not just a place where we can be heard, but a place where people can connect, and have their say as well. We want it to be a conversation, a community.

As such, I’m sure there’s got to be a use for a service such as Friend Connect. In trying to build a community, an easy, one-click way to add social features has got to be useful.

That said, I don’t have any concrete ideas yet. I’ll definitely be thinking about it, especially as more demos and videos come out. But I thought I’d throw it out to you guys as well. Lots of you are smarter than I am.

So, what do you guys think of Friend Connect? Useful? Any ideas already on how you’re going to use it?

Connecting with others

Apr 22, 2008

So Skype has added unlimited land-line calls to Europe and Asia.

From a selfish standpoint, being in Singapore, this is great news. And hopefully it’s going to make it easier for you to reach me (my number’s on my sidebar if you want to talk to me – I’m always glad to have a conversation with my readers).

But there is a bigger point to all of this. There’s great value in surrounding yourself with the right people – people who inspire you and make you better. And developments like this make it easier to meet these sort of people.

No matter what you’re interested in, there are bound to be like minded people. There are lots of interesting, intelligent, inspiring, creative people out there.

And it’s now so easy to meet them. The barriers are being removed. Distance is no longer a barrier. To an extent, expertise isn’t a barrier anymore (if a 17 year old kid like me can have conversations with an award winning marketer like Mitch Joel, how much of a barrier can expertise be?).

How are you making the most of today’s technology to interact with inspiring people?

Photo: Meeting new people by Random Shennanigans

Who are you writing for?

Apr 4, 2008

Seth Godin recently asked that question.

Are you writing for the first time visitor? Or for the one who has been following you since the start?

I’d like to throw in a third part. Or are you writing for yourself?

That third question is the one I’m struggling with a bit lately. Where do you draw the line between being expressing your thoughts about what matters to you and writing about what people are interested in?

If you go too far to the former, you run the risk of being insignificant – speaking with nobody listening. And that’s not what I want this blog to be about. I don’t want it to be a ghost town, or just me ranting to nobody. I hope to be able to be part of a community, and make an impact on people.

But on the other hand, if I drift too far to the latter, is it compromising on authenticity and who I am?

And that’s not even going into the tone and style of writing.

Honestly, it’s something I’m still trying to figure out. It’s a tough balance, in my opinion, and I’m not sure. Any suggestions?

The Story behind the Social Media Breakfast Singapore

Mar 27, 2008

I’m getting really excited about the Social Media Breakfast in Singapore. 40 people have already confirmed on Facebook that they’ll be going, with another 30+ who said “Maybe”. And not to mention the people who aren’t on Facebook, like myself.

For those of you who don’t know yet, here are the details:

  • Date: Saturday, March 29, 2008
  • Time: 9 – 12.30pm
  • Place: Frujch @ SMU (Basement 1, School of Information Systems)
  • Registration: Add your name at the Facebook Event. Registration isn’t necessary, though – you can show up even if you didn’t register.
  • Cost: $4 per person

Why did I want to bring the Social Media Breakfast to Singapore? To put it simply, to build a centralized community here. I’ve been blogging for almost a year now, and until recently, I never really knew any local bloggers. And it always irked me. I’ve seen the local communities overseas (when I went for Podcamp Boston 2), and always listened in envy when other podcasters and bloggers talked about being able to just call up someone else and go for dinner. A local, real life communities built around social media was something I really wanted.

I got to meet Daryl after an audio comment on Six Pixels of Separation. That was one of the first contact I had with any local blogger. Through him, I found Nabilah’s blog. It made me realize that I wasn’t alone, and that there was a strong social media community here in Singapore, like I always believed, but never found. That’s why I brought the idea of the Social Media Breakfast to Daryl, and thankfully, he liked the idea, and has helped me make it happen. The coolest part of all this? The breakfast will probably be the first time I’m meeting him in person.

So, what’s going to happen at Frujch on Saturday? There’ll be food, and it’ll basically be a time for socializing, meeting new people, and having conversations. That’s all there is to it. You don’t necessarily even have to talk about social media. It’s just about getting to know others, in order to help build a local community. To help lighten the atmosphere, and stir more conversations, we’re taking a page out of Jeff Pulver’s book, and using his “tagging kit” idea.

Here’s Daryl and Sheylara explaining the kit and introducing the location.

I think it’s going to be awesome, and I really can’t wait for it.

Thanks to Daryl, Nabilah and Sheylara for helping to organize it. Thanks to Jeff Pulver for the advice. Thanks to Bryan Person, Connie Bensen and all of you who have helped spread the word, through your blogs, twitter stream, or otherwise. Thanks also to all who have said they’re coming. None of this would have been possible without all of you.