NAB Social streams

There were social feeds to be seen throughout all the halls at NAB. It seems to be a requirement to engage with your listeners and viewers. Some people have stayed with a simple twitter feed, some have brought in feeds from Facebook; more recently all the integrators are expanding to bring in multiple feeds, adding graphics from the likes of Instagram. Twitter is by far the most popular and active stream for text messages.

There are two main problems when harvesting messages. The first is being able to connect to the feed in a way that you can handle it, the second is to be able to pick out the best items from the feed and not let the bad stuff through. The Twitter “firehose” can pour out huge amounts of data that most clients cannot handle, hundreds of millions of messages per day. For this reason, Twitter only allow normal connections to read up to 10% of the messages and only in batches of a few hundred. They have their trusted distributors that do have access to all the data, and who then can give clients a more tailored feed at a rate that they are able to handle. These distributors like DataSift, Gnip, MassRelevance can sell services and also run algorithms to give trending and other aggregated data. Other sites such as Topsy give an interactive interface for accessing instantly. There are a growing number of specialist companies to provide aggregation services. Because there are so many variations, there are a variety of solutions and a variety of pricing models to choose from. A more full list of integration services is shown here.
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Social TV conference

Went down to the Social TV conference at Olympia this week. I didn’t have time for a full visit, but just wanted to note it down for entry into next years diary. It is a relatively small event, so easily handled, around a couple of dozen exhibitors. I didn’t get to the conference sessions, but found there were a few workshops on Facebook ROI that were useful. The TV aspects were looking at how to get treaming sites together with other content but you get the feeling that the social side has really only been tacked on at the edges. It will surely improve as the year goes by. Brightcove were there, as usual. They have settled on a range of price packages to allow people to dip their toe in the water easily. The other interesting addition was ooyala ; well worth a chat as they seem to have some new views on analytics and weren’t trying to do everything. They were quite happy to link with others such as Monterosa who showed some good interactive streaming web sites and seemed to have more of a hadle on what data (social or otherwise) was needed behind the scenes.
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Future of Web Apps – FOWA08

Wow. FOWA08. Another inspirational conference from Ryan Carson and his crew. I thought that going from a small Kensington location to the huge Excel Centre would bring a few wrinkles to iron out, but I thought that it scaled up in size perfectly. More speakers, business and developer tracks, more exhibitors and good informal tech talks as well; I came away with a real boost. Even more remarkable was the difference between start and end. The same person, Kevin Rose was there to open the sessions, soberly talking about the future of news and his Digg site and he was there at the end with Alex Albrecht in a mad, mad live recorded session for Diggnation that poured out into the Fox bar and ended with their DJ sessions. If you’ve ever watched the podcasts you’ll know the ‘chat with a beer’ format, but live, with a huge number of fans crowding in was something else indeed.

The feel of the conference was social in all senses.
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