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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Enterprise messaging

We’ve had a look at some of the twitter-like systems that are based around enterprise usage. This is just a quick knee-jerk reaction from our experience over the last couple of weeks. We wanted to use a system internally, to see if there was any advantages over email, and perhaps to think about how to take advantage of some of the social momentum that is around at the moment.

Initially we used an installation of Laconica, now StatusNet, which is a twitter clone that runs internally on a Unix system and then we setup corporate sites at both Yammer and Present.ly to see the advantages the full connection to the web would bring. It will be interesting to monitor their usage over the next couple of months as we try them for a project or two.
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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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