*Big data is a popular term used to describe the exponential growth, availability and use of information, both structured and unstructured.
Big Data – What Is It?

Unstructured is probably an understatement – it’s quality not quantity. It’s only sales and advertsing who wet their pants with excitement with vast majority of Big Data, as the majority of Big Data is garbage only on use to sales and marketing. On social networking sites for example, there are plenty who will talk about themsleves and their lives to huge extent, because online, people are far less likely to tell you to shut up, unless you are offensive. Desperate is acceptable, as is boring (unless you are a teenager). Social networking has become a effort-whirlpool – I update LinkedIn and Twitter, but even that seems like too much effort. For all the sell of social networking, what does it really do anymore, apart from giving us a different way to communicate with people. Rhetorical question. Hint: it’s another way to communicate with people you know. But most people use it as platform for making statements and pointlessly filling up their timelines, avoiding waking up from a long bad dream.


howsociable_wordpress1What Keith Barrett would call “just a bit of fun”.   It searches a lot of major social networking/bookmarking sites for occurences of search term (i.e. your name or ID).  I was interested to finds my ID appears on sites I signed up to, but never used, such as ecademy and ning.  But sometimes interesting to find out where you have been mentioned!  Needs to cover a load more sites though.

HowSociable? – Brand Visibility Metrics

Check Username Availability

Check to see if your desired username or vanity url is still available at dozens of popular Social Networking and Social Bookmarking websites. Promote your brand consistently by registering a username that is still available on the majority of the most popular sites.

Check Username Availability at Multiple Social Networking Sites

Bluehoo – friends you bever knew you wanted


Up to now my only experience of bluetooth, outside of file transfer or wifi, was fending off numerous virus attempts.  I am sure there have been efforts before, but found this little app for social networking using bluetooth.  A simple enough service – just download software to your (probably already burgeoning!) mobile, and then you are enabled you to communicate with other Bluehoo users.

My biggest bugbear with these type of ideas is in order for it to work, everyone has to download the software.  Does this then preclude me from other mobile social networks, purely the software doesnt work that way?  As usual social networking applications are anything but – the “walled garden” approach to social networking is sadly still prevalent.

Surely applications that are portable and flexible are way forward.

Social & Professional Networking

Social Networking Disentanglement – it can have a purpose! There is more to the surge of web 2.0 website services, each vying for your information, and your contribution. The hardest thing is to work out who are the “stayers”, and those who are, are bought up by more money-oriented corporations, anxious to exploit their access to so much data.

The best way is to retain control of your data – it makes practical sense to use web services such as del.icio.us and twitter, for their felxibility and practicality, but at the same time you feed in data, you can also extract it anytime you, and merge and mix your social networking data. Provide feeds to others, based on criteria -or import others into your own. RSS has been most popular syndication format for a while, but now there are new formats, each with specific. Below is my personal top 6 to sign up on, and the reasons I have included also.



A short blog, that you can upate from twitter sites, from you email or mobile, and rss feed to syndicate, or import into a site of your own. This was been used in various practical ways – for example in emergency situation. Sending a txt in a situation that demanded immediacy, would more pragmatic way to send alert, than a phone call. Txts are then delivered to that Twitter user subcribers (your family, for example.

delicious Del.icio.us – one of the original web 2.0 services. Remained unchanged in style, and inappropriate buyout. Just a good social bookmarking tool.
tumblr TumblrA different style of blogging, with many ways to update asides the standard site method. You can add RSS feeds from your other social networking site subscriptions, but as yet any tools to effectively manage the chronology. Still a fantastic way to quickly and effectively blog.
engagd EngagdMaybe too techie for some – but this site is focussed on APML microformat, and its uses. A future for semantic web is looking likely tied in with some kind of profiling system. A way the user can control this, but not compromise the ease of use. This sevrice is raw, but will generate Attention Proifles, and Attention Item Ranking in APML formats. These are based on feeds you enter against your (free) account.
magnolia Magnolia
linkedin Linkedin

A pure professional networking site, and perhaps the oldest. This is genuine worldwide site, with a long history – recently opened up a little of its “walled garden”, otherwise I am not sure if I would have put it here.

Social Networking

Though I appreciate the value of web social networking tools, most rely on the fact your life is full and interesting enough to warrant to constant updates. Twitter is a good case in point – following the walkie-talkie principle – i.e. unless there is someone on the other end, you are talking into empty space. Basically these applications take too much effort for the majority of people. IM clients have been around a long while, and are available on a variety of platforms, and communicate via several protocols – so why do we need the new communications tools? Simple, they are new and evolving, and business are being built on them. Essentially we are being sold to by the salesman, who have a vested interest is us adopting these web tools into our lives.

Technology has history of providing solutions to something no-one hs asked for yet. Bluetooth was langishing for while as a technology, until bright sparks invented applications of the technology in a practical way. Twitter and Facebook are generally still dominated by those in the business, who have vested interest in using these tools. These people already have a social network, and are merely using these web tools as another means of communication between them. The next few years will prove interesting, as these great inventions will find purpose, or maybe evolve into something else that truly is universal, and not just another web application dependant of user-driven content.

Lab Pixies


A nifty site provide gadgets (or widgets for more familiar terminology) which you can integrate into variety of socila networkinng sites such as Typepad and MySpace. There are games, tools and a new addition – moodgets, where you can generate widget to display your mood to your friends. I am into socila networking as a professional still, rather than social networking. The main reason I like this site is for the nifty games I can put on a private page and play occasionally.

New development generation

I see mashup projects as a new stage of development, also opening up development to people who would not normally code. Public web API’s, open source and social networking are a big part of this. This is welcome evolution of development, and though still in an infancy phase, it is an increasingly viable methodology for business-driven projects. I am interested to hear of experiences with successful commercially-driven mashup projects.Â


jaffamonkey was started on a mashup project in 1999, though it had label as yet. Web Radio in its infancy was an expensive endeavour, so a flexible and cooperative approach was needed to get a viable audio streaming system up and running. Not financially remunerative, but enjoyable and a great learning experience. Sometimes it is not all about the revenue.