Friday, May 30, 2008

Advice from Women Entrepreneurs [Women 2.0 & Stanford Women in Business - Sat 5/10/08]

Beyond the Spark: Entrepreneurship Redefined
Sponsored by Women 2.0 & Stanford Women in Business

Many other blogs which covered this conference, including the wonderful official Women 2.0 conference wrap-up.

See my May 10 microblog at FriendFeed for the other blogs.

My focus here is the advice & stories that the women presenters offered to the 95% female audience.

DRAFT (Part I): Fri 5/30/08 6 pm PDT

Shaherose Charania at Women 2.0 (LinkedIn, Facebook)

Will women see "world problems as opportunities"?

Julie Sarpong from The Prince's Trust - offering practical solutions to help change young lives - travelled from England.

"It's a pleasure to be at a function where men are in the minority."

10 am Fireside Chat: “The future of entrepreneurship: What is fueling the fire?”
Chris Shipley, co-founder of Guidewire Group in 2004 - Visit her blog or e-mail her at (LinkedIn Facebook)

"There are more women here than I've seen pass thru my office in all my years." (later amended to "for business purposes").

Chris liked the "business plans" prayer flags in the back of the room.

Rachel Payne, Senior Program Officer, Program Development (LinkedIn Facebook)

Rachel said it was intimidating in the beginning to work with Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Google is always concerned with the "big picture" and affecting 100+ million people. is the semi-charitable arm of Google (some profit, some non-profit), which has the advantage of being able to "lobby" as corporations can't. Might be both a funding organization and an operational organization.

They focus on 3 areas: (1) Climate Change (2) Global Public Health (3) Global Development, and have 5 core initiatives

How do you focus on supporting & accelerating entrepreneurs in the third world?

(A) In many countries, the best job is a government job. It's not like the US entrepreneurial environment.
(B) Why are there so few non-US female entrepreneurs (outside microfinance)? Rick is too high!

Chris Shipley added
(C) In some countries, the word "entrepreneur" = "scammer"

Micro-ventures? Earlier were called Micro-Equity. How do we provide Risk Capital to SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises)?

Question: Kenya/Tanzania - How do you stimulate players in the SME space?
(A) Only 2% of SMEs ever get financed?
(B) Using mentors from Google is NOT scalable.

Ghana - Joseh Tacky sells meat foods. Most meat in Ghana is bought in the open air. 1st 'Believe It and Become' alumni spoke at TED.

Question: How can we demonstrate that the sector as a whole is viable?

Question: What is's biggest success so far?
Planet Read - learn to read by watch 'same-language subtitled' Bollywood songs. In one year, 200 million people in India are learning to read.

Not everyone is a good "social entrepreneur", but as Bill Drayton says "Everyone is a change=maker!"

11:10 am Offered audience members 6 $50 certificates to share their stories (we only heard from 3 people).

Next to come - pics & descriptions of the amazing 3 entrepreneurs from the audience.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Random Thoughts on Data Portability Complications [Technical Note]

This is kind-of off-topic for my blog, so if you're interested in business & spirituality, just skip this technical note.

I've linked to some of the major Data Portability Discussions & Articles at FriendFeed. See this Data Portability discussion started by Robert Scoble on FriendFeed

Ellen Petry Leanse's "MicroPost: Data Portability…what’s in it for me?" (@chep2m) asked me why I was worried about Data Portability? Could I provide details?

My quotes from Robert Scoble's discussion:

Open standards have some tough questions which are only semi-technical. (1) How do we handle people wanting different data in LinkedIn vs. Facebook? e.g. work e-mail in LinkedIn, personal e-mail in Facebook (2) Who actually owns a tag on a picture in Facebook? Who owns the wall post - the owner or the recipient, especially of a chain-post. (3) Who owns "scraped" data (ala ZoomInfo), and who has the rights to correct the data? I had to e-mail Spock to change some old data CONTROLLED by a defunct e-mail.

Data portability on social networks opens up OS issues (1) replication - e.g. loops, time-stamps with different clocks (2) failure-recovery & sabotage-recovery modes and decisions (3) control & authentication (4) telling apart "updates" versus "deliberate changes" - the desire to have different information in 2 places - versioning & forking (5) security, when the weakest link fails

I used to work in a Operating Systems laboratory. One of our topics was synchronization.

Let's say you have 3 accounts: MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook...

(1) Some people keep different info deliberately.
e.g. one lady has full bio on LinkedIn, but very light personal stuff (no work details) on MySpace for dating
some of my friends have different e-malls
(a) LinkedIn is a networking address, and not their best one
(b) Facebook for bloggers often has no phone numbers, but for most people it's the only place they give out cell numbers

I've been watching the behaviors of ~500 friends on social networks for the past 10 months, and they vary a LOT.

Some use LinkedIn like a big Plaxo, others like a very trusted group of friends.
Most use Facebook as personal and give home address & cell phone, but some use it for business networking - no e-mail, no phone, just website

(2) Most people consider phone numbers more private than e-mails (DM, Twitter, etc...)
EXCEPT doctors. For liability reasons, they don't want patients sending them info via e-mail.

(3) But lets say you want all your MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook info to be the same.
a) Your e-mail is "" on all
b) MySpace is updated to ""
c) MySpace goes down before transmitting info to others.
d) LinkedIn is updated to ""
e) MySpace comes back up.
f) What e-mail does Facebook import? Esp. if time clocks are messed up?

What happens if crashes, and is restored from an older backup, which has an older e-mail?
Will the "older e-mail" be perceived as an update?

There are so many scenarios! After 1-2 years of research, I gave up the "automatic conflict resolver" idea, and decided that "humans must be involved" (or that someone much smarter than me was needed to create a decision tree or Bayesian Network to automatically resolve conflicts". Best I think we can do is a 95% automatic resolver, which asks for human confirmation in tough cases (or ALL cases via Captcha)>

(4) "Single point of failure" - If someone hacks, the rest of my sites are relatively safe. What about the future? I was a hacker in the past. Everything is hackable. We hired a guy who broke into a lot of major corporations as "Head of Security" for one of our companies. Also, many friends have had servers physically stolen. The rash of stolen credit card data stories lately does NOT make me feel safer.

Some personal details on variant info.

(4) I have 6-10+ e-mail accounts. I give Facebook & LinkedIn almost all e-mail addresses, since I use them like "white pages",
for high school, college, work, and fun friends to find me.

(5) I'm a nomad. What do I use for location? People with 2-10+ homes/countries?

(6) What happens when "scraped data" starts fighting with "real data". scraped a page for me, which I was UNABLE to edit, since the e-mail address on that page had been defunct for 6 years. Took me 2 weeks to correct & recorrect the information (since a later bug caused it to resurface).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sat 5/10/08 Women 2.0 conference at Stanford

9:00 am registration/breakfast
10:00 am welcome

Unlike any other conference...

"The Stanford Women in Business and Women 2.0 Conference dedicates 50% of the program to encourage interaction, round-table discussions, pitching and voting for the next big idea. This is a conference where everyone thrives by sharing what they know, and brings together thought leaders and emerging stars to collectively discuss the principles of entrepreneurship and technology. Together, we can address some of the world’s biggest problems and how to solve them with entrepreneurship!"

See FriendFeed Microblog for some conference comments and 236 photos (at Picasa & Facebook). Blog article to-be-coming.

"Personalized Newspapers for Organizations": From Facebook to FriendFeed to the future.

Imagine if your organization had a continuously-updated collection of "10-10,000 personal newspapers" about all your people.

What would be the management & communication possibilities?

DATE: Fri 7:26 AM PT

Facebook randomly picks actions/activities of your friends and creates daily NewsFeeds for others. It's a curiosity, but the randomness is not useful working on real-life projects. I found Facebook's NewsFeed more helpful when I had 10 friends, but with 200+ friends, aggh!

Facebook's Mini-Feed is a newspaper of all your actions (ones you choose to make public). More useful.

I can view someone's Facebook Mini-Feed and see what they've been doing for the past day or week. I can drill-down in a specific area (e.g. "Status stories", "Relationship stories", "Photo stories", etc...)

NOTE: For security, some of us "older types" on Facebook don't post anything to Mini-Feed. :-)

Paul Buchheit, Bret Taylor, Sanjeev Singh, Jim Norris, and their team of 7 people at FriendFeed have taken the Facebook NewsFeed/Mini-Feed to the next generation.

(Photo by Noah Berger from New York Times 10/1/07 article)

FriendFeed doesn't support all the working-group, political/control, and privacy features that a real-world organization might need for managing communication and projects, but it's an amazing step in the right direction.

Here are the possible "personalized newspapers" you can choose from in FriendFeed. I'll use my FriendFeed account as an example.
(1) My newspaper - My shared items (with comments & ratings from others)
(2) My discussion newspaper - Other people's items which I liked or commented on.
(3) Friends newspaper - Items from me and my friends (with comments & ratings) Note: I can't show this to people without a FriendFeed account.
(4) Public newspaper - Everyone's items (with comments & ratings)

But I can also see other people's newspapers.
Robert Scoble and Louis Gray are two insightful on-line technology journalists who write and

They seem to have their "ears to the ground" and their "fingers on the pulse" of social media technology.
(5) Robert Scoble's newspaper - Robert Scoble's shared items
(6) Robert Scoble's discussion newspaper - Other people's shared items which Robert Scoble liked or commented on.
(7) Louis Gray's newspaper - Louis Gray's shared items
(8) Louis Gray's discussion newspaper - Other people's shared items which Louis Gray liked or commented on.

Unlike the slowly-changing Facebook NewsFeed, all of these "personalized newspapers" continuously update anytime someone posts new items, adds new comments, or decides to "like" shared items.

*** Exciting management possibilities for communicating in small working groups, and across large organizations. ***
People have been trying to design collaboration technology or 20 years, and had marginal success. I think the "personalized newspaper" concept will become a key component of business communication in the next 5-10 years. Certain high-level executives already have employees who painstakingly create "personalized newspapers" for them each day. But it's been out of reach for small organizations and ordinary people.

It's a new look at the "information push-pull" debate.

When you are a manager, when do you
(A) "pull" information from a direct report (e.g. Go into their office, look around, and ask questions)

And when do you ask your direct report to
(B) "push" information to you (e.g. Deliver a status report to you every Friday 10 am)

Everyone has different management preferences, but the "personalized newspaper" allows much more flexibility than simply push-pull.
There's some possibilities to
(1) Declutter the E-mail Inbox (those pesky "cc:s" needed to keep everyone "in the loop")
(2) Waste less time generating status reports for weekly meetings
(3) Spend less time traveling to people's offices for "management reasons"

Imagine if we were to create a FriendFeed-like system which handled the complexity of people working on multiple projects with various groups, power and politics relationships, and real-world selective-information sharing.

If you like to manage very closely, you could subscribe to lots of people, all of their projects, and even people in other company divisions, etc.. You could read your "personal newspapers" and drill-down very often to see details.

If you have a more "hands-off" management style, you could subscribe to fewer people and only a few of the items in each project. You could drill-down very judiciously, and just observe until intervention feels warranted.

"Light-weight Communication" was a term I heard used by Professor BJ Fogg, who teaches Psychology of Facebook at Stanford.

Can we use communcations that are not as heavy-weight as e-mails, phone calls, weekly paper status reports? Hmmm....
I'm excited to see what happens next!

Here are two videos of Robert Scoble talking with the amazing FriendFeed team.

QIK Video from FriendFeed party (Thu 5/9/08 5:42 min)

Robert Scoble interviews Louis Gray, as he introduces the FriendFeed (Oct 2007) team of 7 people. Tudor Boseman (#7) joined last week. Sanjeev Singh, Jim Norris, Ana Yang, Kevin Fox.

Posting of this video at

QIK Video on FriendFeed: Conversation with Kevin Fox - Chief Designer (Thu 5/9/08, 10:29 min)

Robert Scoble interviews Kevin Fox (as Louis Gray describes 'designer extraordinaire and all-around nice guy')

Mini-Transcript of Robert Scoble's questions and Kevin Fox's answers at

And here's the FriendFeed discussion of this article. Mike Reynolds mentions "FriendFeed for the Enterprise" and the "fluidity" of FriendFeed. Hutch Carpenter talks about "activity streams" emerging as the real benefit of social networks.

- Mitchell Tsai (Harvard '86) - CEO, Spiritual Business Companions : FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Facebook

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

7 Ways to use LinkedIn for Business Professionals

I began using LinkedIn seriously in Nov 2007, so here's some personal tips from the past 5 months.

DRAFT: Tue 5/6/08 6:17 pm
Rushed because Cathryn Hrudicka has a meeting tomorrow where she's presenting.

*** (0) Sign up for LinkedIn & Connect to "Ron Bates", an "open networker" who accepts all invitations. ***
His 40,000+ 1st-level contacts will become your 2nd-level contacts.
His 1-3 million (?) 2nd-level contacts will become your 3rd-level contacts.

This allows you to try the features of LinkedIn more easily (without paying $240/yr to see everyone).

*** (1) LinkedIn has become my first choice for Creating Business Dossiers for negotiations & possible business contacts. ***
My choice of search engines when creating dossiers on people (in the order I use them) is:
(A) LinkedIn (20-25% of my college classmates are here - Harvard 1982-90)
(B) Pipl - Uses the "deep web" to research people (phone numbers,, birth/death records, marriage)
(C) Spock (beta) - Finds people's photos & extracts keywords from webpages to assemble a bio (ala Zoom Info)
(D) Google
(E) Viewzi (beta) - Multiple graphical views (uses many cool ideas from the last 20 years of Human-Computer Interface)
(F) Intellius - Addresses and telephone numbers

When creating 15 dossiers for one of my Dad's business negotiations, I was able to find 8/15 (over 50%) on LinkedIn.

*** (2) LinkedIn shines at differentiating between 5 possible "Jane Doe"s. ***
There are two major problems when finding people on the Internet. (A) Finding too many (B) Not finding the person you want.

LinkedIn really helps filter out the "wrong" people. Often just having a current company, current state, college, or old company helps immensely to narrow a search to the "right" person.

*** (3) LinkedIn helps you find mutual interests, schools, work places, companies, and charitable interests. ***

*** (4) LinkedIn helps you navigate a social path to a desired business contact. ***
This requires that you build a personal LinkedIn connections set first.
I'm often surprised at the way the world works. Looking at people's connections, a friend from MA and CA somehow met in GA.

*** (5) LinkedIn has helped me find 40-50 old college and high school friends, often very good business contacts after 20-30 years. I've also been able to locate some old work colleagues from Microsoft Research. ***

*** (6) Appearing in LinkedIn searches can result in unexpected cold calls, business offers, and interesting contacts. ***
When I first posted a LinkedIn profile, I appeared in 30-60 searches/day.

In the post-1990 world, where many HR people search resumes by keyword, it's helpful to have 2 resumes.

(A) Old easy-to-read 1-page version for CEOs
(B) New "curriculum vitae" 100+-page version with lots of keywords & people's names.

After adding tons more stuff to my LinkedIn resume, I now appear in 800-1,000 searches/day (300-500 on weekends).
And I'm getting about 1-3 intriguing connections/offers/e-mails/proposals per day.

*** (7) Periodically looking at new LinkedIn contacts of your friends can broaden your network slowly. ***
(A) Seeing people you know appear as someone else's connection
(B) Seeing an intriguing name or job title pop-up, you can read their bio.

Hope these 7 LinkedIn tips help your business career. :-)

- Mitchell Tsai (Harvard '86) - CEO, Spiritual Business Companions : FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Facebook

Finding Technology News: Is FriendFeed the new Google or Citeseer?

Over the past two weeks, I've found my behavior changing. This is a good thing!

DRAFT: Tue 10:30 AM PT Only have 15 min to write...

*** (1) FriendFeed (NOT Google) is where I'm now typing my searches when researching a technology article. ***

Before when I found an article intriguing, I would type the title of the article into Google. This would give me other people who had linked to the article, or were discussing the topic.

No more. FriendFeed is providing a window into the artistic process of insightful journalists (aka bloggers) and dedicated news junkies.

*** (2) How do I search now? ***

Say I have an article like "FriendFeed Tips: Do You Use All The Great Features of Friend Feed", and I want to find out more.

(A) Type article title into FriendFeed search box with "who: everyone".

- Look up & down the timeline.
- Who first brought this article into the FriendFeed community? What is their background? What sources do they use (e.g. what else might I be reading?)
- Which discussions seem the most interesting? Or most likely to become interesting? (e.g. saved by Robert Scoble or Louis Gray)

*** (3) Use "comment" or "like" to create a "personal newspaper" to revisit the conversation in 2-24+ hours. ***

I started doing this about 2 days before Robert Scoble's wonderful article on participation & discovery.

NOTE: Don't be too aggressive. There's a daily limit on "likes" of around 65-75 "likes"/day. I started hitting this at 160 "likes".

*** (4) Search the wider web. (A) Type title into Google (B) Type URL of article into Google ***

Gaurav Mishra makes an appeal for an application to unify the "fragmented conversations" of the Internet.

However, one can get stuck in the FriendFeed community. Find the wider conversation which is happening.

(A) Type the article title into Google.

(B) Type the URL of the article into Google.

NOTE: You may have to try variants of the URL (e.g.)

(C) Sometimes useful is typing the article titles/URLs of 2-4 interesting articles into Google at once.

Two major issues in refining searches (1) Too much (2) Too little

Friday, May 2, 2008

Are bi-directional friend links of Facebook and LinkedIn passé? FriendFeed and Twitter use uni-directional "fan" links.

FriendFeed and LinkedIn demonstrate the power of uni-directional "fan" links, also used by Facebook for public personas (and musicians, bloggers, and politicans so popular that they hit Facebook's 4,999 friend technical limit).

*** Note 1 (of 4): Why? 10,000 people can make a "fan" or "following" link to you, but you have the power/choice to link to only 50 people and keep your life manageable. ***

I'm a newbie to online social networks, having only two contacts on LinkedIn from Oct 2004 to Nov 2007, just because two close friends badgered me with invitations. Turns out, they weren't even heavy users of online social networks. :-)

I only started using Facebook in July 2007 because I wanted to send some African dance photos to a cute lady in Australia. :-)

Then I shifted to Tribe.Net where most of my Burning Man and dancing friends are.

Finally, I tried LinkedIn in Nov 2007. Bingo, 20-25% of my Harvard college 1982-1990 friends were there! I've been having a blast speaking with friends from 20-25 years ago. Last week, out of the blue, I got a LinkedIn invitation from a high school buddy I haven't seen in 26 years. Go, LinkedIn, you rock!

The future of the "link". Who knows what might happen with today's bright engineers, writers, designers, and visionaries?

*** Note 2: I would like many different types of "friend link" or "fan link". How about a range of "invitation links" and "response links"? ***
For invitations I would like a cross between Facebook "pokes" and Friend "friending". Maybe not as elaborate as "Superpoking". But the LinkedIn "connection" is too limiting. How can I separate my high school & college buddies from my past business associates?

Some people use LinkedIn as a glorified address book (ala Plaxo), advertise their services like LinkedIn is the 2008 Yellow pages, are trying to find jobs, or trying to recruit employees and management. Other LinkedIn people are "Open" or "Libertine" networkers who valiantly try to get 40,000 connections.

Do I really want my LinkedIn account to look like a Yellow Pages? Joe Bartling's paper has a good discussion of this issue, but I don't totally agree with his approach.

I received a wonderful e-mail from a 1986 Harvard classmate declining to connect because she only wanted to connect with people she knew well. Nicest refusal I've gotten so far. Style! That was nice. :-) Some people keep very closed high-quality networks of people they can personally vouch for in work situations.

I've ended up trying a mixed approach in LinkedIn over the past 5 months (somewhat Joe Bartling's paper).

a) 80% of my connections are people I know in person.

b) 15% are people who've invited me, or people I've invited because I've been impressed with their real-life activities, research papers, insightful journalism, or website quality.

c) 5% are the Top 9 people on LinkedIn (who's mega-connections help me separate the inactive and active from the 24.5 million LinkedIn accounts - maybe only 21 million accounts still exist, but I don't know how many people are active. Some of my friends only check LinkedIn every few months. One active LinkedIn user took 5 months before accepting my invitation, but that's another story.).

In practice, I almost never run into anyone (with 10+ connections) who's not 3-degrees-of-connection away from me because of the Top 9 LinkedIn people.

However, this experience on LinkedIn has suggested to me that I would prefer access to different types of links. Now I'm in the quandary of fielding LinkedIn invites from people who might be interesting, but wondering how to protect the privacy of people in my network. Not sure. And should my personal friends have access to my general business network or my respected work colleagues?

Some proposed "invitation links"
1) I-am-a-Fan of X
2) I-am-a-Work Colleague of X
3) I-am-a-Casual/Hobby Friend of X
4) I-am-a-Personal Friend of X
5) I think X is hot
6) I want to be a friend of X
7) I would like to business network with X
8) I want to party with X
9) I am-a-family or relative of X
10) I would like contact email from X ("heavy-weight communication")
11) I would like a Twitter address from X ("light-weight communication")
12) I would like a website address from X
13) I think X does very good work.
14) I think X does fantastic kick-butt work.
15) I have personal experience that X does very good work
16) I have personal experience that X does fantastic kick-butt work.
17) I think X is a very empathetic person.
18) I value X as a good friend.

And general or fuzzy "invitation links"
19) I would like an undefined business relationship with X
20) I-am-a-Business Contact of X

From the past 10 months of trying social networks, it appears that people use INVITATIONS as COMMUNICATION (even the infamous Facebook application invite-SPAM described in BJ Fogg's Stanford class on Designing Facebook Applications).

BJ Fogg is currently teaching a Spring 2008 "Psychology of Facebook" class which is swamped with 800+ participants (many non-Stanford business professionals).

So far, the responses to online invitations have been limited in choice.

How can I quickly say (with one mouse-click on a pull-down=menu) "I can't accept your business invitation right now, but here's my Twitter address (or website URL)"? Right now, it takes too long!

Let's turn invitations and responses into real communication.

For "response links" and "relationship links", I would like to have all of the following additional choices:
1) X is-a-fan of mine
2) X is-a-work-colleague
3) X-is-a-casual-friend
4) I-am-in-conflict-with-X
5) X-is-not-a-friend of mine
6) X-is-my-Direct Report

I think there's a need for conflicting invitation response links. LinkedIn removed my invitation without e-mail privileges because I had 4 "I don't know" refusals. I knew 2 people very closely (one from working together a few months ago) & I wasn't sure about the other 2 college classmates because my memory was very fuzzy after 22 years.

Their "I don't know"s messed up my LinkedIn account for 1-2 weeks, until LinkedIn removed the ban after I e-mailed nicely.

*** Note 3: There are many advantages to leaving "friend"/"connection" relationships fuzzy. ***
You can downplay or upplay your relationships for business negotiations. I am a 16-yr friend of Mr. or Ms. Big. Yeah, but how close a friend?

And maybe you don't want the I-am-madly-in-love-with-X combined with the response I-am-in-conflict-with-Y.

My age 40-45 Harvard cohort mostly stays away from Facebook because they want work & personal personas (Only 2-3% of Facebook).

I feel that it will be too difficult and time consuming to use Facebook's current method of security control in create personas.

*** Note 4: In my opinion (IMO), we need unidirectional "invitation links", "response links", and "relationship links" as basic components of social networks. ***
It's been fascinating to watch the evolution of the Internet since 1980 (I missed the first 2 years). And it will be interesting to watch people's behavior on Social Networks over the next 25 years.

For example, take Bill Gates behavior on Social Networks,
1) Facebook 2007 - Bill Gates profile unsearchable, but his friends list is viewable.
2) Facebook 2008 - BIll Gates profile now shows up in searches, but his friends list is private.
3) Facebook 2009 - Will Bill Gates use Facebook's new features to make some of his profile viewable to Friends of Friends?

4) LinkedIn 2007 - Bill Gates is not on LinkedIn.
5) LinkedIn 2008 - Bill Gates joins as #21,xxx,xxx. He has a featured in LinkedIn button. "Specialties: Personal computing, operating systems, technology, philanthropy". He has 4 friends. Wonder who the lucky 4 are. Hope he doesn't get too much invite-SPAM on LinkedIn, and he stays part of the social network. Can we invite him onto FriendFeed?

ENIAC -> Scientific Computing -> Mainframe -> FTP -> TCP/IP -> Minicomputer -> Databases -> e-mail -> UseNet News Groups -> Microcomputers -> Spreadsheets -> Word Processors -> DeskTop Publishing -> BBSs -> Videogames -> Mosaic web browser -> Webpages -> Blogs -> Netscape IPO -> Altavista -> Yahoo! -> eBay -> HotBot -> Napster -> Google -> YouTube -> Flickr -> Facebook -> LinkedIn -> Twitter Microblogging-> FriendFeed Lifestreaming -> ???

Robert Scoble and Louis Gray just wrote wonderful articles yesterday on the importance of PARTICPATION and DISCOVERY in making a "living" social network.
Great articles on the use of "comment" and "like" to get involved creating an interesting community.

I think we are just discovering the basic tools of online communication, facilitation, and community building. Personally, I feel the term "media" might be really 20th century. The line between traditional media, alternative media, professional and amateur "bloggers", and personal journals/diaries is really blurring. And becoming fascinating and exciting! Great time to live. :-:

Just hope FriendFeed survives invite-SPAM, like-SPAM, and comment-SPAM. Unfortunately, many of the top commenters at seem like SPAM posters (from WDSM 2008 conference at Stanford).

Personally, I got hit by the "like" limit this week at FriendFeed with only 160 "likes", so don't jump in too fast, and DON'T SPAM.

The really interesting FriendFeed page to watch [ - Thu 5/1/08]"
See who's articles Robert Scoble liked at FriendFeed

Participate. Participate. Participate. Repeat. [ - Thu 5/1/08]
See who's articles Louis Gray liked at FriendFeed

See who's articles I liked at FriendFeed

- Mitchell Tsai (Harvard '86) - CEO, Spiritual Business Companions : FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Facebook