Social Websites

Over the weekend I have been looking around at a lot of social websites, largely due to the fact that I have really enjoyed Twitter. I have found a lot of good ones and bad ones, and a lot of cool uses for sites. I thought I would sum up some of the better social websites that I have found.

Twitter: Obviously my first entry should be Twitter as it is what got me started on the whole thing in the first place. Twitter acts as a good complimentary blog for this blog. Allowing me to add small mini-posts that are of often unimportant, but sometimes humorous, events in my life. It also lets me post something that I may completely forget about later. The thing I think makes this service work is really the cell phone support. Having the ability to make a small post while I’m out actually doing stuff is really nice and really integrates my blog into my life much further.

Profilactic: This one pushed me further into the social sphere. It is basically an aggregator of all your social services. What really makes it nice is that it has support for a ton of sites, including just basic RSS feeds. Their current touted number is 180. I found a lot of these cool services on this particular site. But they also have a wordpress plugin which allows you to display all the info from all your social sites onto your blog or website. This means that I could post a picture on flickr or a video on youtube, and you’d be able to go to my lifestream and see what exactly I’ve been up to. It really makes stalking much easier!=P One thing I really dislike about this site is that while it touts 180 supported sites, this isn’t nearly true. Many of the “supported” sites are nothing but a link on your profile. Some say they are more, but the amount of support is minimal. Such as ask500people, which it fully supports but doesn’t actually update anything for it unless you post a question (at least that’s my guess). There are similar sites like this, that you must make a post for something very specific in order for it to work and sometimes it is difficult to figure out what.

43 things: This was actually a lesser known service that I found, and one of a conglomerate of other services they provide (43 people, 43 places, all consuming, and best lists). But this one in particular was one which allowed you to do something new. It allows you to create goals or life lists and share them and their progress with others. This is really an amazingly cool idea really (in a way it goes together really well with 43 places too). So what I can do with this is say something I’d like to do before I die is go to the Amazon rainforest, well I can enter that on the list, and it will keep track of what I want to do. In addition, it will show you others who are also trying to do this and allow you to comment on it. So I got a “Lose 20 lbs.” goal, I can go on, see who else is doing it and add an entry to it to say that I lost 5 in the last month. A really cool service, and I hope they continue it and find success.

Ask500People: I’m not really sure if this qualifies as a social service in the same vein. It is essentially a polling site, where you can enter polls or answer them. It is very flexible and shows who has voted for what and where they are from (using google maps) and allows you to comment on polls. It isn’t a hugely original or innovative idea, but it is nicely put together and there are some fun and interesting questions. My main complaint is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to track how you’ve voted or anything. I’d like you to be able to look at someone’s profile and see how they vote, and perhaps find people of similar interest in that way. In a way, is kind of like 43 Things for a global betterment. It allows you to find causes, and follow goals to achieve those changes. It lets you post both goals and causes. It also allows you to add organizations that help causes as well and you can follow them, donate to them, and create groups to collectively donate. It is a nice site. I enjoy looking through it and it has also given me good ideas on how I can better the world through changing my life. It doesn’t seem to have a clear way to aggregate this stuff to post on my site, which would be a nice touch, but still it isn’t a big deal.

Clipmarks: An interesting idea, that I’m not entirely sure how much I will use. Instead of bookmarking a site, this allows you to basically bookmark a part on the site. Clipmarks will save it to their site for you or your friends to view. So it is like an online clipboard. If you see a picture, text or video you like, just clip it and you’ll save it to clipmarks. Again though, not sure if I’d use this much. Not a new site by any means and I’ve had it for quite awhile. But did get reminded of it, and downloaded a plugin that will save bookmarks to delicious easily from my browser by just bookmarking normally.

Digg: I really don’t particularly care for Digg anymore as it has gotten overcluttered by stuff and flamers. But if you are looking for a site that allows users to choose what in the news is important, this is still the best. It is just too bad that it is almost exclusively 10 best or 10 ways or 10 weirdest posts…

Flickr: Again not new, won’t talk much about it. I actually am starting to really dig Google’s Picasa but the fact remains that this site still has a lot of advantages over Picasa. You can easily post pictures via cell phone, and then embed people’s pictures on your website easily (not unlike youtube for pictures). These things Google has yet to implement for some reason, and I think is holding Picasa back because interface-wise Picasa is just miles ahead of Flickr.

Friendfeed: Another version of Profilactic but doesn’t support as many different utilities. Actually this one is much nicer, and does indeed have a feed for your site. But you can’t customize the feed as much as I’d like and as such I’m not totally sure about this one. I think this one has a lot of promise however, much more than Profilactic has.

Minta: Yet another Profilactic version. Minta seems the earliest in development as there isn’t a lot you can do with it yet but shows the most promise. The interface design is the best, and they already have a decent support for various services. What it seems to lack so far is the ability to put your inta onto your blogspace so people can check up. You also can’t look at other people’s profiles like other services allow. This one is just you and your friends. There is an RSS feed so I think with a little more work you could output this to your blog, but this one like I said seems to be the least developed and hopefully these features get fully integrated soon.

Orangutag: With this one, you add in the shows you like which ones you are watching and it tells you other people with similar interests and it also updates you when a show is on the air. I like the concept of this one, and I think they could later add in movies as well to really get into it. But right now it suffers from not really working well. After I registered and verified my email, it refused to let me log in for a day. This morning it works fine but it is obviously a glitchy service.

Wakoopa: I think this is kind of cool because it is a program that keeps an eye on what programs you use and then comes up with graphs and such for your computer usage. It lets you share this info, and review programs that you use, and then it tells you programs and people you might like based on what you use.

Youtube: Again, everyone knows what this is. Again a ton of copy cats. Again, no one is as good as the original.