Feb
17
2010

Over the last couple of years we’ve seen an incredible rise in types of social networking. It’s gained such popularity that it’s now almost virtually accepted in media and advertising, as well as interpersonal relationships for which most of it was originally intended. I don’t think anyone argues the impact Twitter had on the Iranian elections this last summer or the sort of national news coverage Facebook received when it changed its privacy policy recently.

As the market for these general mega social networking sites cools down (though new startups are always welcome into the field) more specialized websites will start to filter into the cracks that bigger sites leave in their footprint. These newer sites have the potential to become their own mega networks over the next few years, and the following are a few we’re keeping an eye on.


Daytum

Daytum helps collect and keep track of data
www.daytum.com
— Daytum is a free social network site with a twist: It allows you to collect and share data about anything you’d like (most users record personal information) and graphs it, charts it, and keeps it in many customizable data sets. My first reaction to Daytum when I heard about it a few months ago was that it seemed awfully demanding. It certainly requires logging information regularly but it’s only to the depth that you want it to be.

I started out with just a few small charts and realized, to my complete surprise, at the amount of fun I was actually having. I increased the number of things I recorded and now look forward to my daily updates. I’ll use my own profile as an example, where you can see my general entertainment consumption, food and drink consumption, and how long I spend on my commute and the sorts of cool cars I see while driving it.

Taking a look around the site reveals that some users keep track of how many times people hug them, what sort of movies they’ve recently watched, what celebrities they’ve spotted, and the number of reps from their latest workout. There’s a catch, though: The site allows for no direct communication between users. I would say this is a big hang-up, but I’d be lying. I’m tired of a “comment wall” attached to every social website out there, especially for sites that don’t really need it.

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Dec
4
2009

When I sat down to create a decade in review for our blog, my original intentions were to list some things we had all forgotten about and arrange them in a way that “looked nice.” The idea drifted around in my head for a week, slowly evolving to segment the information by year, color-coding, and eventually laying the phrases, quotes, and words out into the shapes of the years they came from. What follows is the child of that idea, a complicated arrangement of glyphs and characters.

The words contained in the shapes of each year are arranged (mostly) by chronological order, though some are moved to where they reached a fever-pitch and not where they were started or founded (Facebook, for example). A few years have a special section that encompasses a specific event or series of events. I’ve attempted to arrange those chronologically as well. The size of the word is loosely connected to its relative importance, similar to a tag cloud (which, as a term, did not make the cut). This is all subjective, of course, so you may agree or disagree with my choices. The ultimate intention of this piece was to present stories, people, movies, music and news in a way that let you reflect; parts of the image are purposefully abstract in the hopes that you will use the Internet to do searches or ask friends, family or colleagues to find their meaning.

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