Thursday, August 28, 2008

Social Networking

I'm still playing with Social Networking, both on my iTouch/iPhone and on my computer with tools such as blogger, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace etc... One of the tools I've mentioned before is Twinkle, Twinkle is a chat room for lack of better world, I'm sure they'll come up with a glorious title saying it's a Web 2.0 empowered application using the 3G iPhone network, but in reality it's less functional than what I was using with CompuServe and Delphi back in the early 1990's (I'm getting old, but I'm also getting wiser ;)).

One of the interesting features with the iPhone is that it has a very nice camera, it also is GPS enabled, this allows a person to send a picture of what's going on near them, and for you to see about where they are at. The other day I started seeing pictures of a tornado running through Parker Colorado, about an hour after that I saw similar pictures on CNN. Think about it, these people scooped CNN on a news story, pretty impressive if you ask me. I've seen similar issues, I've seen reports of a heavy storm coming through the area, and people talking about damage, I've seen people around the country talk at the same time about how a movie (the same movie) stopped just before the end (of course this is because the theater is receiving a stream of the movie via satellite or web and the stream died). If I had the resources I'd write a program to sit and sniff twitter traffic to see what's going on in the world.

There are sad portions on this also, I've run into a number of people with relationship issues that are either having bad problems or just need to be cheered up. I'm always trying to be helpful, but not everyone wants help, and I've made it clear that anyone can come to me for assistance. I've also seen several bullies online, some have tried to pick fights with me, but I'm old enough where I don't blow up like they want me to (this of course drives them nuts, they want reaction, I don't think most people realize the best way to beat a bully is to ignore them).

I've also heard a bunch of issues with stalking going on, I've gotten a few requests for information that I ignore, it's mostly the women who are getting stalked and asking for things that they shouldn't be asked for (am I the last Gentleman online?). I do follow a couple of kids from time to time, because they seem so young and I feel they need adult supervision, I'm very happy to see that they are keeping their public noses clean (hopefully nothing is going on in the private area). Many of these kids need something other to do then being handed an iPhone and told to go keep busy.

I've been able to discuss politics with different people from around the world, see how people outside the US see the US (it isn't great right now). This morning I got on and one of my "friends", he lives in Florida, was getting torn apart by someone else. Despite I don't agree with my "friend's" politics, I didn't take kindly to anyone attacking him, so I stepped in and mentioned that he was a good guy and should be treated that way. Also this morning another one of my "friends" got laid off, she's in London, it seems that there are a lot of layoffs going on in that area now, the financial issues of the US are catching up to them. I've been able to make friends with people, old and young, who I might possibly have made friends with before (anyone who knows me will tell you that I absolutely love everyone). As I'm writing this I just learned that another "friend" in Georgia has just quit a job, she's going to bury her pain in donuts this morning.

The great parts about this? I was mentioning to someone in the public area how my mother had passed away in December of 2003, almost instantly I had several people expressing their condolences, I was touched to see so many people in the world care. I think a couple of us started crying as we discussed our parents (OK I cried, but that's what I do, it was a very manly cry though ;)).

I have been able to listen into people and get some great ideas from them (I wish I had a lot of research and development money right now, I'm sure I could make it a lot more with a few of the ideas I currently have). I'm also surprised about how many people don't know what Web 2.0 is or Social Networking, they have this idea that Twinkle, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc... are all the same thing, but they aren't, they are all different and all have their own niche. Maybe I should write a book about all this?

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