Social media tools: Community vs. Influence vs. Reputation

Some observations about social media..and my own shifting use of it, right now.Back in the day, say 2005, blogging was the main way to do the following:

  • make your voice heard
  • be part of a community
  • establishe a reputation for your ideas
  • influence thought and community

Needless to say, in those days I loved the blogosphere and participated avidly in my corner(s) of it.

Fast forward 3 years and we have a much more bifurcated set of ways to communicate:

  • twitter–a great community tool–chatter with people you know and feel affinity with; be part of a virtual community
  • friendfeed-post your lifestream links, influence others through comments on their links, and be part of a community
  • blogging–all the of the above, but at a slower pace
  • tubmlr–all of the above, only visual
  • seesmic and 12seconds: join a visual video community

Point here is that I find myself using twitter to maintain community, blogging to share ideas and influence thought, and friendfeed for reputation (in that I take pride in the links I post and the comments I make on others’ streams).

What is interesting about all this is that the only one of these tools that is bi-directional for real–ie there is the ability to communicate in something more closely resembling real time–is twitter. (Thought video comments on seesmic are great). 

Everything else is a publish and subscribe model, which I think is becoming less powerful as watching and commenting on lifestreams (the friendfeed model, again) becomes a way to  mimic being bidirectional (and as friendfeed keeps speeding up their crawlers, may truly become bi-directional, which would be amazing)


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  1. mike says:

    As a Jaiku user, i have to say that i don’t think of Twitter as “bi-directional”.
    I have tried using Twitter, and it’s open source clone, but i find them more like web versions of SMS (the conversation never lasts long, and rarely does it involve more than two people).
    Jaiku (and now, both have a conversation nature.
    By that i mean i can put my thoughts/comments at some later time (not that second), and every one is equal in their ability to commnet and have that comment seen by everyone else.
    Of the services you list, Friendfeed comes closest to this ability.

  2. Chris Freunde says:

    mike, you are absolutely right about Jaiku.
    but still, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the young community members. and it’s the same on almost all social networks. you want to be there but you are not fast enough. therefore i like social network aggregators like Profilactic. this little helpers can make your life so much easier.
    call me old-fashioned, but i love blogs much more.

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