Social Media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here's the week's top stories, in scan-friendly format.
- Searchmonkey and the Future of Wikipedia
- Unwrapp-- Follow Web App Updates
- Retweetist = Digg for Twitter
- Networks Get Social Media-Savvy for Obama's Big Day
- Twitter Updates, Adds Suggestions
Searchmonkey and the Future of Wikipedia
Wikipedia celebrated its 8th birthday last week, and ReadWriteWeb took the opportunity to look at what new technologies are being brought to bear to keep the online encyclopedia top of the pile.
Perhaps the biggest deal of the lot is one which comes not from Wikipedia itself, but from Yahoo!. It's SearchMonkey Wikipedia application went live last week, and integrates Wikipedia articles with Yahoo! search results. SearchMonkey is a development platform built by Yahoo! which allows open access to search data, and enables developers to roll their own search applications (check out our previous coverage). You should see the results of this monster mashup in action right away in your Yahoo! SERPs : it's turned on as default for users of Yahoo! search.
Apart from the new Yahoo! integration, Wikipedia plans to vastly increase media storage space, and to build in-site integration with 3rd party media sites like Flickr. This new focus on multimedia archiving makes eminent sense for the organization. If it succeeds in becoming the, er, Wikipedia for video and other media apart from plain text, there's no telling what kind of traffic volume it can expect in the medium term. Expect the next donations drive to be aiming for a multiple of those of the past to pay for all the new servers needed.
Unwrapp-- Follow Web App Updates
As the amount of web tools we use seems to grow by the month, it's becoming harder and harder to keep up to date. Unwrapp is a new service which keep you on top of updates for your favorite web apps so you don't fall behind the technological curve. As well as telling you when one of your apps has been updated or a new feature added, it will give aggregate blog posts from Techmeme dealing with that app, which might give you some cool new ideas as to how to use it effectively. A trivial feature to implement, but potentially extremely worthwhile.
Currently in Private Beta, Techcrunch had 500 invites to give away so you might still get in ahead of the pack.
Retweetist = Digg for Twitter
There have been a number of attempts to leverage the Twitter community for news aggregating purposes and for delivering a popular links and news service along the likes of Digg. None of them have really taken off yet, which is surprising, as if someone could capture the Twitter zeitgeist on a news aggregating page, it should be much more reflective of links that are hot right now than Digg, Newsvine, Delicious or other aggregators where voting or bookmarking takes place at a relatively sedate pace. Bearing all that in mind, Retweetist could be on to a good thing: it's entering a market with huge potential and which lacks a clear leader.
Retweetist is all about tracking retweets: a random user's tweet, often containing a link to a blog post or news story, which is reposted by other users. The service tracks the most popular links being posted and lists them at retweetist.com, breaking the list up into a fresh links category and a 'Most Retweeted URLs in 24 Hours' list. Most retweeted Twitter users are also tracked, which gives new insight into just who the most influential Twitterers are. FYI Brent Spiner is at #11 for today. Fascinating.
Networks Get Social Media-Savvy for Obama's Big Day
Old Media is going all technological for the the Presidential Inauguration. The SF Chronicle reports that PBS anchor Jim Lehrer will be posting on Twitter throughout the day. CNN's angle is gimmicky but illustrative: "asking folks viewing the swearing-in from Washington to e-mail photos of President-elect Barack Obama at the moment he takes the oath of office. Then, using a new Microsoft software tool called Synth, it will blend those photos into a three-dimensional collage of the historic moment that it will broadcast on TV and post on its Web site."
Fox News plans to utilize its Facebook page to engage with viewers, while CBS will be fielding reports from citizen journalists, while simulcasting several feeds via the Web.
All very apt for the first Blackberry-addict President.
Twitter Adds Suggestions
The Twitter team is generally resistant to building new features onto the platform, preferring to let 3rd party developers do what they want with the API. But a new feature has recently made it to market: suggested follows. Go to "Find People" and you will find a list of people who Twitter reckons you will be interested in following. Mashable has the full story.