Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Facebook planning a Lite Version
- Facebook Buys Friendfeed
- Social Media Veterans Propose Abandoning Service Providers
- Successfully Integrating Social Networking and Events
Facebook planning a Lite Version
Facebook, the ever-popular social networking site, appears to be testing out a new, stripped-down version of its site. The new service, which is being called "Facebook Lite" in numerous blogs, has stripped out the cluttered settings, applications and toolbars. Instead, users see their events, friends' updates and other information in a clean and friendly fashion. Techcrunch has a source who reports that the service is "so much damn faster".
The new Lite version appears to only be available in India currently, with hopeful Facebook users wishing the streamlined version will be available other continents soon.
The new design will appease Facebook users who have been on the service for quite some time. Facebook, with its annoying sheep throwing applications and constant distractions, turns many Facebook users off. Some users quit the service altogether because of the constant noise generated by some Facebook apps.
Facebook Buys Friendfeed
The big news of the week is that Facebook has bought FriendFeed, the Twitter-like micro-messaging service that has many more features than Twitter. What will come out of the acquisition is yet to be seen, but Facebook got more than just a trendy service in the deal -- they hired some amazing engineers in the process. The creators of FriendFeed were the minds who built popular online services Google Mail and Google Maps.
At this point, the acquisition of FriendFeed is merely seen as a brain-grab of some amazing engineering talent. Users of the FriendFeed service are up in arms however, with some seeking to get Google to make the FriendFeed source code open source. This is the approach that Google took when they acquired Jaiku, so open source is not completely out of the question.
Social Media Veterans Propose Abandoning Service Providers
With the acquisition and speculative (pending) demise of FriendFeed, many bloggers and social media veterans are proposing a completely new model: hosting all your social media on your own website or web platform.
What is the justification for this revolt? Every time a service such as FriendFeed, MySpace or Facebook either loses popularity (in MySpace's case) or gets shut down (in Jaiku's case), the users of these services are left scrambling to get their valuable data off these services and onto the 'next big thing'. The case being made by the likes of Marshall Kirkpatrick is to house our data on our own website or blog.
The idea sounds great -- and there are systems being built around this already. An active project called the Distributed Social project is working on an effort to build a distributed and federated system using WordPress, OpenID and other enabling technologies.
Would you consider keeping your social networking information on your own website or blog, including your photos, status updates and other information? Please weigh in over in the comment section.
Successfully Integrating Social Networking and Events
As covered on the Social Media Minute before, social networking can help make events more engaging. However, if you are planning an event, where can you turn to for help with forming a social networking strategy? Jeremiah Owyang offers a few tips in a recent blog post.
First, before your event, try to integrate with existing communities and social networking. This is because trying to get people to sign on to and stay connected to an additional network is often futile. Also, it is suggested that you think of your event's social networking for engagement before and after the the event, not just during.
Because attendees often to go conferences year after year, if you are able to keep their attention throughout the months following the conference, they're more likely to come to the next year's edition of your conference or event. Also, they'll tell their friends and colleagues about the event, spawning more registrations and sign ups.