Ambient reality, data overload, social business, and creating ethical standards amid a quickly burgeoning socia-media landscape are some of the themes dominating conversations this year at tech conferences like SXSW. Here's a quick crib sheet.
For website content publishers and content creators, there’s a
debate raging as to the rights and wrongs of curation. While content
aggregation has been around for a while with sites using algorithms to
find and link to content, the relatively new practice of editorial
curation — human filtering and organizing — has created what I’m
dubbing, "The Great Creationism Debate."
One name missing from the latest wave of social networking is Microsoft, which may be why it's pushing its new Spindex service onto the world. Instead of being a social net by itself, it aggregates your online life for you, making it much easier to program.
Ever since social media data started growing like bathroom flora, there have been aggregation tools to make managing your stuff easier. Some are limited in scope; FriendFeed, for example, pulls together just a few services, but does it well. Other services are more ambitious; Fuser is a kind of centralized inbox for all your email accounts and social networking tools, and Flock is an entire browser meant to integrate much of the same stuff.
Mozilla, the creators of the Firefox browser, just dropped a preview of an experimental project that will integrate IM, Twitter, Facebook, email, and more into one user experience. It's called Raindrop, and it sounds a heck of a lot like Google Wave.