All posts tagged ‘communities’

FriendFeed Filters Find the ‘Best Of’ Your Friends

FfbestofFriendFeed, the data aggregation service that lets you see all your friends’ updates in one spot, is working hard to make that overwhelming stream of information easier to sort through. The company recently add a new “best of” filter that allows you to see only the posts you care out. Or presumably care about.

Just beneath the search box on your FriendFeed homepage you’ll find new links to see the “best of” FriendFeed from the past day, week, or month. The criteria for “best of” seems to be based on the number of stars from your friends, as well as number of comments and other data.

In other words, it’s more like most popular rather than best of, but either way it does allow you to filter the amount of data FriendFeed presents.

The one thing FriendFeed still lacks is a way to filter duplicated data.

Personally I still haven’t found a compelling use for FriendFeed that my news reader doesn’t already cover — after all, for the most part, it’s just RSS feeds. But if the service starts adding more filters that can actually narrow things down to what I really care about, and get rid of the duplicate posts, I may have to give FriendFeed another look.

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File Under: Software & Tools

Wikia Search Launches Wikipedia-Style Search Engine

WikiaBack when Wikia Search first unveiled its alpha preview, we found it wanting. On Tuesday, the site was relaunched, and not only has its index expanded, but the community editing tools are live and ready for your input.

The basic idea behind Wikia Search is to take the Wikipedia community model and apply it to the search engine. Searchers can edit, add, remove, re-order, rate, annotate, and comment on the search results.

The site’s new Ajax interface allows you to drag results up and down the page and you can edit the title or description of a result using a nice edit-in-place interface.

The index itself is up to 30 million pages, which obviously is nowhere near the big search engines. But even Wikipedia was once just a single page, and look where that’s gone. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the same sort of community interest will develop around the search engine, but with the involvement of Wikipedia’s founders and Jabber creator Jeremie Miller, it has some momentum. PCWorld has an overview of the project’s recent enhancements.

If you missed out on the early days of Wikipedia, here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of a growing community. With the editing features in place you can help Wikia Search become more effective and share your best results with everyone else.

However, the community-driven aspect also opens Wikia search to spam and abuse, so it will interesting to see how effective the community is in policing and removing spam.

While it’s too early to replace Google for the serious search engine user, Wikia Search is definitely one to keep an eye on.

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File Under: Blog Publishing

Tune Out the Noise With FriendFeed Rooms

friendfeedlogo.jpgIn an effort to personalize the site, FriendFeed has added a new feature dubbed “Rooms.” Similar to Reddit’s personal Reddit feature, or Flickr Groups, Rooms are designed to act as a filter on FriendFeed’s noise level by offering topic-based discussions.

The new Rooms feature allows you to carry on conversations without involving the entire FriendFeed community — think of Rooms as your own private area of FriendFeed.

Depending on the privacy settings you use, FriendFeed rooms can be a place for niche conversations between like-minded users, or as an entirely private conversations limited to family members or co-workers involved in a project.

There are scores of rooms already active on the site — a quick Google search reveals topical FriendFeed discussions ranging from DSLR cameras and tech blogging to baseball. The Laughing Squid community also has a feed room.

To create your own room just head to the Room tab and then invite other FriendFeed members. That’s about all there is to it. You can create multiple rooms and each one will show up as a sub-tab under the main Rooms tab.

There are options to control whether or not posts to your Room show up in your main feed or remain private.

Rooms does slightly complicate the process of posting to FriendFeed since you’ll need to select a destination for your posts, but it isn’t too difficult to sort out.

The FriendFeed API has also been updated to support the new Rooms feature.

Given the amount of noise sites like FriendFeed generate, the ability to section off a small part of the site and make it your own could go a long way toward making FriendFeed more useable for those who don’t want to put up with the boggling amount of simultaneous conversations the site inspires.

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File Under: Visual Design

Is the All-in-One Personal Website Headed for Extinction?

There’s a major shift underway for personal sites on the web. Personal pages started off as a kind of calling card, some bio information, a resume, perhaps a contact form, but often just a small, random site on Geocities or Angelfire servers.

Then came the blog and a shift to frequent updates accompanied by comments from friends, family and colleagues. But now, thanks to sites like Flickr, Twitter, Ma.gnolia and other social web communities, many of us have offloaded the content that used to make up a personal site, leaving behind a single page that just links to our various accounts elsewhere.

We’ve outsourced our own content, leaving little point to a fullblown personal website.

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File Under: Multimedia, Programming

Photobucket API Offers Developers New Mashup Possibilities

PbucketPhotobucket, an online photo and media sharing site, has launched a new application programming interface (API) that allows developers and programming hobbyists to interact with the site and create mashups, web apps and widgets using Photobucket data.

Given that many of Photobucket’s members are coming from MySpace and other social network sites, which are themselves rolling out APIs, this should be good news for users since it provides the tools necessary to do more with your Photobucket images.

Photobucket competitor Flickr is way ahead in the API game, but the new Photobucket API goes a considerable way toward closing that gap.

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