Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

Screen Time and less usage of social media

I have been trying an experiment — the use of less social media, thanks to Screen Time on iOS 12. The last item I uploaded on Instagram was on September 17 2018. My usual form has been to make a photo at every place I land up at, but since seeing that I spent 30-45 minutes of “dead time” daily on the app, I figured I needed to stop using it so regularly.

My thought there is quite simple: do I make money from Instagram? No. I should generally only be doing productive things with my iPhone, correct?

Consequently I haven’t uploaded photos from my trips to Tokyo, Singapore, London, Edinburgh, and apparently London again, where I’m penning this. OK, it will be November 1 2018 tomorrow, so I should maybe start posting again.

I find that I don’t use Facebook much but have the application for the 2-factor authentication (I will have to find a way to move this to Google Authenticator or 1Password so I could zap it). This leave Twitter, which I do spend a bit of time on (I have to work on reducing this).

WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. may be considered social media but the reality is I need to communicate with folk so I can’t stop using those apps.

Screen Time also helps tell me how much time I actually spend on the iPhone. I feel like it is too much. Here’s to more iPad and more MacBook Pro. And in general, more time around Productivity/Reading & Reference/Creativity/Other/Health & Fitness, going forward. And of course… Entertainment (Netflix has some good shows from time to time).

Anyway, measuring where I spend time clearly matters. I’m surprised we don’t see this on macOS yet (but for that I have RescueTime). I understand that Timings is another popular app to use. From a time management standpoint, I reckon reading: The Average User Checks Email 5.6 Hours Per Day and also The Mona Lisa Doesn’t Tweet. These are timely reminders that we should gain from social media, but not give in much more to it.

Vine goes 6-second adult

So Vine is all the rage now eh? What Twitter did to quick communication (140 characters), they’re now doing to video (6 seconds). Headlines today are: hardcore porn climbs to the top of vine’s editors picks.

When the porn industry embraces something, its likely to get big :)

I’m guessing this is currently more the amateur porn industry than anything else. There is a website curating based on hashtags ( and a twitter account (@nsfwvine – currently with 11 followers, 27 tweets).

Interesting development to watch. 

The Google Friend Connect expirement ends

Today I turned the switch off for Google Friend Connect (something I turned on in February 2009). There is now no longer a social bar when you visit (though most of you read this site via RSS).

Google Friend Connect on Business TimesThere are a myriad reasons as to why I disabled it, but it generally boiled down to the fact that I never figured out how to fully use it. I thought it might be useful for blog readers to connect with each other, but thats what the comments are really for.

Running YSlow or Page Speed, the thing that slowed my blog down the most, seemed to be the Friend Connect social bar. This is expected, but for not providing anything additional, I decided to zap it.

The Business Times still has their Friend Connect enabled, but its not the social bar – they’ve preferred going to using the members gadget. Currently, they have 1,327 folk who are members, while 7,051 people like their Facebook page more. I’m thinking more sites will find that a Facebook widget will benefit more in terms of user engagement.

I thought about utilizing Friend Connect to email newsletters to my “fans”. And while there is newsletter support, only about 10% of the people on my site have opted in to receive a newsletter (to be fair, I never did encourage anyone to signup for a newsletter – and this feature was not around before, as far as I remember). That’s a pretty poor conversion rate. There does not seem to be any other way to connect to members – no way to email them.

I also tried this on another website, a community for fashionistas in Malaysia. It was removed rather quickly, because chatboxes are still preferred, in comparison to Friend Connect!

And then there was the other thing… When I loaded up the blog on my iPad, the Friend Connect social bar would stick on the screen. Did not seem very UI friendly, and I had no intention of fixing it.

I’ve not seen Google put much effort behind Friend Connect any longer, and they seem to have other foci when it comes to being social on the Web. Even during their recent DevFest’s, the whole Friend Connect topic seems to have gone silent.

Thanks to all of you that joined the community, made comments, etc. Goodbye Google Friend Connect.

Poken: Business cards made social

This weekend, I was introduced to a neat device, called a Poken, by my friend Preetam Rai.

You google. You text. You chat. Do you Poken?

What is a Poken you ask? A cute little device (that comes with several different characters, one of which is a geisha even), that is the business card of the 21st century! Its a USB device, that contains a “key”, which pairs to your profile online that you create on their website. It then uses Near Field Communications (NFC) to “beam” business cards over (you do this via touch – the term beam seems so 1998, ala what Palm used to call it). When you get back to your computer, you can now see all the contacts you’ve met, and connect with them on the social networks that they’re on. Limited profiles exist as well, so maybe all you want to do is share an email address.

Nifty, yes? The problem with traditional business cards is that when you get back after an event, you have to parse them. The Poken takes away this trouble, as its all point and click. The device sells for about USD$27 at Bic Camera in Japan, though if you get it in bulk online, its about USD$16 with postage.

Can this work in Malaysia? At a little over RM50 (RM100 retail), I might be a tad bit sceptical. However, its all the rage in Japan. Its not for sale in South East Asia (yet), and its much cheaper than a Palm device than can beam over business cards… What do you think?

The Poken itself, is not a social network. It just carries contact information. I found it interesting (in a limiting sense), that you could only carry 64 contacts at one time, before syncing. So if you happen to meet a 65th person, your first contact gets lost!

Elsewhere on the Web, Crunchgear has a review, which is the Japanese site (they were smart – they sold Poken’s in night clubs! They even have Poken meetups, and more), and last but not least, check out a video, from a Google Tech Talk, titled Poken: Extending Online Social Networking Into the Real World.

And in case you can’t see the embedded video above (coming in via an RSS reader or something), check out the Poken playlist.

Google Friend Connect, revisited

About a month ago, I decided to try Google Friend Connect and their Social Bar. I still haven’t figured out its use fully yet, but maybe its there for keeping my readers connected to each other?

Is this what Google Friend Connect is for?

A modest number of folk have joined, but today I noticed them becoming friends. Win?

Its good to see that Business Times in Malaysia has something similar. All this is the work of @kedai. Lots of members, but no conversation yet, so it proves that there’s not much great use of it yet. I notice that there is a “Like!” activity (look at this for example), which then gets shared in the stream (not a comment but it says “username liked article”). This is again something kedai wrote, which is a very simple activity.

He, like I, wants to know how else you can socialise a site?

Update: Robert Scoble speaks to Kevin Marks about this, and the video itself is pretty interesting. There’s also a little discussion happening on FriendFeed.

Break up over Twitter

This one’s too good to pass up. Jennifer Aniston (from the comedy sitcom I grew up to, Friends) has reportedly dumped John Mayer, because of his Twitter addiction. I quote:

The source said: “John suddenly stopped calling her or returning her emails and when she would finally catch up with him, he’d say: ‘I’ve been so busy with work. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to call you back.”

The source added: “Jen was fuming. There he was, telling her he didn’t have time for her and yet his page was filled with Twitter updates.

“Every few hours, sometimes minutes, he’d update with some stupid line. And in her mind, she was like ‘He has time for all this Twittering, but he can’t send me a text, an email, make a call?’.”

Twitter, used as evidence that one actually has time, to at least send a text, email or make a call, it seems. Apparently, John Mayer even took the break up like a man, and sent a message to Twitterverse: My six word story: “This heart didn’t come with instructions.” Candid!

From a quick take on his feed, it seems he uses Tweetie, TwitterBerry and the web a lot for updates. So not only is he addicted to his BlackBerry, he loves his iPhone/iPod Touch, and apparently Maybe someone should introduce him to desktop clients like twhirl or TweetDeck? :-)

On Twitter, there’s been some conversation about this, naturally. At first, I couldn’t believe it, but it seems its possible. We know divorce via SMS or email is shunned upon, but in this part of the world, you can divorce someone just by saying “talak” three times. Its not clear if its allowed in Malaysia or not (the BBC suggests it was OK, but is unacceptable).

This stuff is almost as interesting as getting killed over your Facebook relationship status.

Do you know of people that got together because of Twitter or Facebook? Broke up because of Twitter or Facebook? I’m interested to know the stories behind them.