Memories & Interactions In Social Media

Leo Laporte seems a little upset with Google Buzz & Twitter – actually social media in general – to be honest in many ways I agree with him – if conversation happens for lesser mortals like me it is because I have reached out and actively looked for conversation engaging with others.
At times it seems like Leo suggests that content might be somehow filtered out of other people’s feeds.

Guess what Leo? It happens on both Buzz & Twitter – Facebook as well. They couldn’t scale and cope with millions of followers & friends without it.


So Leo is missing the interactions he used to get when Buzz first started.

I think part of the problems is that everyone has added their Twitter, Friendfeed, refeed of Tweets via Friendfeed, Google Shares, refeed of Google shares from Friendfeed etc. You can also add extra laters and add in your Mybloglog feed of your Friendfeed for good measure.

At the same time most of those people have left Google Buzz – they left their litter behind but they are not there interacting, thus even a online media celebrity such as Leo gets drowned out.
And if he didn’t, he would probably drown out all other conversations like happened with many celebrities early in the life of Buzz.

Google has to get Salmon working with true canonicalization & threading of all these conversations fast – I would also suggest removing share totally, and just using a “like” equivalent for now. Encourage one canonical conversation.
You will still get some fragmentation due to Google Reader – but reader should never have had conversations anyway ;p


I am old… very old… 4 decades old. (that is just a decade short of half a centuary)

For me remembering things is important.

I am naturally reasonably good at remembering certain kinds of information. I remember conversations I have had on Twitter from a year ago, even 2 or 3 years ago.
Sometimes however the details are a little vague and I want to find them again… and I can’t.

They have disappeared into a black hole and I have no way to retreive them.

I described Twitter as having Alzheimers 6 months ago when I left Twitter

Friends keep on asking when I am coming back – the answer is when I can find my conversations, otherwise they are meaningless to me.

I can probably find syndicated copies of my Tweets on other services, but that isn’t the same as you lose context, plus those services are most likely on life support – who really expects Friendfeed to be around for another 12 months?

Whilst the number of interactions I have on buzz are significantly less, part of the reason is that I don’t push for interaction there.
I have seen friends like Chris Lang absolutely killing it on Buzz – he drives traffic to buzz from his email list, he pulls in experts to conversation by referencing them (which at the same times promotes these people to his audience) and he hasn’t seen a slow down in conversations because Google Buzz is his chosen battle ground or stomping ground and he is leveraging all its possibilities.

Everything you publish on Buzz still exists

You can search on it using is:buzz in Gmail and you will always be able to find it.
Finding conversations other people are having about your content on Buzz isn’t easy, and a huge negative with Buzz is that it takes forever to import an original post.
Often it takes 2-3 hours for a fresh blog post to appear on Buzz as an imported feed – that cripples Buzz.

To hell with whether the content you create is syndicated or not, or whether there were responses. Well responses are nice, but ultimately unless there is a long term record, what you wrote didn’t even happen.

Just like “Pictures or it didn’t happen” at least with Google Buzz the words are recorded.

Imagine in a few years you want to find something you said – on Twitter you won’t be able to because their search sucks, and they block Google with robots.txt – the import of backdated Tweets into Google just doesn’t seem to be happening and it is quite possible the tweets no longer exist.

Would failing to store tweets be the social media equivalent of burning books?

Facebook’s Achilles Heel

Without a doubt it is search – finding conversations on Facebook is just a pointless exercise which is why I can’t understand why it is popular for family interaction. I can understand it for students, but I still reference email exchanges with my family from 5 years ago.
I would never entrust those kinds of exchanges to Facebook.

Just Social Media Magic Roundabout?

People just hop from one platform to another like the seasons – hell I just submitted someone else’s content to Sphinn for the first time in 2 years and have no idea why I did it, other than lots of the people I communicate with daily are still there and the story was actually news (plus it linked to me :) ) – if you are a YouTube search optimization freak you might want to take a look.

Feel free to comment on Buzz as well and Chris has an active conversation with back story here.

I wonder when will be the first time a buzz conversation gets listed on Techmeme.

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  1. says

    Social is kind of like a marriage (maybe it’s all this relationship mush we keep talking about).

    The relationship is only as strong as the person least interested in it.

    Leaders like Leo see wild success in social is based on both (a) their expertise and willingness to share, and (b) their engagement with the community.

    Anyone who stops engaging individuals is bound to lose touch. Social isn’t hollywood. You don’t just invest in broadcasting your story ad your media and see engagement.

    As you have seen, when you leave a platform or more importantly, when you stop replying and engaging people in a platform, the relationship equity built is minimized. Even if you rebroadcasted your every blog post into Twitter, I still wouldn’t feel that you were part of Twitter.

    This could be challenge in Buzz. How many of us are REALLY engaging there, versus collecting all the crap we put out everywhere else?


  2. Lance Christoff says

    What an inspiring thoughts!It seems to be a pretty good thinking.Awesome thoughts.
    Very nice and sweet till the very point.

  3. says

    you have pulled out a really nice comparison between Facebook and Buzz or the pros and cons of social networking sites. It is true that its not possible to find your old posts or comments that you wrote on some ones wall 5 years ago on Facebook. It is great to hear that Buzz still provides this unique opportunity to view your old posts and conversations. Facebook has grabbed more attention in recent times for its quick and easily accessible accounts but Buzz seems to be more private and personal in this regard.

  4. says

    Nice article.
    I couldn’t agree more,conversations in twitter seems like an acquaintance in a bar,the hang over is the only thing you remembers.
    Nice plug-ins too=)