Category Archives: Social Media

TheSocialNetworker Episode 19 – Greplin social search

Greplin is a new search engine that only looks against your own private social data. Developed by a small and young founder, it looks against all of the data that Google never sees. In this screencast I walkthrough setup, adding accounts and my opinion of data security.

You can also watch this in HD and all the network videos on the Spiked Studio Productions channel on YouTube

Greplin was brought to me as a review site with the added question of data security.  Using oAuth, the service pulls your data from a list of public services (see the screencast) and immediately begins to index the data found.  So the initial steps do not disclose your login information, with the flexibility of oAuth.  However, you are exposing personal data across as many networks you connect.

All of the site access is done via SSL, a great first step. However, once you trust your data, you must make the login into Greplin as secure in password quality and strength as you would use for your Google email, apps and even LinkedIn.

How the data is stored by Greplin is not covered in their FAQ, nor was found anywhere else on the site. I would like to see this added in to provide a better sense of comfort.

Outside of that, the service itself was very fast and responsive.  New search abilities are being added.  The prebuilt features did give some immediate benefit of things or associations I may have missed previously.  My test search for iPad in the screencast even turned up come results I missed over time.

The goal of the site is to provide a single search source, fully indexed and finely tunable.  I would hope that eventually they bring the ability to act on something found in search. For example, if I find a Twitter posting result, I could click and retweet, reply or star. The same for email, LinkedIn data and even items I bookmarked into Evernote.

This is a promising service I intend to use as service is expanded, search capability is extended and data storage privacy policies are listed.  Go visit Greplin today.

TheSocialNetworker Episode 18 – SocialEyes review

I got an inquiry if I wanted to check out SocialEyes, a new site from developers in San Francisco offering multi-way video chat capabilities with your Facebook friends. I was intrigued so I created a screencast as I went along. I pass my thoughts to you as I walked through hooking into the service and some things I noticed after recording.

You can also watch this in HD and all the network videos on the Spiked Studio Productions channel on YouTube

Upon first looks, it was a simple browser interface. No download outside of verifying you have a current version of Flash.  Authentication was performed via Facebook, with some strange access to your personal information.  I highlighted those concerns in the video.

I found the groups a bit strange to work with and soon started hearing strange sounds after recording.  It took a minute, but I found little Facebook like pop-ups in the bottom browser corner on that page of people randomly chatting away.  I found no way to see the profile of the person or block them.

via PaidContent.org

You can see a sample of the multi0video interface here, along with the Facebook friends down the left side of the image.  You can have individual video chats, or what they call “scrums” for group video chats.  I can see this feature taking off for teenagers right away that live in Skype and Oovoo right now.

My thought is Facebook always sits back and let’s other develop this type of functionality and generate the buzz needed to elevate it to the next level.  They then look into the architecture needed and will bring some form of video capability into the product.  With the recent changes to messaging that were made (see Episode 14), to make it seamless, video is direction to keep Skype away.

I plan on testing more with some Facebook friends that answered the call to also get into the site and test it out.  Feel free to join my Facebook network.

Once I make some more runs through, I will make an updated posting on ease of function, clarity of video streams and stability of the multi-way video.

I also have some questions around monetization if they are offering this as a free service with the millions (over $5M) of funding they have received to launch the product.  I imagine with the access to personal information, your friends and profile, they could build some decent advertising into the UI that would be unobtrusive.

TheSocialNetworker Episode 15 – Rockmelt the social browser

I waited until Rockmelt had a few updates before joining the beta to produce this screencast showing the setup, basic functions and my opinions on the interface.  I focus on ease of setup and usability once installed.

Overall I was happy with the speed of configuration and ease of use.  I was concerned with the mass appeal of this tool.  I think hardcore Facebook users would get immediate benefit.  Early adopters will have a hard time staying in the UI with the other tools we have already entrenched ourselves in for Facebook and Twitter.

RockMelt synchronizing

TheSocialNetworker Episode 13 – Seesmic Desktop 2 screencast

Seesmic launched version 2 of their desktop software, with a plug-in architecture included.  I walk through these are in the screencast:

  • setup
  • account management
  • options
  • the interface

and more in this less than 8 minutes.  Learn what I think and if it is worth you switching your existing client to.

Remember, you can find me as IdoNotes across all the networks