Wandering around in Port Melbourne yesterday, I noticed a bike store on Bay St providing a simple yet brilliantly conceived service to every cyclist in the area. Chained to their sandwich board at the front of the store was a high-pressure floor pump for all to use.
You see, nearly every bike store in the world will happily pump up your tires if you just take your bike in and ask. But here in South Melbourne they are reducing the work they have to do while making it easier for you to perform the already free service, all the while they are building up goodwill with every random cyclist who rides past. Brilliant.
In the very Macaron flavoured world of the Melbourne Food Blogosphere everyone seems to use blogspot. I don’t usually have much to say about Blogger but more out of pure ignorance than any steadfast knowledge of its technical merits. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to use it, probably opting for the more independent, open-source based WordPress.com for a hosted blogging solution. However one thing I have noticed is the prominence of Google Connect paraphenalia in the sidebar of many of these blogs. These widgets allow me to “follow” each blog, what this means I have no idea as I thought I already was “following” them in my Google Reader account. Surely this has some other functionality other than me giving the blog owner nothing more than a vote of confidence that someone else likes their website.
The other thing that I have noticed recently is the growing prominence of Facebook Connect logins on a number of websites. Each of these things growing is a sign of things to come and I’m sorry FriendFeed but you aren’t involved. The minute one of these 2 systems starts providing me, and my friends (my real not geeky internet type friends) some real value they will go ballistic.
Already I’m liking the Twitter/FriendFeed style flow that has been brought to my Facebook page, not the AJAX fueled “Live Status” updates that was there before, but the I refresh the page and there is something new there every time style updates. Old friends I haven’t spoken to in a while have sent me messages, I’ve seen photos I wouldn’t have seen and I’m feeling the love for Facebook again. It’s just a matter of time until I start seeing every website that anyone has performed an action on showing up in there and being able to comment on it.
Likewise I think that is what is missing from Google’s network, a home page, a public profile page, a place where people can come and see that I’ve found a heap of cool new blogs today, found a love of commenting on blogs and generally learnt how to truly waste time in the blogosphere and that doesn’t include the hour I spent on Google Reader this morning.
There is a heap of different technologies at play here, Jabber/XMPP, RSS/Readers, Social Networking, Blogs, Comments, Forums and Status. Saying that tying them together is the next big thing is like closing the gate after the horse has bolted, but I can’t wait until one of these massive companies can tie them all together.
First let me say, I’m still not convinced with Twitter, but I’m using it and I don’t think I’m going to stop any time soon. TweetDeck is the best client I’ve used so far (I’ve only used Twhirl), but there are a few things that annoy me with it. So I’m writing them here in the hope that someone reads them and fixes them.
- Page up and Page Down don’t work, ever. Either does the other keyboard ways of scrolling, the Google Readeresque “j” key or using the space key to scroll down. This needs to be fixed, soon.
- When you have scrolled down and come back to the window later, you don’t want to have to scroll all the way back up.
- There is currently no way to view someone’s profile. What I do at the moment is add a search column for a user, then click on one their username and delete the search column.
- There is no way to manage your friends/follower list
- Not really an interface problem, but TweetDeck is THE worst user of memory on my computer. It leaks memory worse than Firefox 2, and that’s saying something. It has such limited functionality that it’s memory foot print should be minimal.