My Thoughts on the Facebook iPhone App

I’m surprised the more folks aren’t writing about the different iPhone apps.  Thought maybe I’d put down some notes about the different ones that I’ve used.

I’ve already spoken about my love for the Pandora app.  The next one I thought I’d write about was the Facebook app (iTunes Link).

It has 5 major sections: Home, You, Friends, Chat, and Inbox.

The Home Screen doesn’t give me access to my newsfeed but it shows me all the recent status updates of my friends.  From here I can quickly update my own status or post a photo.

The You section allows you to see your own profile information, wall, and photos. It’s not that exciting.

For the Friends section, you can quickly page through all of the different friends that you have in Facebook.   This is awesome.  If more of my friends posted their contact info on Facebook, I could see this becoming kind of an Address book in the cloud.  In this section you can also, view your friends photos and write on their walls.

The next section is really cool.  In the Chat tab, you can talk with your friends from your iPhone to their Facebook Chat accounts.

Lastly, you can check your Facebook message inbox.  Nothing to exciting here.

One thing that is noticeably absent is the ability to accept friend requests.  This is something that you can do from the iPhone Web app.

This raises the question.  Why does this need to be an iPhone app?  Other then having access to the camera, which is kind of compelling but not that big of a deal, why does this need to be an iPhone app.

With the Web app, you can actually see the whole newsfeed and not just status updates.  Generally the design seems to be more inlign with what your used to seeing on  With 3G, the Web app is just as responsive as the software application.

So… why get the Facebook iPhone software app?

Dr. Mark Drapeau is Bringing Social Media into the Defense Department

One of the cool people that I have met and become friends with on my many adventures is Dr. Mark Drapeau or cheeky_geeky as he is called on Twitter.

He’s a scientific fellow within the Defense Department (DoD) that’s exploring the potential uses of social media within the DoD.

He’s recently written a guest post for Mashable about his endeavors and I think you should all read it.

Slowly and with some collaborators including Dr. Linton Wells II who previously acted as the CIO of the Department of Defense, I have established a new research project called Social Software for Security, or S3 (everything in the military MUST have an acronym) at CTNSP. The general goals of S3 are to inventory available technologies, demonstrate effective uses of such technology throughout the government, identify impediments to use in the military, engage with experts to outline possible solutions, and ultimately make recommendations to the Department of Defense leadership on an overall military strategy for using social software for national security.

Congrats to Geoff Livingston & Livingston Communications for getting Acquired

Congrats to Geoff Livingston and everyone at Livingston Communications about being acquired.

Some of you may have seen the news today. I’ve sold Livingston Communications to the Toronto region’s Social Media Group (SMG). Maggie Fox, CEO of SMG will be my new boss, and I will serve the organization as Executive Vice President, Americas (Image: Maggie and I at Ford Headquarters last week).

Basically, I will serve major accounts as a lead strategist, head the DC office, market the company and continue blogging at the Buzz Bin (which will get a resulting content upgrade).

Don’t Engage in Social Media. Engage Your Users Who Use Social Media.

I’m really tired of hearing folks from companies tell me “I wanna engage in social media.”  It’s such the wrong way of looking at EVERYTHING.

Social media is not an ends.  Being in business isn’t all about using social media.

If you’re in business, it’s because you have someone to serve.  There are users who value what you do and you like serving and meetings their needs.

Don’t just engage in social media because it’s the cool thing to do.  Don’t just start a blog or put up a Facebook Page because you read about it in the New York Times.

Engage your users using social media.  Social media allows you to meet your users face to face.  It gives you the opportunity to build this community and these relationships.

If when you start thinking about social media you can’t answer “why?” then you probably shouldn’t start because you’re not going to do that well.

Sorry for the rant.

O’Reilly’s Graphing Social Patterns Conference in Washington DC on June 9-11, 2008

Here in the DC area, we have a really sweet upcoming opportunity.  The O’Reilly Graphing Social Patterns Conference will be in Washington DC from June 9-11th.

It’s organized by the Web 2.0 guru Dave McClure.  There will be social networking luminaries there such as Facebook’s Dave Morin,  Citizen Agency’s Chris Messina, Forrester Research’s Jeremiah Owyang, my friend and Social Times founder Nick O’Neill,  Clearspring’s very own CEO Hooman Radfar, and many more.

I’ll be there and you should be too.

If you’re coming (especially if from out of town) and wanna meetup, drop me a line.  Would love to hang and grab drinks with folks.  E-mail me –

Get your company’s username on social networks

So instead of just making sure you have your company’s domain name, you need to start thinking about whether you have your company’s username on major social networks.

Geico is learning a hard lesson.  A user on Twitter is holding their name for money.

Interested in purchasing this twitter? Contact me at without the underscore!

If Geico ever wanted to use a Twitter account to give company updates, they’d have to use a different name or buy it off the guy.

(Thanks Peter for the tip. )

Where to find me when I’m not blogging…

Every once and a while you’ll notice that i’ve gone a day or two without blogging.  This doesn’t mean that i’ve gone completely off the grid.  It just means that I’ve probably gotten really busy between my work and after work lifes.

Chances are that during a lull you can probably find some type of my activity on a number of different Web 2.0 applications…

If you wanna keep up on my various comings and goings when I’m not blogging, by all means please add me as a contact or friend on one of these services.

If it’s possible to put in a message with your “friend request”, just say that you read my blog.

Expanding Your Global Neighborhood (and Finally Meeting Some of Them Face to Face)

I remember when I got into the World Wide Web for the first time.  I was just a boy in mid-Michigan sitting in front of a computer with my dad.  The world seemed very large and incredibly inaccessible.  That was all about to change.

With the Web, information and people become infinitely more accessible. You get to meet people on the other side of the state, the other side of the country, or even the other side of the world who have common interests to you.    Before my friends would have been restricted by who I lived geographically near.  With the Web, this all changed very dramatically.

A few years ago, Shel Israel to me was just a guy who I admired, co-authored a book about blogging, and lived on the other side of the country. Because of the Web and specifically our blogs, we were able to connect and I now consider Shel to be an old friend.  He’s become what he likes to call part of my “global neighborhood.”

I could have never imagined that I would have had the opportunity to get to know and become friends with Shel but that’s the power of the Web.  It has the ability to allow to people from different backgrounds, ages, and parts of the world who have a similar interests or passion to get to know one another, form a conversation, and start a friendship. It’s sooo cool.

Today, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Shel in person at the Social Media in Government conference that was being held in Washington DC.   It was a blast.  If Shel didn’t have a plane to catch, i’m confident the conversation could have gone on for most of the day.

At the conference, I also had the pleasure today of meeting Kyle Hansen.  He wrote a blog post a while back which made a lot of people’s attention, including Shel’s.  He said “to my future boss: please let me blog.”  Kyle is an outstanding example of the revolution that is taking place with how people communicate.  He’s also very bright.

Someone in Washington DC, please hire Kyle.  We want him on this coast (he goes to school in Calif but is at an internship in DC).

I’m proud to say that Kyle is now a part of my global neighborhood.

The Web is and will change your life.  It will give you the opportunity to connect and meet truly amazing people.

Who have you met or been able to connect with via the Web?

Object-Centered Sociality – This Stuff Is So Brilliant

I read a lot stuff on the Web. A lot of what i read is just people rehashing other people’s ideas and calling it there own. But… every once and a while, you come across something and you’re like DANG that’s brilliant.

I’ve been really enjoying Jyri Engeström‘s stuff on object-centered sociality and social objects. Go read, watch, and inhale this stuff right now…

This is what others have had to say about Jyri’s ideas…

I wanna add my 2 cents in about this stuff but i’d be curious to hear everyone else’s thoughts.  Does this stuff make sense to anyone else???