Wosju: Connection with Context

Looking for the next social level, the means to actually pull value out of those hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people you likely are following across your various social networks? Check out the very cool new Wosju – an algorithm-based service that shows you the way to get from here to there in your networking. Wosju aggregates data from your various social networks and services, analyzes that data via its proprietary algorithms and spits out a “qualitative output of your network” in the form of a slick dashboard with catchy, simple visuals.  From their “about” page:

It combines and visualizes all of your traceable relations across different social graphs, calculates the strength behind each relation based on a specific context and provides you with valuable information about your relations and your network.

Like Klout, Wosju assigns a “score” to your connection with someone else in your network, offering insight on how you may be able to strengthen that connection. The page dashboard includes lots of data, also like Klout. What is nice that each piece of data on the page gives you some background on how that information is calculated. See all of your mutual connections, the strength of those connections, the frequency of interaction, and the types of interactions.

The Wosju Score indicates the overall strength of your relationship and primarily is based on mutual interaction across various networks, as viewed through the algorithms’ analysis of context, form and frequency. Pretty space-age. Also like Klout, the score is dynamic and presumably will move up and down as relationship points change over time.

The information is valuable because you can use your best nearby connections to leverage a better connection with a remote contact  – someone with whom you may wish to conduct business. The Score can also serve as a filter, giving you a means to prioritize connections or refocus connection efforts.  A bit overwhelming, but so is the process of keeping tabs on your contacts, connections, and relations in this turbo-charged social networking world. Wosju’s tables are far easier to grasp than scanning through your various feeds to pull this information yourself.

You can sign up for their beta at the link above. I have signed up and am waiting to check it out. This is an exciting sign, an indication that developers are moving away from the focus of numbers involved in connection and towards the evolving quality of connection. Will this serve as a substitute for real life? Nope. But having an extra layer with a super-simple means of checking on the health of a particular connection certainly can’t hurt.

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Google Is Getting Real With Realtime

Google added a Realtime search option in the left-hand sidebar a while ago. Click on Realtime, and your search result will show updates on the topic in, well, realtime. It’s actually kind of nifty – new results scroll up automatically and you can adjust the timeframe of the updates using the graph in the right sidebar.

While the tool has always been cool, the results have been, well, kind of meh, given that the only source for the realtime data was Twitter.

But now, Google Realtime has gotten a lot cooler. It is now including updates from Quora and Gowalla, as well as Facebook and Google Buzz.  The more realtime services added to the Google mix, the better the overall result, in my book. Chances are, you will get a wider variety of content, assuming that not everyone tweets everything of interest on a given subject. Quora, for example, seems to attract a different type of user and a different calibre of answer.

As any good researcher will tell you, the more diverse the sources you tap for your search, the more global the overall result. Thanks Google, for making realtime a heck of a lot more relevant and useful for me.

Relieved, With A Side of Trepidation

This morning, as I read my morning RSS feeds, my eyes strayed to an entry that immediately brought on a wave of euphoria: Delicious has been purchased!

Delicious, the venerable social bookmarking website (since 2003 – practically a centenarian in Web years), has long been my favorite bookmark storage tool and the news last fall that Yahoo was going to “sunset” the service was not well met by me, and countless others. There was a mad scramble to export marks, locate alternative services, board up the doors and duct tape the windows and find a suitable tinfoil hat. But I still couldn’t bring myself to abandon Delicious. It works so effectively for me. Tagging and saving via my bookmarklets is like second nature.

And, guess who’s buying? None other than the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Now, if they don’t know how to build and promote a web service, then who the heck does?

Then, the euphoria gives way to a nagging sense of doubt.

Why the trepidation, you ask?  Well, it won’t be a behind-the-scenes, no-blip-on-the-user-radar kind of change over. Hurley and Chen have indicated that they will be creating a new service from existing Delicious data, which you can opt into or, well, do what you would have done anyway if Yahoo just tanked it. The new service is to be called AVOS. There is my first problem. Delicious is a MUCH better name. What the heck does AVOS mean? And, Delicious has a great deal of name recognition that clearly Chen and Hurley are not overly concerned about. Which makes me wonder, what exactly is AVOS going to be about. I doubt it will be just about bookmarking.

Delicious says that that Chen and Hurley’s startup will “continue the service that users have come to know and love and by working with the community, make the site even easier and more fun to save, share and discover the web’s ‘tastiest’ content.”

O.k. We shall have to see. I hate to sound curmudgeonly, but I happen to really love Delicious the way it works right now. So, long and short. I am very happy that Delicious is not destined for the dustbin (yet). However, I am silently and fervently praying that they keep the site’s bones intact. Delicious works well right now. Why fix it if it’s not broken?

Signed, “Cautious in Canton.”