The Future of Online Media Sessions: Live from Blog Potomac

By Renee Revetta | Oct 23, 2009
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Here's how I did in Austin / @ SXSW these past...Image by dpstyles™ via Flickr

Jane Quigley of Crayon talked about future Internet media forms – from what started with Dodgeball – Twitter and Foursquare have emerged.  Quigley thinks opening up the API in different platforms is golden.  She thinks an API is money in terms of time, effort and investment.

With social media developments, Quigley thinks local businesses will benefit from tools like City Source and iPhone Apps that will allow citizens to report things amiss in their neighborhood through their mobile devices.  Think Neighborhood Watch 2.0.  Another great tool she thinks is useful is Groupon. Check it out, especially if you’re in the DC area.

Google social search was another thing she said to look out for.  Google Wave, however, wasn’t highly praised, as it’s confusing, distracting and might not scale well.  There are only select people using it now which make it less helpful.  However, she said it might work really well for home schooled children and citizen journalism, but in the workplace, Jane said, for her it provides too much interruption.

Sean Gorman of FortiusOne discussed geo-location technologies, specifically those being created with social media in mind.  With a geography background, he came to find technology is becoming more and more involved in his field.
Much of what started with Google Earth is still growing. GPS and geo-location features are already incorporated into mobile phones and browsers.  Loopt and Foursquare have done this, and in the future, Twitter wants to allow location based info.  The question is, how much privacy these applications will allow.  Many people were concerned about being able to choose if you’d like to reveal your exact location, neighborhood, city, or nothing at all.

These technologies are now being used by United Nations to create useful maps with their existing data. There are even talks of having farmers use sensors to collect agricultural data to make better decisions about global development.

Lastly, Ning’s Peter Slutsky talked about niche development of social networks and communities.  Ning now has 36 million registered users (and growing by about 1 million every 2 weeks). Ning is a place for people with similar interests, where Facebook is for friends, and LinkedIn is for colleagues.

For those thinking about creating a community, Ning allows you to create a branded community that’s very customizable.  The help section of the site assists even new social media users with guidelines on how to build a community, and some tips for revenue and aesthetics. There are also optimization and indexing instructions on the help page.

Two things to keep your eyes open for in the future, Ning will be building a mobile app and Slutsky will be building a community for DC young professionals in the next few weeks.

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