Seesmic video and HTML 5

Remember the video version of seesmic, the one that spawned.the francofous?

Things changed for two reasons. Bandwidth issues and ressources. Flash would suck down the laptop battery within a few minutes. It meant that you could.only Seesmic from a fixed position.

With html5 that problem will dissapear. What I look forward to is an HTML 5 optimized version. It could result in a greater number of users on less powerful machines.

I hope we see a growth in users and a more international set of users. I hope they also add more features at the same time.

Let us see whether Seesmic take advantage of this opportunity.

The Social media Misnomer

This morning I spent three hours chatting to people in Australia, Sweden and France via both twitter and plurk and it felt great and the reason for this is that it was personal. We hear so much and read even more about the social media and the social web but there is one fundamental flaw and oxymoron in this vision. That is that there is an utter lack of the social aspect.

Everyone is here, trying to promote their work, their brand, their friends and everything. They re retweeting what other people say and do to promote work. They are promoting things that they think can promote a person’s value. The trouble is that how many of these people do you know as friends. Do you know anything than their marriage, their recent hirings or their job. Do you know where they’ve been out with friends?

I could name a hundred locations where podcamp have been, where tuttle have gone and many other things but I couldn’t tell you where more than two or three people like to go for drinks or good food. That’s because the social media are hidden. Everyone is hiding their real identity, their real friendships and their real passions. That’s why some of them have a public twitter account and a private one. That’s why there is so little conversation left on twitter. That’s also why you want to have 20,000 followers.

The truth is that if you use the social media as a professional tool, as a branding tool then you might find work, and you may find those who provide you with an increased profile but is that what the web is really about? How many of you will send more than two tweets to anyone except for work? How many of you will spend an hour just chatting?

You see for most of the people I follow on twitter it’s about work and nothing else. Sure there’s the charity for breast cancer and the organ donation drives that give good results but what about the mondane conversations? That’s lacking on twitter. That’s why plurk is more fun at moments.

In reality if what you called the social media were truly social then I would have had nothing to write and dream about in my nanowrimo effort. That’s why I lampoon most of you. You haven’t understood the social nature of the social web because for you it’s a work tool, not a play thing. Learn to play with the social media and you will get a lot more out of it. You will build friendships and the transparency will result in some positive things.

I’ve seen the Francofous community, how it grew, how it meant there were many meetings and how they talked behind closed doors. i’ve also seen the consequences of the lack of openness and what it can do to people’s involvment in the communities they’re part of. How many francofous still use seesmic for example. Of those I follow I see just one person still on seesmic.

Plurk at the moment is more social, you see conversations between friends and they have fun. it’s about funny images, it’s about night shifts, it’s about waking up, or going to sleep. In general it’s just a convivial social space where no one is using the network as a professional tool.

I’m not saying that you should be social all the time, what I’m saying is that you need to think about how to give time to the communities you’re part of. Ping.fm, hello text and others provide no value to those that are listening. Engage with your audience on a personal level. SHow them that you’re interested in the individuals, not the professionals.

The Francofous like to migrate

The Francofous are part of the seesmic community and can be differentiated by their ability to speak french and their avatars. Originally formed around Seesmic and twitter they are now migrating to both plurk and phreadz, two services I have talked about in the past.

What is nice about this community is that it’s a core of 20-30 early adopters who move and try new communities as a group rather than individuals. What this means is that whereas in previous years we would jump from one community to another, start without knowing anyone and over weeks and months get to know people here we have a core of people moving with the times.

Of course I speak about the Francofous this way but they’re not the only ones. Many of my English and international social media friends are doing the same thing, moving from one fesh community to another to see what the strengths and weaknesses are. They’re also testing out the sites, seeing what works and what doesn’t. They’re illustrating how many of you will use these sites once the barriers to entry have come down.

There’s another factor that’s important to take into consideration. Those who are early adopters are used to using twenty to thirty sites several times a day from google reader to plurk, to seesmic, to phreadz to gmail to flickr, youtube, dailymotion, vimeo and many more. At the same time most of my university friends are happy with facebook and gmail. They’re lucky, everything they want can be found in one place ;-).

How far are these communities from the mass of mid to late adopters? Quite a few months to a year ahead of the pack.

The Francofous Seesmic Skype call

There are two communities on Seesmic, those that are English speakers and those that are French speakers. The French speaking seesmicers can be recognized by two things. The first one is the Racoon avatar, the second is that they refer to each other as the Francofous, the crazy french.

Last night Seesmic went down due to an upgrade gone wrong and as a result many seesmicers didn’t know what to do with their time. One seesmicer decided to create a skype conference call where over ten seesmicers were chatting for quite a few hours. I only found out about it via the discussion between Fred2baro and Sizemore and added Fred2baro. Quite a few of the French seesmicers were there and we discussed many topics and it lasted for at least three hours before it was cut short.

What made this conversation so interesting is how people came in and left at various points and how at one point Eric Rice and Purplecar joined the conversation. A few more people joined in including Loic Lemeur although his presence was short due to children in the background playing on a PSP.

I think that this is what the future of web interactions is about. It’s about a global community of people, at the moment early adopters, who have strong ties with friends and family in various parts of the world and no particular illustrated that such as the one of Kosso and Ifiz. They like to advertise that they met “in 140 characters or less”. That was a nice story and it shows the point of the new age of social interactions. I won’t give all the details here as you can easily ask them in person at a later date.