Tag Archives: social networks

LinkedIn Groups

Over the years I have found LinkedIn to be a useful business orientated “social” networking site.  In the past year LinkedIn has had to up its game quite a lot as more networking and peer reputation sites have appeared, often with new and interesting innovations.

One of the improvements LinkedIn made was the groups, where motivated individuals could expend their time and energy building affinity and shared interest groups.  (Disclosure – I have built several groups on LinkedIn – but am not part of the activists I mention here).  When someone joined a group they exposed their email details to the group owner and LinkedIn provided functionality to upload and download contact details.

About a month ago LinkedIn withdrew the ability for group managers to see and contact group members via email.  This has caused a lot of consternation for some group managers, who feel their efforts at building and communicating with their groups has been hijacked.  More they feel that the way the change was imposed without notice was wrong and all attempts to protest and discuss with LinkedIn have been ignored.

Now, some group owners have started an online petition to have their rights to manage the group as they did initially reinstated.   Some of the comments on this site seem reasonable.

This week a number of the groups have effectively closed themselves down, asking members to re-join a new group (some on other platforms, some on LinkedIn) – it remains to see how sucessful a plea to migrate will be with the usually conservative majority.

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Fire and Forget?

Clearly the world is full of the news and gleeful sniping at Google’s little fopar on Saturday 31st January.  What I have not seen quite so much of is comment on the process, or perhaps lack of, that allowed such a catastrophic (for Google) human error to go “live”.

It seems that the need to get it out is greater than the need to get it right (and I am sure that anyone with a blog or website has managed to make an occasional fopar too), forgivable, perhaps, for the legions of us who are posting for leisure and social purposes, not so for professionals and corporates who should know better.  Whatever happened to the process of development, test, review, authorise, release?  

Let’s not just focus on Google, there are other newsworthy problems out there this week.  Social bookmarking site Ma.gnolia was taken down completely on Friday (30 January) citing data corruption and loss “that will take days, not hours” to fix, going on to say they cannot guarantee that users bookmarks can be restored at all.  Now imagine if this were the web services you most depend on. 

In the case of Google we now know that human error was the stated cause, in the case of Ma.gnolia one can only speculate.  Whatever the cause there is little excuse for a lack of process and infrastructure to prevent (Google) or recover (Ma.gnolia) in a managed way.  

As we move towards more use and reliance of cloud based computing, as we place more of our “stuff” on social networking sites and data repositories we must assure ourselves that the sites and companies we put our trust in are up to the job.

Interesting links for 28 January 2008

Comparing OSS and BSS benchmarks.  Benchmarks are A Good Thing, for sure. They drive improvements to the product and encourage competitiveness between vendors. They demonstrate that the vendor has a system architecture which offers a good chance of concurrency and scalability. But they are not indicative of the performance any other telco will achieve…

Social networks overtake adult websites.  Hitwise review the useage figures for the UK…

Flight Simulator morphs into ESP Platform.  Terrain mapping the world and what to do with the data.