PLENTY OF PEOPLE whose musings I enjoy reading don't like the way a lot of online conversation has started to babble in places where it's difficult to follow the streams in easy ways. Facebook is one of the guilty parties. Euan Semple (in the photo) calls it "the cappuccino of social networking. Loads of froth and chocolate shaken on the top. Give me a double espresso any day." Then there's Twitter, whose infrastructure seems to randomly lose, regurgitate, and then upstream multiple posts well beyond the time of the author's initial posting. If I had nothing else to do, I might agree to hang out and watch the stream of content percolate at Facebook or Twitter but I don't have the patience to watch paint dry in either of these social networks. As a result, I'm resigned to flicking through photos and group conversations on Facebook the way I do with Flickr--days later in many cases. Facebook and Twitter are effective precursors of activities or simple places to hatch ideas serendipitously but hardly worthy of replacing well-written blog posts that connect thoughts together. Blog posts give me sustenance because they come with RSS feeds that bubble up on my mobile phone. I know I follow the flow of online conversation more with a mobile phone than with a laptop. I get little text updates from Jaiku that aggregate titles from blogs. Jaiku also sends me summaries of social bookmarks and occasionally small thumbnails from recent Flickr photos. That kind of information feels like the espresso of social networking to me.
Euan Semple -- "Facebook"