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Since the Twitter, FaceBook and FriendFeed Follow lists, I have been focusing on several other Micro-Blogging platforms. The main one namely being Identi.ca.

Identica has a very loyal user base which is continuing to grow at speed and more importantly, Identi.ca itself is rapidly progressing in functionality.

As a tool for social media and social networking it’s often underrated.

In the past, I chatted about Identi.ca, trying to drum up some enthusiasm, my main motive being, what happens if Twitter goes down. I know for a fact that when Twitter does suffer an outage it causes much dismay and disruption for a heck of a lot of people. Yet few have any viable back-up that is anything close to Twitter in day to day use and functionality. FaceBook and FriendFeed are quite different beasts.

And without followers and contacts, being on another platform is close to useless.

I also started a discussion over at SocialMedian about ‘what happened if Twitter died’, so if you want to take a peek, pop on over there.

Establish an Identica Presence

So my feeling was that as a pretty awesome creative community, we could sort of create a back-up network. This really isn’t doing justice to Identi.ca because it’s so much more than a back-up to Twitter, it is a viable alternative. At the moment, it still lacks the user base to persuade many people to even consider it. So by designating it the back-up, it instantly becomes more popular and more used. Which is a good thing for great application.

And when Twitter does go down for any length of time, most of us wont be sat stunned, not knowing what to do, we can just shift over to Identi.ca and start chatting again.

The cool thing with Identi.ca is it’s close ties to Twitter. From within Identi.ca you can automatically post to your Twitter stream. Twhirl supports Identi.ca, so you can have a Identi.ca window up as well as Twitter and FriendFeed. The iPhone now has dedicated Identi.ca applications also. So it’s very well supported and becoming more so.

What to do

Simply add your Identica profile/user ID as a reply to this post, with a small Bio of what you do, stand for, work as, aim for etc. No harm in using the Twitter Bio for this really.




What's it all about

I love good recources, we all do. Yet there are so many to choose from, to remember to sift through it can be come quite overwhelming.

I for one, use Delicious to bookmark the posts that I find particularly cool and useful and Stumble most others. But as much as I love Delicious, I have needed more direct access to these posts that I have previously bookmarked. Not to mention the somewhat hit and miss affair of Delicious Tags etc.

So this is where Posterous came in. It's no big secret that I love Posterous, it's such a awesomely simply tool to get posts and photos up in no time at all. I post most days from my iPhone to my personal Posterous blog, ImJustGraham. Mostly photos of Dylan granted, but it's a lovely way to stay connected and also it creates a wonderful history trail.

Junkies

So the Junkie sites came about after a bit of trial and error. I initially intended to use Twitter for this purpose, to set up individual Twitter accounts, such as LogoJunkies, TypeJunkies etc to tweet new links as and when I saw them. But managing all these accounts became problematic, not to mention the ongoing process of getting new followers for each one. So I have pretty much abandoned that method. But I still felt the Junkie method was worth pursuing.

First and foremost they are a library of some of the more interesting and useful posts, links, articles and resources. All neatly stored in one easy to use Posterous blog. The emphasis is on what I personally like, subjects that I love and content that interest me. They are an extended personal resource of all the things that I love from Type, Logos, Photoshop, Macs etc.

So now rather than having to wade through countless tags in Delicious or remember the best sites to visit, I now have a neat collection of subject relative Posterous Blogs that house only one subject.

If others find them of use then great, but even if not, they serve a useful purpose for me. My very own way of managing and collecting useful news and information.

Where credit is due

I make it clear that these are just excerpts or references to the original articles, there is no intention here to RIP of other peoples work. Quite the opposite, by inluding them in the Junkie blogs, I am actually helping spread the word of these awesome post and articles. I post just enough to get attention, but have to visit the original source to follow up on the post. I will not include download links for recourses or include full posts.

The list so far

  1. LogoDesignJunkies
  2. TypeJunkies
  3. MacJunkies
  4. iPhone Photography
  5. PhotoshopJunkies
  6. DesignJunkies
  7. TextureJunkies
  8. jQueryJunkies
  9. ProjectJunkies
  10. TwitterJunkies
  11. SocialMediaJunkies
  12. BrushJunkies
  13. ThemeJunkies
  14. BrandJunkies
  15. CodeJunkies
  16. Minimalicity (just a different name)

Some may just come and go, some new ones may pop up. Just depends on how things go, and the flow of information.

Submit your own links

Please feel free to suggest links and resources that you feel others would benefit from. Im ideally looking for the 'better' articles etc, rather than 'every' post going. But please feel free to leave a comment on the blog in question with the link you feel would be worth adding and I will take it from there. If the link is published, then I will also add a credit link for that person.




toluu screenshot

Toluu is different from many existing feed reader and feed aggregators, in that it just doesn't aggregate. It does, but it also does something more substantially useful.

toluu screenshot

Toluu offers some neat ideas and twists on the usual feed reading services. It's not a way to talk or communicate directly, hence it's not a social network as such.

Toluu is a central depository for your feeds and a library for finding other feeds that are similar to your own tastes. It's easy to add feeds on the fly and check in feeds as and when you find them.

You import your existing RSS feeds into Toluu as you can any other feed reader. The bonus is that this information is then correlated and used to determine your 'style' of sites, blogs, feeds etc. Then you activate the 'Matches' tab and here is generated the most useful aspect I have seen in any aggregator.

As well as manually adding feeds, you can use the Toluu bookmarklet to automatically add a feed direct to your account. By hooking it up with Twitter from the preferences, you can inform all your buddies everytime you add a feed, plus you give off some good karma for promoting the site in question.

toluu screenshot

Based on your existing feeds, it analyzes other Toluu members profiles and feeds and churns out results based on percentage match. For example, 'User A'' might share your passion for certain subjects, then the results will come higher, from this 'User A' will also have feeds that you are not aware of, and this is where it really shines. From this you are introduced to sites, blogs and feeds you might otherwise have missed.

I have come across many new and interesting blogs, sites and feed that I simply did not know about, that are matched to my own tastes.

Also, Toluu will notify you when a "friend" has added further feeds and contacts, so you can check out their profiles and see what they are interested in. If something rocks your boat, you can then add their feeds to your own profile.

Give it a shot

Toluu is a service that has fast grown on me. The mportant thing is that it will really shine the more people come on board, as there will be a richer store of feeds to measure and match from, thus you will benefit from discovering further feeds based on your own likes.

toluu screenshot

Well recommend signing up and giving it a go.

See my Toluu feed at http://www.toluu.com/imjustcreative. Sign up and add me as a contact. Well, it's not a order, more a polite suggestion.

Get a Toluu invite

If you want to take this for a spin, then I have a number of invites to pass on. Just leave a comment below and I will shoot one off to you.




Follow some of the best 50+ Designers on Twitter

Thanks to Steven over at Vandelay Design and his other Social Network Blog - Traffiked, there is a massive list of worth design folk that ought to be on your Twitter list. And since the list was posted, there has been around 130 comments all with extra Twitter links for you to add, so all in all, over 100 Design related Twitterer's all in one place.

I was included on that original Twitter list and a severe hurricane hit me the next day and the following weeks. I had no idea Steven had included me, and the onslaught of followers has just dumbfounded me, even to this day, several months on I am getting new requests that originated from this article.

Feel free to add your Twitter or any other Social MicroBlog ID to comments below.

Thanks Steven.




I have been following with avid interest this hot face off between these two new Adobe Air applications. But I see it ending in tears if things are not calmed down a bit.

It's easy to get carried away with what cool new additions each of them must incorporate next. But is anyone keeping check of the usability factor?

Simply, Twhirl has a nice balance, easy to read, easy to follow whats going on. Alertthingy already is becoming more and more 'noisy'. Air applications are limited in that they are currently single column. Too much information just creates a very unreadable list, that needs much scrolling or constant checking. Already for me, I have too many feeds, contacts, friends to effectively manage.

Thwirl is still workable and manageable. I have had to trim the people I follow, even for my meager number count, but this allows me to follow the more useful contacts and keeps Thwirl functionable for me.

The only issue I really see is that cramming too much into this supposedly pocket size applications will end up causing them to become severally bloated and very confusing to use.

Already, trying to see whats what on AlertThingy can be a tad confusing, the more contacts, the more friends, the more feeds, comments etc already makes for a very busy single column full of info.

Adding more functionality, although tempting, will just create a beast. Short of adding specific columns etc, having all this current data and proposed data in one single column is just way too unreadable and unmanageable. Unless it become a full blow application which defeats the whole purpose of these handy, pocket size floating applications.

They will not be floating applications if all these 'must haves' are incorporated in order to satisfy the unquenchable thirst of the mass, it will then be sinking rather than floating application.

Already for me, I am now using my MacBook Pro next to my iMac to home all my floating applications, IM clients, Air clients etc.

Someone needs to realise that these are designed to be small, handy pocket size applications, that should not become an almost Air replacement for the actual web page they are supposedly mean to assist and extend usability of.

I see competition in this case to be bad news for general usability of the applications, unless a radical interface change is made to the Air interface and people remind themselves that these Air applications should ideally be kept small, compact and useful.