While in Shanghai for the World Expo 2010 the following are sites that I cannot access.

  • My Posterous Site - although I can send posts to my Posterous site via email, I cannot see how these posts appear on the site as I cannot load it.
  • Facebook - I have several comments I like to reply to on my Facebook Wall, but I cannot log into Facebook to do so.
  • Twitter - as I had mentioned in my post Internet Deprived in Shanghai, I cannot access any Twitter services or related sites.
  • FriendFeed - I cannot post anything to FriendFeed because the entire site is block. This may be because it is now own by Facebook.
  • YouTube - I cannot see any videos on YouTube referenced by articles/posts I read. Therefore missing much of the content of a post. This lack of access also eliminate my sharing of interesting videos found on YouTube.

Without the above makes it hard for me to share. Fortunately, I still have Google Buzz and Google Reader.


If you are into technology or if you use Gmail you will have noticed Google launched Buzz several weeks ago. Google this time took a different approach of launching its products/features. Buzz was not released with an "Alpha" or "Beta" badge, instead it was released as a "finished" product. Normally Google releases a product with many features and slaps a "Beta" label on it, like they did with Gmail. Then slowly releases new features or refines existing ones. Ineffect recuiting its users as testers pubilcally.

This time Google released a product that does very little but what features it has are very solid. Although, some of the initial decisions Google made regarding Buzz are questionable. Abnormally Google reacts very quickly on complains and refines the product based on these feedbacks almost over night. I believe Google's ability to accomplish such agile development methodology is the result of hiring seasoned individuals from the social network community (people like Chris Messina and others) specifically for the development of Buzz and social features in other products within Google's suite of applications/services.

On initial look you may notice similarities to FriendFreed (now a Facebook property), with abilities to connect to external web sites and aggregate contents from these sites. You may ask why will I want to aggregate content into one site? That will depend on the type of sites one connects to Buzz.

In most cases, Google expects users to connect sites with original content that users generate themselves, like personal blogs or other sites that the user belongs to with original content relating to the user. Google assists with this process by providing a list of "linked" sites from the user's Google Profile; Yes, all users of Buzz must first have a Google Profile in addition to Gmail. If the user does not already have a Google Profile, the user will have the opportunity to create one during the activation process for Buzz.

Now Alberto Garcia Hierro has made an iOS application, Buzzie [iTunes Link] that he wants USD1.99 for it in the iTunes App Store. I personally do not see a need for a dedicate app for Google Buzz on any of the iOS devices. Google has a fairly usable version of their site customized for the iOS devices.

Twitter LogoTwitter has been around now for over 3 years and along the way there had been many 3rd party applications and web services. At the beginning years these 3rd party applications and web services had required the Twitter users to provide their Twitter credentials to use the service. This requirement of providing a 3rd party with my credentials of another service had never sit well with me. So I did not use any 3rd party web services that requires my Twitter credentials. This decision was frustrating to me, as during this time Facebook, FriendFeed and others had authentication services that does not require their users to provide their respective credentials to the 3rd parties. As a result I joined the 100s of others who requested Twitter adopt OAuth or alike technology for their site.

Finally beginning of 2009 we started to see signs of Twitter OAuth. This was promising, but now there are 1000s of 3rd party services who had yet to adopt the new authentication method. I then join the campaign to encourage as many of these 3rd party developers to incorporate Twitter OAuth as their authentication method instead of requiring the user's Twitter credentials. Unfortunately, several months after the appearance of Twitter OAuth, we see a vulnerability in the implementation of OAuth, which slowed down this 3rd party adoption. With the cooperation of the member companies of the OAuth organization this vulnerability was quickly identified and resolved.

In the mean time we keep hearing stories of Twitter accounts being compromised, initially it was thought that these incidents came from within Twitter. Since Twitter had an incident where the Administrator password was hacked by a teenager using brute force method. But now stories like the most recent one, 1000s of Twitter Accounts Compromised in Latest Spam Attack, is becoming more and more frequent.

As always the most vulnerable security is through a third party. So try to refrain yourself from trying that latest Twitter service, if it does not use Twitter OAuth. Definitely don't use your Twitter credentials as the login for the 3rd party service.

If you suspect your account may be compromised, change your password immediately.


I just saw the following tweet in my Twitter stream. SCMP Tweet

For those of you who does not know SCMP stands for "South China Morning Post" the only major English newspaper left in Hong Kong.

Does SCMP realize they are a news agency. If there is a story about police in China arresting people carrying GPS devices as spy, then we want to know about it now, today. We don't need a preview of "story to come tomorrow" so you can hope to sell more newspaper tomorrow.


A friend of mine wrote a post about Social Networking in her blog. I could not help but comment on her post. Instead of simply commenting on her post in her blog, I've decided to write a post of my own. There are an appropriate use of the various online communities, like Facebook, whether it is Social Networks, Instant Messaging (IM), Life Streams or Blogs. Each one of these community has its respective use in personal or enterprise context. For the companies who are up with modern trends, will recognize these are just different communications means.

Two years ago we have SMS, IM, Email, fix-line telephone and mobile telephone calls, each of these communication tools have their appropriateness in different context. Similarly we now have the above addition means (tools).

Examples of Social Networks:

Examples of Instant Messaging Services:

Example of Life Stream:

BTW: the chat on Facebook is indeed life; for the friends who are online at the same time you are.

In my case, my IM consolidator applications (Adium on the Macintosh, on Windows there are tools like Trillian) has the ability to sign onto all my IM accounts plus Facebook at the same time. Therefore, I can see all my friends and talk to any of the online ones anytime. Best of all without worrying about which community each of them belong to.

The key in the future is to allow these various communities to establish. There will be more and more vertical focused communities. These communities will be able to share the conversations among members of different communities. One such community (Life Stream) is Identi.ca using the Laconica technology. Similarly to what Google's OpenSocial intended to achieve.