Notes from a talk by Yossi Vardi of ICQ at Les Blogs.
20 million bloggers are not journalists, what are they? They want to fulfill a human desire of self-expression. ICQ was founded by four Israeli kids who wanted an indication for when their friends would enter a chat room. Initially they bet they might have 3k users, now approaching 400 million. ICQ 297M, Jesus 277M and Bible 250M mentions on MSN.
I'm not of the digital generation. When arguing over a feature in ICQ he didn't understand, the kids said, "it doesn't matter, your generation is dying anyway." If I tried to understand ICQ use (14 days a month is 6 1/2 hours a day). Those up to the age of 35 thank me, and if they are above 35 they say, "my daughters..." Can't reduce the human user experience down to an algorithm, otherwise anybody could copy it. However, there are 3-4 major forces on the Internet:
- self expression
Most people want to get Joi's video and share it with others -- we have a need, desire to share, it gives us comfort to collaborate. We used to pay an unjustified premium to rhetoric. Imagine if in every class there was a backchannel. Now everyone is in charge, can create and express themselves. If you want to understand blogging, understand social software. The killer app on the Internet are people. It provides tools for people to enhance their social potential. Other than the telephone (communicate) and telegraph (collaborate) -- we didn't have much of an invention before it.
Social signals in presence. At Yahoo IM, the most desired feature is seeing the song their friends are listening to. What I am doing now, generally, synch/asynch, on all the time. Facebook doesn't provide dating, they provide social signalling and social cues.
Social software like Flickr takes the power to create APIs from the hands of programmers to give them to the general public. Create a whole phenomena of innovation without having to create. Blogs will be an interface for many applications.
Enhancing reputation and verification: Hal Varian in Info Rules: when you want to consume an experienced product, you know if you want it only after you have consumed it. How do you know if a restaurant, theatre or book is a good one?
32 women played the Prisoner's Dilemma in an Atlanta study, they accreted dopamine 5x greater when they collaborated. We get more satisfaction when collaborating than competing.