The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 11:50:00 AM on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Another site, just like Mint breaks on the scene, asking for all your private banking data. Unfortunately they forgot the 'e' like many of the Web 2.0 sites too.

I tried Mint for a short while until I realized, I do not like even using more than one machine to do my normal financial work online, much rather upload it to a new site that has all the information in one place.

This site promises to take all your spending data and help you compare to those that are like you. In what way are they like me? Income? Region? Family size? Hobbies? There is a lot you would have to profile to get a good indication of actual comparison. They start by asking what stores you shop at to get a gender feel. I had no idea guys couldn't shop at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

They have a live demo area where you can see what goes on, so I am not even doing screenshots. I know, while this offers the ability to see spending trends for many, a simple local program like Quickr that does the same thing works just as well and sits local, not on some server. I am not usually paranoid like this, but all my financial eggs in one online basket with the recent rash of break-ins makes me a bit nervous for now. You should consider that.. 

by Chris Miller at 09:58:41 AM on Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
I came across a nice article from on the launch of
In order to login to the site, a member must provide a valid email address ending in ".edu." then verifies the address and domain before the member can log in.

The privacy provided by limiting membership to college students and professors is touted as the site's primary advantage over the other social networking platforms.

Here lies the entire issue with their theory.  Most colleges today offer alumni a lifetime email forwarding service that says they can use a .edu email address from the university they graduate (or some even just attendance).  This then opens one more door.  What about the mixture of people that happen to take one class at a Community College, Technical School or any other site offered a .edu domain?  Does this really stop anyone outside of college kids and professors from logging on?  Not even close.  The security claim becomes false as soon as someone that graduated 5 years ago (for example) is allowed in.  I will agree that it can limit the number of people that are allowed into the site as a whole of the population in social networking.  But the pretense that is pointed out in other parts of the article don't hold water.

by Chris Miller at 11:50:06 AM on Monday, November 12th, 2007
I came across what sounded as promising as all the other social network aggregators called MeVu. They have recently written a Facebook integration application which was a nice touch. Here is the issue I had with they way they went for the implementation.

You, the user, has to create categories and then links to each site and profile manually. Instead of providing a simple UI that asks for your username per social network site, they require you to actually fill in the links. Here is a sample user page..
MeVu sample page
So in order to get this, you must create categories that you see in the sample and then put links to your sites in the categories. I would have hoped for a much simpler and streamlined UI way to do all of this and then let the user simply input their username or id into some fields. Great for a Web 1.0 world look and feel. Just not where social network aggregators are today. There are much better out there to choose from, many I am doing site reviews on here on the blog.

by Chris Miller at 11:30:04 AM on Monday, November 5th, 2007
First we all got Mooshed, I mean Mash-ed (part 1 and part 2) a while ago by Yahoo. Yahoo! now states they are filling the void between Facebook and other sites with one to bring together alumni and current students. It almost sounds like or even with some worse that crappy information blocks to fill in. It all starts with the following page where they ask you to chose your current situation. I feel sorry for those that went to multiple schools or dropped out.

Kickstart Welcome from Yahoo!
So I went ahead and picked my school. Interestingly it attempts to show the logo for you school. Well in picking a handful, not a singel one of them had the school logo available. it even let you upload your own.

You are allowed to add where you have worked (LinkedIn). You first do a search and if your company is not found then you can add it into their directory for others in the future. Affiliations work exactly the same way to set organizations or societies. The More About Me area is some simple lines for you to fill in as shown below.

Kickstart More About Me
Lastly there was a search area. I did the name Steve for grins and only got 8 matches so people are not signing up just yet. You could search by 3 other attributes though.
Kickstart Yahoo person search

So overall this is just as bad as the attempt they made into Mash. The Mailbox feature was senseless since I have to sign into Yahoo to get into Kickstart, why does it not link to the Yahoo mailfile. Why in the world would I want another internal to Yahoo mailbox when they force me to have one in the first place with having a Yahoo account to use this service?

by Chris Miller at 02:58:59 PM on Friday, November 2nd, 2007
I interview Dan Cohen, CEO of Pageflakes, about his social-based portal pages for browsers. This is part 1 where we dig into the site from the architecture side and Lisa will cut loose in the next episode to discuss the site from an end user viewpoint.

If you have not played with the site, listen in to get some great tips and an even better understanding on how this really is a social network and not just a browser portal for content.
Please visit the sponsor for this Episode, Skype

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Yes this is a blatant theft of the outline that Jess uses on her page, but I asked permission. Why?? Because I am a hardcore admin and can make ugly tables to make you developers frustrated, but this was too nice to pass up.

Also Known As: Chris Miller (when awake)

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Let us now also add a deranged cat that is in the process of being toilet trained. Update: Toilet traning was very very close.


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Character Bio:

This will take far more time than I have today. I will start with I was born and still live in St. Louis, MO. Even though for a couple years I was never, ever here and always on the road, this is smack in the middle of the US. Everything is just a few hour flight. That part is nice. No beach/ocean/coast isn't the best. But with the travel I make up for it.

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