Saturday, July 18, 2009

Join the new CloudNotes group on FriendFeed

Join up now! Then read on for more details if you wish…

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If you’re a reader or subscriber to this blog, you know I don’t post more than once a month—if that much. CloudNotes is really not intended to be a news source or conventional watering hole. From the beginning, I’ve conceived of this forum as more of a personal tech-quest; an exploration of how I personally use web-based notetaking and bookmarking services. My posts tend to be infrequent but longer, and I try to be as partial as possible. You’re getting my opinions—there’s nothing journalistic about what I’m trying to do here.

But also, from the beginning I’ve wished for an in-between way to share casual thoughts and links during those long droughts between posts. A place where I could quickly stash links and bits of news that might not ever merit a full post. This, of course, isn’t so different from note-taking. And at first, I simply shared my Google Notebook. When Google announced they would cease further development of the project, I switched my link blog over to Tumblr, which is perhaps the most elegant and easy blogging platform available.

But a blog isn’t quite what I wanted. Nor does a shared notebook quite meet all my needs (although I do maintain a public Evernote notebook, here). I wanted something interactive. A place where I could post my links, but where others could post their thoughts as well. I think there are people who care about the same web-apps and services I care about. People who require powerful research tools for both work and play. I wanted a place where like minds could share tips and tricks and ideas about notemarking

Admittedly, I could have invited users to contribute to my Tumblr, but I don’t want co-authors. I want full-on exchanges in a place where everyone’s on equal footing. After abortive attempts at using disappointing services like Social Median and Twine, I’ve finally figured out that FriendFeed is perfect for this. Why is FF so great at community building? As I said on my final Notemarks post:

    1. I want a simpler way to share things, and it doesn’t get simpler or easier than FriendFeed.
    2. I want more interaction with people who care about Notetaking and Bookmarking services. I want to make conversation easier. And FriendFeed does conversation better than anyone.
    3. It should be easy for you to submit your own links and stories. You know I don’t blog all that often, but I’d still like to see daily conversation about how we’re keeping track of your thoughts in the cloud.
    4. I really need an excuse to use FriendFeed. It’s a brilliant service, but very few of my pals are here. This group is a great opportunity to make some new friends who care about a fairly narrow tech subject.

Sure there are already rooms devoted to single services like Evernote and Delicious. But I wanted forum where people feel free to talk about any service. In my dream scenario, about 10 percent of my readers will sign up and be active participants. That’s still small enough where it won’t be attractive to spammers. But, really, I’ll take all comers.

That includes you.

Let’s get started.

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