E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Ziki – Your Own Personal e-Card on the Web

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While most of the folks I get to read in my feeds on a daily basis have been trying out Facebook for the last few weeks, where it has exploded incredibly, I have actually been kind of busy with something else. Also while some of those folks have been pushing me to give up and join them, I have been busy watching how one of my favourite social computing tools from all time has been getting a facelift, and a lovely one, I must admit. Yes, that is right, I am still resisting entering the Facebook world. Most of my Twitter friends know why, mainly privacy issues of getting asked some nasty questions that I am not sure a social network tool should be asking, after all. But anyway, I am still resisting.

So while all of that has been going on, I have been quietly watching how one of the social networking tools I have been using for a good number of months has gone through a superb upgrade and now, more than ever, I have been enjoying most of the original features, plus a whole bunch more of the different additions put together. Yes, indeed, I am talking about Ziki, to me, one of the most interesting and powerful people portals out there!

In the past, I have been talking about Ziki a few times already, and during all this time, one of the things that I have realised about is that, as time goes by, I keep using it more and more, to the point where it is part of my daily online interactions along with some other social software tools. I heart Ziki, indeed, and from the very first moment that I got exposed to it. To me, it is one of the most elegant, simple, effective and straight to the point social networking tools that helps you aggregate all of your online content with a single point of contact and at the same time connect with other folks who may share similar interests, knowledge and experiences.

You may be wondering what is so special about Ziki at this point in time, right? Well, check out my Ziki profile to find out why. And if that is not enough, here you have got five quick reasons why you should look into Ziki yourself, if you are looking for a tool to syndicate all of your online content and build up your own unified online persona, like I have been able to do myself. So here you have got those different reasons:

1. Aggregation all of your online content in a single space: Yes, that is right. If you check out my own Ziki, as an example, you would be able to see online content from my Flickr account, my twitterings, all of my Internet blogs, my BlinkList bookmarks, my Feedburner and Technorati profiles, and the list goes on and on and on. If anyone would want to know the different places I have been sharing stuff people would just need to check my Ziki and off you go.

2. Addition of different basic social networking features: Apart from what I have just mentioned above, you would also be able tag your profile, your own content, other people, connect with them, join different interest groups, syndicate your content with the different feeds, group your list of friends and fans, watch out over different types of tagclouds of key terms, etc. etc. Yes, I know, all the bells and whistles we have all learned to love from various other social software tools. Pretty nifty.

3. Ability to create groups with common interests: This is one of the features that I like the most, although we may not have seen its full potential just yet. It may not have reached the critical mass you would expect of having multiple groups, i.e. multiple communities coming around to meet the needs of most users, but having the ability of setting up your own groups and stay in touch with them directly inside of the tool itself is quite handy, as you would be able to combine both the individual aspects of Ziki next to the group ones. I just wish more folks would be on it to provide many more relevant groups to connect with.

4. Ability to share your reading interests by importing your own OPML: This is perhaps one of my favourite reasons / features why I heart Ziki so much. And that is the fact that I can share my OPML file with everyone that may be interested in my feeds and when displaying the different categories you can down a customised OPML file and just add that one. Beautiful! That way people can subscribe to my KM or Social Computing or Learning feeds without even having to ask me for the OPML file. Incredibly helpful, to be honest.

5. A single URL address as your own e-Card: And, finally, on other of my favourite reasons. The fact that my Ziki profile, for the last few months, has become my online e-Card that I keep sharing all over the place. Examples, like my e-mail closing information (I no longer have lengthy details all over the place, just a single URL and that would be it!), or my LinkedIn or XING profiles, then MyBlogLog, Twitter Id, Frappr, Ex.plode.us, and my basic contact details like e-mail address, IM and VoIP clients, location, etc. etc. are now part of a single, very easy to remember, URL address that I can place anywhere else I would want to. Just brilliant!

And that would be it, folks, five reasons, five different key features, why, after the latest upgrade, you may want to check out Ziki as one of the best options out there to help create and maintain, rather easily, your own online persona, your own people portal! I know there are plenty more features you would be able to take advantage of, but those would be the ones that still keep me busy with it and away from entering other social networking tools like Facebook. Now we just need to have Ziki providing us with the opportunity to build up a business card with some of that data that we can print out and we are ready to do some business! Ziki rules!

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  1. Am I the only person who thinks that the proliferation of social networking sites is beginning to cause confusion? Just when blogging was maturing to the point that blogs were becoming a network, through comments, RSS, tagging etc, we now all have to follow about half a dozen or more social networks.

    Perhaps I should go offline and lie down for a bit…

  2. Ok, I signed up at ziki.com/en/people/daviding , which I have to say isn’t as easy as remembering daviding.com … but then I was fortunate to get my domain name early.

    I do see some value in integrating personas on the web in an open way. I see Ziki could have some value … but perhaps zoominfo.com has a better approach by crawling the web and trying to piece a persona together. On the other hand, I haven’t seen Zoominfo, which seems more targeted towards business contexts, tapping into places like MySpace and Facebook.

    The software seems to still be in the learning stages. On your page, you’ve set up some connections — although I don’t know who they are — and I can’t figure out how to connect to you. If you could connect to me, then maybe it will become clearer to me.

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