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Social networking project, Diaspora that was started in April by four students from NYU’s Courant Institute with the goal to protect people’s privacy has now released its source code to developers. Inspired by a need to address the security concerns that many have had with respect to Facebook, the Diaspora software is touted as a potential safer Facebook alternative. Unlike Facebook, it is based on a decentralized network that allows users to put up their personal information such as photos and updates on their own web server called “seed”. This then can be shared with chosen friends thereby giving them total control over the data. As of now Diaspora supports upload of photos & albums. All traffic except photos is currently signed and encrypted. Work is underway to also provide users with the option to use a third party hosted service as opposed to their own seed. T... (more)

Why Blogging is Not a True Co-Technology

Speaking Thursday in Tokyo at The New Context Conference 2010, the founder of Twitter, Biz Stone (pictured), put onto the record two sentences that will stand the test of time in the era of social computing: "Twitter isn't a triumph of technology it's a triumph of humanity. A more connected world leads to a more empathic world." Interestingly, Stone makes this observation in the self-same week that saw the sale of TechCrunch, Inc. to New York-based AOL - triggering a spate of commentaries along the lines of This Is the Death of Independent Blogging. Is this an inflexion point? Hell, yes. And a big one. This week is also the week in which, as Guy Kawasaki reminds us, that Twitter's traffic overtook that of MySpace. So what is going on? Why is independent blogging being characterized as dying at the very moment that tweeting is becoming as natural a part of the interconn... (more)

Opinion: Is This the #Jan25 Uprising?

First came Tunisia's "Jasmine Revolution" and now we have the "#Jan25 Uprising" - the world's first revolution named for a Twitter hash tag. Calling it the "Twitter Revolution" misses the beauty of the hash tag itself, and besides what would one then call the upcoming social unrest in other Arab States? So-called "hashtag dates" are already being planned for the Arab world: Sudan #Jan30, Yemen #Feb3, Syria #Feb5, Algeria #Feb12 and Bahrain #Feb14. Photo by Arabist, via TwitPic I am not the only one who argues that "Twitter Revolution" is not the right term. Ulyses Mejias has written vehemently that "...[I]t is [absurd] to refer to events in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere as the Twitter Revolution, the Facebook Revolution, and so on." And he is right. Let me quickly just give the floor to Mejias, since he in turn is generous enough to note that things can sometime... (more)

The Data Explosion. Are We Ready? (or Not)

Since the very beginnings of trade and commerce, it has been a commonality that most information exchange between buyer and seller, customer and business, was treated as a discrete, confidential, and almost intimate affair. Trust was earned, not given. Consider the not so distant history of the local American bank. Banks have been collecting personal information about their customers for decades, harkening back to consultations over a notepad, paper deposit slips, and hand-written applications. The reputations of applicant and banker, buyer and seller, were local reputations, with personal and professional references limited to the confines of the community and the reality of proximity. Banks large and small managed piecemeal, disconnected snapshots of personal information in random, unstructured, and ultimately inefficient processes that took place without fanfare... (more)

Top 50 Bloggers on Cloud Computing

Ever since I first published here my tentative list of Top Players in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem - now expanded to a list of 250 and growing daily thanks to community feedback via my Twitter account (@jg21) and a very kind mention by ReadWriteWeb - there have been suggestions that another prism through which to view cloud computing might be that of people rather than companies. Now Michael Sheehan has encouraged me to Just Do It, so let me get started...as per the previous Top Cloud Players list, this list will a work-in-progress and is totally porous, so don't hesitate to ping or tweet me if there are folks I have missed. In particular if you are a journalist whose "beat" is Cloud Computing, please let's be hearing from you, and we can maybe widen this list from Cloud Bloggers to Cloud Commentators. For now though let's get started. In alphabetical order - to av... (more)

Five Misconceptions About Social Media Marketing

Actually, it isn't funny it is kind of sad at the number of organizations who still don't understand the value of social media marketing. I have probably met with a dozen companies, founders and senior level executives who have all said. "I don't get it" or "Our company isn't ready for social media" or worse yet just aren't capitalizing on the social media programs they already have in place. So here are 5 misconceptions about social media marketing. 1.) It is a stand alone marketing program - Wrong. Social media is a complimentary marketing option to help supplement and promote existing marketing programs. I once suggested that we had a 15 second video to a webinar invite with the speaker telling the audience what they were being invited to. the result was extrodinary and one of our highest performing lead generation efforts we ever put together. twice as many peo... (more)

Will Office 365 Redefine Enterprise Applications?

There is a of excitement in the air about Microsoft's Office 365 offering. Apart from the traditional view of reduction in licensing cost and no Upgrade issues which the SaaS basically offers, we can also derive some enterprise benefits from it if all the partners and ISV support the same. This one is one such pattern. Office 365 Office 365 provides anywhere access to email, documents, contacts, and calendars so you're always up-to-date. From scheduling to interactive online meetings to sharing files, you're uniting cloud-based services with the productivity tools people use every day. At this time , Office 365 will be Microsoft's flagship SaaS offering with : Office Professional Plus Exchange Online Sharepoint Online Lync Online Windows Azure The Windows Azure platform is poised to radically change the way Microsoft architects and developers think about building and ... (more)

New Facebook Investment Implies a $50 Billion Valuation

The New York Times is reporting that Goldman Sachs has invested $450 million in Facebook, with the Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies, which has already invested $500 million in Facebook, investing $50 million more. The new half-billion round of investment, says the Times, values the company at $50 billion. The news comes just days after Facebook overtook Google as the most visited Web site in 2010, according to the Internet tracking firm Experian Hitwise. ... (more)

It’s a Brave New World for Business Intelligence

It's no secret that today's IT professionals need to help their organizations capture, track, analyze and share more information than ever before. From mass quantities of transactional data, Web data, and huge and growing volumes of "machine-generated" information, such as sensor and log data, volumes are expanding into the terabyte (and even the petabyte) range. At the same time, the way end users consume information is rapidly changing. Thanks to innovators like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, social computing technologies are spreading like wildfire, and companies are starting to look at how to harness social networks, blogs, wikis and more to share business intelligence and collaborate more effectively. As the data center strains under the need for more storage and faster performance (all while keeping costs in check,) cloud computing, open source technologies a... (more)

Cloud 2.0 – Cloud Identity and Social Media Engagement

A keystone to Cloud 2.0 is Cloud Identity – Common identity systems for single sign-on across Cloud as well as internal applications. Implementing Cloud Identity best practices is achieved through ‘IDaaS’ – Identity as a Service, one of the services on our Roadmap. A great example is this recent press release from NASA, about their use of ‘PIV’ technologies to secure their move to Google apps, and these are best practices defined in detail @ IDmanagement.gov. Furthermore there is OMB M-11-11, which is a Whitehouse memo increasing the pressure to be implementing the HSPD-12 program, the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12. This calls for use of identity technologies to better secure government systems, most notably ‘PIV’ (Personal Identity Verification) smartcards and associated key developments like PIV interoperability. . Social Sign-on These developments ... (more)

Twitter Infrastructure Insufficient

Was there some bias as to what got said on Twitter on the night of the debates? Twitter needs to be able to handle large volumes and if they can't, they cannot say that they are providing any accurate public barometer on something as important as a Presidential debate. On the last Presidential debate (with Crowley as moderator), I wanted to send a comment out as I was watching the debates and got tangled up on Twitter (this was about 8:50 p.m. Central Time). Evidently, the Twitter "Cloud" was deluged with tweets and they had a hard time handling it. There was a rush to submit tweets to Twitter that night while the debates were going on and some perspectives ran into a bottleneck. Based on running into a bottleneck to post a tweet, I would say that all perspectives presented on Twitter were not equally balanced. Had to Re-Try Several Times to Get In I tried getting ... (more)