Social Media Check-Ins Are Poised To Be The New Currency Of Mobile Advertising

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On the day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 12,000 for the first time since June 2008, it was impossible not to correlate the eloquence and optimism of President Obama's "State of the Union" speech on Tuesday night with the restoration of a sense of perspective and hope in the USA about the future. Obama grasped the nettle full-on. "We are poised for progress," he declared, adding: "Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing." As one blogger expressed it, though - and he is a former Goldman Sachs trader called Tyler Durden, so he ought to know wheref he speaks: "There was a massive pink elephant in the room called reality though." Durden's gripe is with what he deems to be the unreality of Obama's praising Google and Facebook so highly in an Ameri... (more)

Beyond Check-Ins: Foursquare Tests Paid Ads

Social check-in king Foursquare has finally given in to the temptation of paid advertising, now allowing merchants to incorporate promotions into their check-in pages through Promoted Updates. The new pilot program is essentially the paid version of Foursquare’s Local Updates, which the company launched last week to bring news from your most-frequented locations directly to the app. “This is the first time ever that we’re allowing businesses to pay to promote their business in Foursquare,” product manager Noah Weiss told VentureBeat, calling it “a very exciting milestone” for the company. Read the full story at PC Mag. ... (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)

Exclusive Q&A with Mike Vernal of Facebook

More than a thousand sites are using Facebook Connect, says Mike Vernal, a member of the Facebook Platform engineering team, in this Exclusive Q&A with SYS-CON's Web 2.0 Journal. Some prominent examples Vernal mentions include Citysearch for local reviews, Joost and Vimeo for video sharing, and a number of blogs, including TechCrunch and Gawker. Web 2.0 Journal: You’ve been closely involved with developing and launching Facebook Connect. How would you summarize the chief strategic benefit of this service for Facebook’s 150M or so users? Mike Vernal: I think the answer is twofold. First, Facebook Connect allows users to take their Facebook profile and friends with them to any site on the Web. This is pretty powerful, in that it saves users the hassle of creating another username and password, filling out their profile information, and running a contact importer on ev... (more)

Social Networks That Boost Your Business

Most people are familiar with the term "Web 2.0," which refers to a second generation of web development and design that focuses on fostering social networking via the web. Innovative companies are beginning to embrace Web 2.0 as a way to enhance communication, information sharing, and collaboration, thereby allowing them to work smarter rather than harder. The business use of Web 2.0 represents a new trend called "Business 2.0." Aside from being the name of a defunct magazine, Business 2.0 is about using the new web-based social networking applications (many of which were originally created for personal use) in a way that fosters teamwork, customer touches, and internal and external collaboration in a low-cost seamless way. Unfortunately, many businesses feel that Web 2.0 and social networking are for the younger generation and a waste of time when used by employees.... (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)

Facebook Says E-mail Isn’t Good Enough; Aims to Change It

For its next trick, Facebook is proposing to displace e-mail with a unified chat-like messaging service that integrates e-mail, instant messages, text messages and Facebook messages in one "social inbox" accessible from PCs and mobile devices. Messages from close friends will be segregated from junk and everybody else's messages. What CEO Mark Zuckerberg left out of the unveiling the other day is that Microsoft's Office Web Apps are going to be integrated into the new and initially by-invitation-only platform, which is supposed to roll out slowly over the next few months. Microsoft, of course, is a minority investor in Facebook and Google is a big jealous rival. Facebook users will be able to access and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files as attachments to their Facebook messages. Facebook thinks e-mail is too slow and complicated. However, the new system wil... (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)

A Twitter Epiphany? The Power of a Hash Tag (#jan25)

As America - on the East Coast anyway, including in Washington, DC - tucks up in bed, the sun is rising on Egypt. Which seems an appropriate time for @jg21 to briefly explain what I had in mind when resolving for the past 12 hours or so to re-Tweet as many of the comments and links flying around via Twitter as I found meaningful, informative, and (often) inspiring. The Twitter hash tag I have been laser-focused on is #jan25, named for the day on which the country-wide demonstrations in Egypt began. "Freedom of expression is a human right," blogged Twitter co-founder Biz Stone Friday, on Day Four of the blockage by the Egyptian government of Twitter and Facebook. And this was not mere opportunism by Stone, because it is the exact same thing that he said four months ago. Here is what he said already in September: "Twitter isn't a triumph of technology it's a triumph of hu... (more)

BEA Co-Founder Wants to Make Biz Apps Social

BEA co-founder Alfred Chuang, who was running the joint when Oracle swooped in and bought it three years ago for $8.5 billion, has raised a $12.6 million A round led by Andreessen Horowitz for a new start-up called Magnet Systems. Magnet's got a cloud-ified development platform called WIN, short for Workplace Interaction Network, that's supposed to be used to build and deploy so-called enterprise social applications that work on Amazon and let business people connect and collaborate the way the hoi polloi does on Facebook and Twitter, automatically linking up existing social networking connections. It's Chuang's premise that enterprise apps need to be socialized. "It's almost impossible to believe," he writes in a blog, "but after hundreds of millions of people worldwide have embraced social applications in nearly every aspect of their personal lives, businesses are s... (more)

Enterprise Video the Effective Way

As enterprises grow globally, organizations have found that the most cost-effective way to run marketing, training or internal communications is via video. However, transporting these video files to a global distributed workforce, whether streamed or downloaded, can create tremendous network bottlenecks and strain. For employees, video communication simply isn't effective if it can't easily be played without jitter or excessive buffering. As the amount of video content increases, it becomes more difficult to manage, search and distribute the content efficiently. As the workforce becomes more global, enterprises also need the ability to dynamically control Internet video streaming regardless of where the video originates and the size or location of the audience. As most networks are bandwidth-challenged and video traffic consumes this bandwidth, video could negatively... (more)