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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)

Klout.com: When Messing with People’s Lives, You’d Better Be Transparent

Klout Who?? Not familiar with Klout.com? Not all that many people are - I only signed up for it this week, more out of curiosity than anything else after I read an article on it on Engadget - curious about Klout giving away Windows phones that I didn't want anyways. And Why Should You Care? Klout is sure to spook privacy-conscious people, but everyone should be aware of Klout.com or at least be aware of this growing phenomenon and how it might impact them. Klout creates publicly accessible "Klout Scores" for people who use Twitter, Facebook, etc. It's like the credit reporting ag... (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 pin... (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 Frid... (more)

Facebook Buys Beluga, But Has Bigger Fish to Fry

Facebook - which evidently imagines itself eventually replacing corporate web sites, according to a piece by CNET quoting the commercial director of Facebook UK who spoke at a Technology for Marketing and Advertising conference in London - has acquired mobile messaging start-up Beluga. It said so on Beluga's web site, scotching the possibility of Google buying the venture-backed GroupMe-rival. Financial details weren't disclosed. Founded by three ex-Google people, Beluga lets groups of friends communicate in private using smartphones via a so-called pod. Its six-month-old applica... (more)

Are We Tweeting Ourselves To Poverty?

So James Franco has declared that 'Social Media Is Over' and done the unthinkable...he has shut down his Twitter account. Will the world stop spinning? Is this the end of western civilization? What next, will people stop asking questions on Quora, will they cease to publish photos on Facebook, will we see the end of Skype-messaging? Worst of all, might the long-awaited Godot known as "Enterprise 2.0" now never turn up? Well I have news for us all: Franco may be righter than he knows. It is not that Social Media Is Dead, however. It is that "Social Media" itself is too fanciful a term... (more)