March 26, 2009

Is your blog prepared for Earth Hour ’09?

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Depending on what part of the globe you’re in, Earth Hour 2009 is but roughly 33 to 48 hours away from Saturday, 8:30 PM. The VOTE EARTH movement is a global one hour “lights off kids!” with the primary aim of collecting 1 billion statement votes for policy changes in this year’s Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

What’s important to us though is that Earth Hour ’09 is heavy on social media. YouTube videos, widget downloads, Facebook fan page, Bebo, Flickr, Twitter and FriendFeed accounts can all be found here. They even have a sign up widget which you can embed on your blog.

Crazy thought: If the Internet went down for an hour, what would the world be like?

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Social Media Sites Risk Growing Threats and Attacks

Exploring Social Media article series badgeAccording to Investor’s Business Daily, evil is sweeping social networks, moving beyond email and blogs to where you like to virtually hang out and congregate:

Security experts last week warned that a new strain of the Koobface virus is hitting Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. It looks for links and passwords to other social networking sites.

Social networking site owners work actively to put a lid on nefarious activity. On Tuesday, a federal judge in northern California issued a temporary restraining order against three people accused of widespread spamming and phishing attacks on Facebook. It comes three months after Facebook won a suit that prevents another group of spammers from using or accessing Facebook data and applications.

Virus creators are increasingly targeting social networking sites and other Web 2.0 technologies such as the micro-blogging site Twitter and instant messaging services from Google, AOL and others. Virus writers are also creating fake profiles of celebrities, real friends or business associates hoping people will link with them. Users can be tricked into linking to the fake profile, which can be loaded with various forms of malicious software.

The article by Brian Deagon showcased Facebook users who responded to an email from a “friend on Facebook” to visit a link that initiated a program that “rifled through his hard drive, installed malicious software and sent the same e-mail to all of Daradics’ friends on his Facebook profile.” read more

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DogTime Blog Network grows to 320 pet bloggers with reach to 1.2 million visitors

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dogtimeDogTime Media, a vertical media community in the pet market reaching over 9.6 million unique visitors a month, revealed that its DogTime Blog Network has grown to include 320 pet bloggers. The aggregated reach of these bloggers is seen at 1.2 million unique visitors.

Bloggers are joining the DogTime Blog Network to benefit from the additional traffic, revenue and content tools that are available to them via DogTime Media. These tools include a Media Center that delivers entertaining, informative and engaging videos, photos and articles, and is easily integrated into their blogs. Also popular is DogTime’s Blog Widget that allows bloggers to share traffic with one another.

“Our blogger community has more than doubled since we launched it in October,” said Trevor Wright, CEO of DogTime Media. “When combined with our unique set of content distribution and user engagement tools that are already deployed across our community of more than 250 pet publisher sites we are in the unique position to support our advertiser’s marketing objectives throughout the entire consumer purchase cycle.”

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This Is How Twitter Suggested Users Work, And Freemium Is The Business Model

Biz Stone writes about how Twitter picks its suggested users. Basically, it’s a search for “potentially interesting Twitter accounts” users and then they pick a few. This has been puzzling people for some time, so there you have it. Naturally, it hit Techmeme

The most interesting part of the blog post is the last paragraph, however:

So, that’s how we’re doing the list today. We may very well change the way we populate this list or stop using it altogether if there is some other way to get the job done.

Keeping all the doors open, are we?

In other Twitter news, Biz Stone confirms pro accounts, but nothing’s been decided as to how these will work. It is a freemium model, so Twitter will remain free for all.

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Celebrity Blogs Future Winners?

Folio has been reading the Lost in Transition: The Revolution of Celebrity Media (PDF) report, and reasons around the issues celebrity magazines have and are facing today. What’s even more interesting is that the web, including celebrity blogs, is viewed as the future winners.

In terms of the future of celebrity media M&A, “select Web sites”—such as perezhilton.com—“should be acquisition targets” as they appear to resist the recession’s downward pull and continue to attract eyeballs and advertisers.”

read more

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Preparing for the Voice Web

Blog talks with bubbleAudio Version: Preparing for the Voice Web by Lorelle VanFossen

Abhijit Nadgouda of iface thoughts recently talked about the new Hyperspeech Transfer Protocol (HSTP) for the future of the web. Pushing HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), HSTP is designed to incorporate voice applications.

Here is his reaction:

My immediate reaction was that it would really ease the mobile usage, where you need to navigate through the cumbersome keypad to use the Web. The voice Web will be a heaven-sent alternative. Some more thought and the skeptic start thinking about various other issues. What about identification and authentication? What about security? The HTTP Web is still struggling with these things.

He goes on to bring up some very good points, playing devil’s advocate on the issue, but he got me thinking about how voice would change the face, and sound, of the web from a blogger’s perspective. read more

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March 25, 2009

Twitter gets you fired — the odds greater than blogs?

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You may have seen an article on MSNBC recounting the snowball effect of a single “Tweet” by @theconnor.

So let’s review: The Internet is not your BFF. Everyone has a “My boss sucks” moment. But the prudent know to express this sentiment away from the keyboard because they also have the “My boss knows how to use the Internet” sense they were born with.

Before, it was the blogs that got you fired. I’m going all out by saying that microblogging brings out the real emotions. Writing to rant does take time. Maybe five minutes at least, but that’s still five precious minutes to help you cool down and re-evaluate your moral fiber. It’s different for Twitter and other microblog services, because more often than not, they capture the unfiltered and raw emotions that get translated into words that we will regret. Hey, it gets even the best of us.

So please, before you hit that “update” button, wait 5 minutes.

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Why I am Worried About the Facebook Redesign

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Many people are complaining about the new Facebook design. I am worried about it, but not because of the reasons most people are saying … read more

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British kids to be taught blogging, podcasting, tweeting. What about the parents?

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The British government is embracing the world of online communication and wants to ensure that children get a head start in the world of blogging, microblogging and podcasting, amongst other things.

In plans leaked to a UK national newspaper, teachers will have increased freedom to choose what should be taught in their classes.

Traditional skills such as mental arithmetic, spelling and handwriting will still be taught, but children will also learn how to type and use spell checkers. read more

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How about getting coupons via Twitter

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logo_coupons4twitterIf you’re using Twitter, it would be nice to know that you can stay up to date now with the latest offers from Coupons.com (especially at this time where we need all the discounts we can use). Simply follow Twitter.com/Coupons and you will automatically receive offers as they become available. The tweets will include links to the printable coupons for quick printing.

“Twitter offers an opportunity to reach an increasingly broad and rapidly growing population of digital coupon consumers who can now get up-to-the minute notification when new coupons are available,” said Steve Horowitz, CTO of Coupons Inc.

In recent months, Coupons.com launched a Facebook application and acquired the mobile grocery shopping application Grocery iQ to integrate digital coupons into the shopping experience.

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