August 25, 2010

Facebook “Kill Lists” Lead To Three Teenage Deaths

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Puerto Asis ColombiaIn the last 10 days three teenagers have been murdered in the southwestern Colombia town of Peurto Asis after their names appeared on a Facebook “kill list.”

Colombian police are investigating the case, however they are unsure at this time who posted the kill list and why it contains the names offered.

CNN is reporting that two of the deaths occurred on August 15th, two days before the list was posted. The list warned those who would be attacked had three days to leave town. Police didn’t take the list seriously until a second list with 31 names was found and a third person was killed on August 20th. One other person from the second list was also attacked and wounded but escaped from their potential killers. read more

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August 24, 2010

How Big Is Social Media Gaming? How About 56 Million Strong

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Farmville by ZyngaWith games that include Farmville, Frontierville and Mafia Wars attracting million of users, while creating billions of dollars in revenue, it doesn’t really surprise me that the social gaming industry is huge, but what some readers may not realize is exactly how big the industry has become. How big is social gaming? 56 million strong int the U.S. and growing daily.

Market research company NPD Group recently discovered that approximately one in five Americans from the ages of six and upwards now participate in some type of online social gaming platform.

As Mashable points out, the move towards social gaming is a blessing for social networks such as Facebook who no longer must rely solely on advertising dollars to earn revenue, instead taking a part of third-party application sales. For example, Facebook takes 30% of all money spent on Facebook credits.

That same NPD study reveals that 10% of those who responded said they have paid for online gaming, that’s approximately 5.6 million users, with another 11% stating that they would probably pay for the experience in the future. Take into consideration the number of users who make multiple purchases on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis and social gaming companies and the networks they run on are seeing a revolving door of revenue intake. read more

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Facebook Begins Rolling Out New Page Width

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Facebook Drawn LogoFacebook is officially reducing tabbed page widths to just 520 pixels, 240 pixels less than their current 760 pixels.

The new width shouldn’t surprise anyone, Facebook having announced the move in October 2009. The social network simple took their time to roll out the new width so administrators could get ready for the new page tab width.

According to Inside Facebook other parts of the site, such as popular Pages will continue to use 760 pixels.

Page owners will want to change any elements on their pages to 520 pixels as soon as possible to avoid awkward looking pages.

Take a look at page tabs now to see the new look when compared to other page width options for non-tabbed pages.

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Promoting Your Community News & Events Blog

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This is post was written by Gary Kohler from LifeCover.

There are some local communities that are not served by mainstream media news due to their minimal size or far-reaching location.

Keeping up on news and events in these regions can be difficult and relying on the weekly paper may be the only way of getting “current” news. Some traditional media outlets also place restrictions on the type of content they can publish. With a bit of work, your local blog can remedy these minor injustices and help you gain a following within your community.

Writing great content, and lots of it, is always the most important part. The following steps will help you take your community blog to the next level and allow you to get the traffic you’re hoping for. read more

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Tumblr Tops A Billion Posts

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After dethroning Typepad for the bronze, it looks as if Tumblr has reached yet another milestone by surpassing one billion posts!

Today, Tumblr passed one BILLION posts!

I never imagined we would make it this far so quickly, and apparently neither did Jacob when he designed the About page.

The things you do with Tumblr continue to blow our minds. :) (Tumblr Staff Blog)

Tumblr has yet to reveal which member published the billionth post, but either way this is quite an accomplishment for a company that did not exist four years ago. read more

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August 23, 2010

Politicians Paying Bloggers For Positive Press?

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After the pay per post and pay per tweet fiasco’s that previously upset the blogosphere (mainly due to the lack of disclosure), it looks like blog readers may have to deal with a new scandal, one that could damage the reputation of conservative political bloggers.

“It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.” [...]

One pro-Poizner blogger, Aaron Park, was discovered to be a paid consultant to the Poizner campaign while writing for Red County, a conservative blog about California politics. Red County founder Chip Hanlon threw Park off the site upon discovering his affiliation, which had not been disclosed. (Daily Caller) read more

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Akismet To Legacy WordPress Blogs: It’s Time To Embrace The Future

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Akismet, a tool by Automattic (the creators of WordPress) have announced that WordPress bloggers refusing to embrace 3.0 could find themselves in a world of hurt in the future.

Version 2.4 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is available now. This is a maintenance release that fixes some bugs, and includes some preparation for new features in a forthcoming version. [...]

This version retains backwards compatibility with old versions of WordPress, but it is the last major release that will do so. The next release of the Akismet plugin will require WordPress 3.0. We’ll continue to maintain the 2.4 branch of Akismet with security updates for users who are unable to upgrade from old WordPress versions. (Official Akismet Blog)

Note: Emphasis theirs

The latest update sends all comments deleted by Akismet to your trash bin (which will solves the “my comments never show dilemma”) as well as various bug fixes.

Although the techs at Automattic are kind enough to keep 2.4 alive for legacy WP blogs, users refusing to update their blogs may find their comment section overwhelmed by human spammers in the future.

If ones host (or WP service platform) is preventing them from updating their blog to 3.0, then users should seriously consider finding a new host ASAP or outsource their comment threads to IntenseDebate or Disqus (both with support Akismet).

(Image Credit: Norebbo)

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Facebook iPhone App Upgrade Fixes Jailbroken Device Login

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Facebook iPhone AppThe Facebook for iPhone App has just been released with a new version (3.2.2). The new upgrade option fixes a login issue that has been plaguing jailbroken iPhone users.

The fix comes just several days after the apps developers posted about the issue on their official Facebook app page. Users can download the new version of the program by visiting the “Updates” tab in the iPhone App Store.

The update description also states that Facebook Places is currently only available to users in the U.S. and “We’re working on making this available in other countries soon.” read more

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August 20, 2010

StumbleUpon Goes The iPhone Route, Android Joins The Hunt

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StumbleUpon iPhone App - Small ScreenshotYesterday we reported that blog commenting system Disqus joined the iPhone and Android fray, now we’re happy to announce that another popular social sharing system among blogs, StumbleUpon, has also released an iPhone App, while Google Android users also have an app for that.

StumbleUpon allows users to submit interesting, fun and creative articles to the site, at which point those sites can be “Stumbled” by users as they are taken around the web by the companies automatic site stumbling application. The more stumbles a site gets, the more visitors they begin to receive.

According to the company, their 11 million members will see the “best for mobile stumbling” web posts, which includes photos, YouTube videos and news among other posts. The application has also been optimized for mobile screens and serves pages with optimized connection capabilities.

StumbleUpon users will also see their “favorites” section and “recommendations” just as they do on the web based application. read more

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August 19, 2010

Disqus Goes Mobile, Launching iPhone And Android Apps

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Disqus, a company who is known by some for perfecting the art of blog comments has updated their commenting interface in order to make it friendlier for mobile devices.

While the new interface makes commenting through a smartphone almost as easy as through a notebook, Disqus has announced grander plans for users with iPhone or Android OS devices.

The new improved Disqus neocortex has the ability to identify whether you’re browsing on a desktop or mobile device. For our publishers with mobile sites, this activates a new attractive, clutter free, optimized theme for mobility.

This new theme is made possible with a new theming architecture behind the scenes. It’s a hint to some of the very cool things we’re going to be doing with new themes on Disqus. [...]

For you website-runners, we’re getting ready to roll out mobile tools to help maintain your community on the go. Think iPhone and Android apps. More on that soon! (Official Disqus Blog)

While the company has not hinted on whether they will create an iPad app (or even an app for Blackberry and Palm Pre fans), this news probably means the end of DisqusPro, who offered users a way to moderate their threads via iPhone.

Previously Disqus has been heavily courting Blogspot users, as well as challenging WordPress’s Intense Debate by launching a Gravatar like button (which mimics WP.com’s version).

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