October 31, 2010

Should Bloggers Profit Off Of Spammers Via CAPTCHA Ads?

Despite the fact that blog platforms like Blogger and WordPress are moving away from CAPTCHA’s (aka those silly puzzles that verify whether you’re human), it looks like one company is trying to make CAPTCHA’s cool again by helping bloggers profit off of every word typed.

ADSCAPTCHA’s™ innovative Pay Per Type™ platform creates profits from CAPTCHA technology. Instead of paying for CAPTCHAs, website owners and developers can make money from every ADSCAPTCHA™ that is typed in full. That’s 280,000,000 opportunities – and counting – every day. […]

The ADSCAPTCHA™ model links advertisers, website owners and web developers so that everyone benefits. Website owners & developers get high-level internet security and a share of advertising revenues. Advertisers gain the most powerful marketing tool available today, customized to their targeted audience and budget. The ADSCAPTCHA™ experience for the user is more fun and more meaningful than standard CAPTCHAs, which means it is a powerful opportunity to “capture” the target audience.  (ADSCAPTCHA.com)

Although ADSCAPTCHA is not the first to envision merging word puzzles with ads (as Confident Technologies is also attempting to do this), they probably will not be the last which means that bloggers will soon be arguing whether CAPTCHA’s are still relevant (now that there is money on the table).

Since there seems to be a loyal fan base devoted to CAPTCHA’s (note: I use to be one until I encountered Akismet by WordPress), here are a few reasons why bloggers should (and should not) use CAPTCHA ads for their blogs. read more

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October 30, 2010

WordPress For Nokia Live Upon Ovi Store

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Continuing their quest for mobile domination, Automattic (the company behind WordPress) has announced that Nokia lovers can now download the official WordPress app from the Ovi store.

Headsup to all our new WordPress for Nokia users: The app is now available on the Ovi store[.] […]

Please note however, that the app is not yet compatible with Symbian3 devices such as N8, C6, C7 and more. We’re working with Nokia to get the app approved for these as well. Please report any issues you find with the app here. (WordPress for Nokia Blog)

Note: Emphasis theirs.

Just like their smartphone brethren, the WordPress for Nokia app supports image and video uploading, as well as the ability to moderate comments while on the go.

On a humorous note, WordPress of Nokia is ironically more advanced than WordPress for iOS, as the latter still lacks text formatting (i.e. bold, italicize, blockquotes, etc.) as well as support for WP.com stats (two features that both WP for Blackberry and Android have boasted for quite some time).

With the WordPress for Nokia app now live upon the Ovi store, we may Automattic begin to focus their efforts of launching official apps upon Windows Phone 7 as well as the Palm Pre.

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Twitter Talking Tough About Trademarks And Tweets?

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Not desiring their brand to go the way of Xerox, Aspirin and Kleenex (which lost their trademark status in the US), the folks at Twitter wrote a post linking to not only their new logos, but also highlighting the rules when it comes to using “tweet” or “twitter” in a product or service.

We understand that you want your application or product that enhances the Twitter experience to be identifiable as part of the Twitter ecosystem. This is important to us too, but Twitter is also the name of our service and company, so we’re cautious about potential confusion. […]

Use Tweet in the name of your application only if it is designed to be used exclusively with the Twitter platform. (Twitter Help Center)

If Twitter were to attempt to enforce their trademark rights today, they would not only have to go after TweetDeck, but also Twitter for Blackberry as both applications connect users to Twitter and Facebook (note: Twitter for Blackberry is supported by RIM, not Twitter). read more

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File-Sharing Service Drop.io Purchased By Facebook

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Drop io LogoDrop.io, a simple file-sharing service announced on their blog today that they have been acquired by Facebook.

On the companies blog they stated:

“Today, we’re proud to announce that we’ve struck a deal with Facebook.” while adding “What this means is that Facebook has bought most of drop.io’s technology and assets, and Sam Lessin is moving to Facebook.”

As is often the case with these type of acquisitions, Drop.io was a talent buy and will shut down on December 15th and all paid accounts will be discontinued while all data on Drop.io will be deleted by the end of the year.

Here’s the full announcement of the acquisition as posted by Drop.io: read more

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October 29, 2010

Digg Mimics Twitter With Streaming API

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DiggIn an attempt to revitalize their business and reverse their decline in fortunes, Digg has announced that their API (or Application Programming Interface for you non-geeks) will now enable developers to receive information in near real time.

Today we’re releasing a new API feature which we hope will ease the process of using Digg’s data, and also freeing developers to model and store the data however they want. As such, we’re excited to announce the Digg Streaming API.

Our Streaming API provides any developer with full access to a real-time stream of all submissions, Diggs and comments occurring on our site. You can connect to the stream via client side JavaScript, or you can setup a script to pull all our content into your own databases to expose however you want.

If you’ve used Twitter’s Streaming API then you already understand the opportunity that awaits. If not, we’re pretty sure that if you spend a few minutes playing around with the API that you’ll find your curiosity sparked. (Official Digg Blog)

This is a big gamble for Digg, as the streaming API will probably increase expenses for the company at a time when they are still in the red (financially speaking).

However it could also help the company increase its user base (or at least retain its loyal following) by giving developers the tools to take full advantage of Digg which may result in some interesting third party apps in the future.

Despite the startup’s current misfortunes, Digg is still listed as one of the top 100 web sites in world (according to Quantcast), a position which Digg could leverage in order to attract an army of developers to help the company regain its former glory.

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Keep Tumblr Alive! 4 Ways Tumblr Can Create A Profit

After surpassing Typepad and forcing WordPress to adopt a simpler approach to blogging, Tumblr’s greatest challenge right now isn’t adding new features, but rather becoming profitable.

Dennis Crowley, co-founder of location-based social network Foursquare, and David Karp, founder of microblogging platform Tumblr, talked about these and other issues here early Thursday in a conversation led by The New Yorker media writer Ken Auletta and organized by the Newhouse School.

While their companies have grown their user bases quickly and they have been developing revenue models, the bottom line is still a developing story. “Not profitable yet,” Karp told Auletta when asked about Tumblr’s financials. “Same thing,” Crowley added. (Hollywood Reporter)

Despite boasting a couple of premium features (such as paying to be listed in the directory and premium themes), Tumblr probably needs to figure out new ways to generate some positive cash flow in order to avoid the fate of Digg.

While the execs at Tumblr probably have numerous suggestions on how they could generate some extra cash on the side, here are a few easy ideas the micro blogging company could consider on the path towards profitability. read more

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Flickr Courts Google

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Once heralded by some as being the “YouTube of images,” Flickr has been struggling to regain its former glory in the wake of fierce competition from numerous social rivals (many of them matching Flickr’s premium features with free ones).

In an attempt to increase its appeal to the masses, it looks like Yahoo!’s photo social network is reaching out to an old nemesis in what appears to be a strange courtship.

With dozens of different login usernames and passwords out there on the Interwebs, who needs to add yet another one to the list? To help solve this, Flickr is rolling out a new feature to make it easier than ever for new users to join our community. We’re introducing OpenID on Flickr, a service that makes it faster and easier to sign-up for new accounts by letting you use one identity across multiple websites. So starting today, you’ll be able to use a Google account to sign-up for a new Flickr account. We’re pleased to announce Google as our first partner, but stay tuned as we continue to add even more in the future! (Official Flickr Blog) read more

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October 28, 2010

Twitter’s Rival Identi.ca Drops Ad Bard, Chooses Google?

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It looks like Identi.ca (which is developed by the same folks who created Status.net) has decided to sever its relationship with AdBard in search for greener pastures and greater revenues.

Apparently the companies switch upset some of their users, as Identi.ca is currently (as of this post) using AdSense, although the company explains the reason behind the switch in an appeal to its users.

As mentioned before, we have been using AdBard on Identi.ca for almost 8 months. Although we support what AdBard is doing, we haven’t been getting the kind of ad rates that we expected. AdBard is covering about 5-7% of the hosting costs of running identi.ca, with nothing left over to cover any percentage of the salaries of the people who support the site.

StatusNet, Inc — our business — is a small Open Source business focused primarily on a) selling software subscriptions to enterprise customers and b) providing premium upgrades to the status.net cloud service. We continue to support identi.ca single-handedly because we believe in the idea and in the community. It’s a great “home planet” for the federated network of social sites we’re trying to build. We love the site, we love the community, and the last thing we want to do is spoil the experience for people there. (Official Status.net Blog) read more

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Twitter Embraces Windows Phone 7

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After creating an Android app and buying out Tweetie (renamed Twitter for iPhone), Twitter has launched an official app for Windows Phone 7 fans.

As with our other mobile clients, Twitter for Windows Phone includes all of the features that you’d expect from Twitter – your timeline, suggested users, messages, lists, and a great way to explore Twitter without even logging in. You can sign up for an account right from the app as well. The app is really fast, and we think you’ll enjoy the experience.

The platform’s design and user interface, which is called Metro, is especially great for Twitter users because it’s simple and easy to use. It also provides a different way to look at information on a phone’s screen through Pivots, which are sort of like pages of the app. Pivots allow you to swipe left or right to view different categories or types of information within a single application. For example, in Twitter for Windows Phone, you can swipe left or right to move from your timeline to mentions to direct messages. (Official Twitter Blog)

Taking a cue from Tumblr, the folks at Twitter decided to partner with a third party company (by the name of Identity Mine) in order to ensure that the app was not only functional, but complimented the device (as shown in the video below). read more

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Facebook Wants To Tell The Story Of Your Friendships, To Everyone!

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Facebook Friendship Page

Facebook is rolling out yet another new feature, earlier this week we announced that Photo Memories will no longer show pictures of your ex, but this time Facebook wants to show off your various relationships.

The option, known as Friendship Pages was developed by Facebook software engineer Wayne Kao and gathers information between you and each of your friends to create separate walls of your posts, comments, photos (which have been tagged) and other information between you and each friend.

According to Kao:

“For those of us who have worked on it, the best part is the human side of these Pages. They can bring back memories, conversations and times spent together.”

read more

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