December 15, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg: Time Magazines Person Of The Year

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Time - Mark Zuckerberg - Person Of The YearFacebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time Magazines person of the year.

In 2010 Facebook watched as their user base climbed to 500 million users, while The Social Network has been one of the most critically lauded films of the year and Zuckerberg became the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

Throw in $100 million donated to the New Jersey education system and a pledge to give away most of his fortune and it’s easy to see why Time would choose an internet mogul as their person of the year.

According to Time:

“For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is Time’s 2010 Person of the Year.”

On Time.com many users are angered by the choice, calling Wikileaks founder Julian Assange the person of the year, interestingly enough, many of those comments talk about Zuckerberg’s life as if it was an exact replica of The Social Network, a little naive in my opinion, but to each their own. 

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MTV Announces Music Meter, Social Media For Upcoming Musicians

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MTV Music Meter Logo

MTV isn’t just about reality TV shows and weird sitcoms after all, the company has announced a new service called Music Meter which scours social media websites in the search for upcoming bands and musicians.

According to MTV, the service scans for an increasing numbers of comments on social media sites to find artists who are growing in fans through the generation of extra content.

The service currently sits as a stand-alone website, however a Google Android app and apps for Apple iPad and Apple iPhone devices are all scheduled to arrive in January.

Using the system users can view music videos and listen to 30-second sample tracks, while MTV is working with Rhapsody to provide full music track purchase capabilities. Internet radio is also scheduled for a future site release.

In the meantime, the site will be lacking in ads for at least the next two months, allowing for users to get accustomed to the site design, after which point advertisers will be able to choose genre’s they would like to place ads next to, including coupons and other promotional materials. read more

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Brightkite To Focus On Group Texting, All But Abandons LBS

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BrightkiteBrightkite was one of the very first location based services to offer check-in abilities, but on Monday the company announced that they were abandoning that service to focus instead on “group messaging” a field currently occupied by FastSociety and GroupMe.

Starting their mobile phones service in 2007, Brightkite billed itself as a way to discover new places, while keeping tabs on your friends. The company was responsible for creating the idea behind badges and even small rewards for people who checked in at various locations, sound familiar?

Speaking on their one-time ground breaking features, a BrightKite blog post stated:

“These features were the defining element to our company 2 and 3 years ago, but we no longer believe they are sufficiently unique or defining to be our focus, so we are dropping them.”

The newest offering from Brightkite will hit Android mobile devices this week and will provide groups, photos and location sharing.

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December 14, 2010

Can Cleeng Save The Newspaper Industry? (Bloggers Take Note)

Sometimes referred to as the MSM (mainstream media) or dead tree media, the newspaper industry as a whole has struggled in the wake of the digital age.

Although many newspapers have created digital copies of themselves via websites, more often than not there just isn’t enough revenue from online ads to replace declining subscription papers which has resulted in many journalists being laid off (note: last year 15,000 lost their jobs alone).

Some newspapers have responded to the inevitable decline by either hiding their content behind pay walls, or (worse) blaming Google for all their woes (despite the fact that Google sends them free traffic).

Instead of scaring away users by charging high prices for access, Cleeng is suggesting that they should only hide some of their content and utilized micro payments (as they explain in this video promo below), a feature that might be of interest to bloggers (both large and small). read more

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December 13, 2010

Squarespace Receiving A New CEO?

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With the new year almost upon us, it looks like Squarespace will now boast a familiar face at the top, as Dane Atkinson has announced that he is stepping down as CEO.

It is with great pride that I announce today that Anthony Casalena, our founder, will be taking over as the CEO of Squarespace moving forward.

Since starting Squarespace in his dorm room in 2003,  Anthony has always actively lead the company in its vision, strategy, design and product — and is now more than ready to provide continued leadership for its next exciting chapter.  My three years here have been deeply rewarding, going from being the second employee to a team of 45 in a rapidly growing, profitable company. This is a decision we have all worked toward and I will continue to support Anthony and the company as an advisor to the board and a close friend to the team. (Official Squarespace Blog)

Under Atkinson’s lead, Squarespace was able to raise over $38 million from investors as well launching an iPhone app that (at the time) made rival iOS blogging apps look pathetic.

The company recently changed their pricing plans to make themselves more competitive against rivals, and despite facing increased competition from freemium rivals like Blogger, Tumblr and WP.com Squarespace has done surprisingly well.

With Anthony Casalena taking over we may actually see Squarespace become much more aggressive in challenging its rivals, especially on the mobile front (specifically Android but also new devices like Windows Phone 7).

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Top Twitter Trends Of 2010

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Twitter Trends

In 2010 more than 25 billion tweets were sent and now Twitter has analyzed all of those Tweets to create their list of the top tweeted trends in the Twitterverse.

The micro-blogging site then went one step further and broke the top 10 trending topics into eight categories: news events, people, movies, television, technology, World Cup, sports and hashtags.

As expected the Gulf Oil Spill took the number one spot, while Apple made it in with their massively successful Apple iPad and of course Justin Bieber who dominates Twitter also made the cut. Showing the popularity of the relatively new mobile OS, Google Android also found it’s own spot.

Here are the top 10 overall trending Tweet topics in 2010: read more

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Blogging and Social Media Marketing

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Social media has evolved out of blogging into its own category of online promotion and marketing, and while blogging did give birth to the social media movement, they can, and should be used together. Social media marketing is a great way to expand on your blog, encourage conversation and grow your traffic. It can be used to communicate quickly and effectively with your audience, which in turn, makes your audience much more captivated with your ideas and your site.

There are a few things that you can do to implement and integrate social media on to your blog. The first thing I would recommend is putting up share buttons. I would go with ones for sites you are most familiar with and use the most often as it is hard to be effective at marketing on a site that you aren’t used to. For most people those sites are going to be Facebook and Twitter. People use the share buttons as an easy way to show a post they are interested to their friends within their social network. It is much easier than copying and pasting a link or emailing it, they can just click the share button one time and there it goes, instantly to their buddies! read more

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December 11, 2010

Twitter Research Shows A Very Loyal Daily User Base

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Retweet Twitter BirdTwitter users love their Twitter accounts, so much in fact that on average 80% of all Twitter users will post at least one Tweet or ReTweet to their account daily.

The 80% level comes from a PEW report that also finds that Twitter users typically fall into one of three categories; young adults, minorities and urbanites.

According to the Pew Report the three major Twitter groups are broken down as follows

  • Young adults – Internet users ages 18-29 are significantly more likely to use Twitter than older adults.
  • African-Americans and Latinos – Minority internet users are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white internet users.
  • Urbanites – Urban residents are roughly twice as likely to use Twitter as rural dwellers.

The Pew study also found that 71 percent of Tweets are ignored, while most Tweets sent on the site aren’t even original, instead they are simply retweets or cut and paste copies of other peoples Tweets.

Breaking down the study it appears Twitter is used mostly for sharing links to websites, sharing other peoples thoughts already posted on Twitter accounts and stalking Justin Bieber (I reported in September that Bieber conversations constitute 3% of all Twitter conversations).

That’s not to say Twitter isn’t used quite often by some users for original micro-blogging, just that a majority of users prefer to engage with previously created content, sharing that content with their own followers. The study doesn’t state whether Spam accounts were ignored, considering the number of retweets and copied messages those SPAM accounts provide, numbers could be skewed.

How do you use Twitter in your everyday life? Do you find yourself retweeting more than you Tweet? Or perhaps you click on Tweetmeme and other Twitter buttons to share websites?

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December 10, 2010

Should WordPress Mimic Apple Regarding Premium Plugins?

One of the major advantages that WordPress has over its rivals (aside from its beautiful user interface) is the sheer number of plugins available for users to download.

With over 12,000 plugins at its disposal, WordPress vast arsenal dwarfs both Joomla and Drupal who are currently hovering around 6,000 extensions and 7,000 modules, respectively.

However when it comes to the number of premium plugins available, selection seems to be rather slim (at least as far as those that are compatible with the latest version of WordPress).

While WordPress’s current setup for free plugins already places them far ahead of rivals, it might be time to rethink the current approach when it comes to premium plugins for WordPress. read more

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Facebook Mapping Shows Networks Climb Towards Worldwide Dominance

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Facebook WorldFrom 2009 through 2010 Facebook has increased their size by leaps and bounds, not only in the United States and Canada, but in countries throughout the world.

Based on statistics taken from Alexa, Google Trends and other reputable data service centers, Vincenzo Cosenza posted the December 2010 map for Facebook dominance by country. As the legend on the map shows, Facebook, color coded in blue, has for the most part taken up a stronghold in more countries, although Orkut has managed to continue some of their dominance in some of the South America territory Facebook has begun to slowly control.

Also interesting, Facebook has knocked Orkut out of the top spot in India, while gaining slightly more control in Europe.

China’s QZone has also managed to work out a nice niche in the Chinese region, while Orkut does still control the Brazil market. read more

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