January 28, 2011

Facebook Updates Android App, Adds Deals, Fixes Bugs

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Facebook Deals On AndroidGoogle Android users will be happy to learn that Facebook today released version 1.5.1 of their popular Android app, fixing several bugs found in the last version of the application, while adding Facebook Deals into the mix.

Users who check into locations around the U.S. will now see a yellow icon if that particular location is offering any deals through the program. At this time only U.S. locations are part of the Facebook Deals program.

While the new version promises to fix various bugs, some users on varying Android systems are now complaining that new bugs have been found, while some old bugs are still not fixed on their systems. Bug related issues appears to vary based on the version of Android in use.

Head over to the Android Market to download the new version of the application and give it a try.

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LinkedIn Goes Public But Who Owns The Biggest Slice Of The Pie?

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LinkedIn LogoLinkedIn is proving it pays to network. The company has filled its S-1 papers with the Security and Exchanges Comission for an initial public offering.

2010 was the year of IPOs, or at least guessing which Internet giants would hit Wallstreet first. Facebook, Demand Media and Skype were the biggest names tossed around the business networking site LinkedIn is starting 2011 as a publicly traded company.

But who owns what of LinkedIn? Previously unreleased details were revealed in its SEC filing as the company prepares to go public.

Via TechCrunch

TechCrunch sifted through LinkedIn’s S-1’s papers and discovered founder/chairman Reid Hoffman along with his wife Michelle Yee own 19,066,032 shares or a 21.4% share of the company. Other notable shareholders include investors Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners which own 18.9, 15.8 and 5.1 percent of shares respectively. Until the share prices are announced, we won’t know exactly how big the impact of say, 19 million shares is but in the mean time we can guesstimate.

Nicholas Carson at Business Insider did some math and came to this conclusion:

But we do know the company has ~$200 million annual revenues. That’s up 200% from a year ago, so a healthy 10X valuation is entirely called for. So figure it’s a $2 billion company, pre-IPO.
That would mean LinkedIn Reid Hoffman’s 21.4% stake is worth $430 million. CEO Jeff Weiner’s is worth $80 million. Sequoia’s stake – bought for $4.7 million – is worth $380 million, Greylock’s $320 million, Bessemer’s, $100 million.

Not bad for a company that makes networking with business professionals easier. If this is LinkedIn’s IPO, what will Facebook’s monstrous IPO look like?

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Egypt Shuts Down The Internet. Now What?

Unable to contain the unrest in the streets, Egypt has apparently cut off internet access throughout the country (preventing bloggers from even emailing their posts in order to get around the social networking ban).

The Egyptian government is even reportedly turning off SMS as well as landlines in order to keep people from communicating to the outside world.

With very few bloggers able to blog, tweet or Facebook events happening in one of the worlds oldest countries, what measures should bloggers take in order to get the word out?

While it’s uncertain what steps the Egyptian government will take in order to keep the word out from what is happening in Egypt, here are a couple of measures bloggers can take to make sure their voices are not silenced. read more

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LinkedIn Files Papers For IPO, Could Be Valued At $3 Billion

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LinkedIn LogoLinkedIn has filed the required Securities and Exchange Commission papers necessary for the company to move forward with an initial public offering.

At this time it’s still unclear how many shares the company will offer or at what price those shares will be offered at.

In 2009 the business-centric social networking site generated $120 million in revenue, with $161 million coming in through the first nine months of 2010.Those first nine months in 2010 generated $10 million in profit for the company.

Interestingly, in their filing Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft are named as competitors with LinkedIn noting: read more

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January 27, 2011

WordPress For iPhone, Meet Push Notifications

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It looks like those of us using the WordPress for iOS app will soon be able to respond back to comments without having to install CommentPush.

Push notifications are coming along nicely! […]

We’re also considering push notifications for Likes as well. What do you guys think? What else would you want to have notifications for? (via Chris Boyd on Making WordPress for iOS)

According to Chris Boyd users would be able to visit the exact comment posted upon your blog from within your app which is similar to how Twitter for iOS sends users to the exact Tweet reply instead of merely opening the app.

This will make it not only much easier to reply back to comments in a timely fashion, but also help weed out human spam much faster.

As far as push notifications for likes goes, hopefully WordPress has a setting where users can turn this specific feature off as some blogs may receive hundreds of likes in a post (note: push notifications for likes is only available for WP.com sites).

This future update should also help WordPress stay competative against rivals, especially Squarespace (the latter which has boasted push notifications for several months now).

Note: Yes I know the WordPress app icon is upside down, but that was apparently done so the team could distinguish between the test app and the one approved by Steve Jobs app tribunal.

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Posterous: Email Blogging In Hostile Nations Can Save Your Political Life

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Known mostly for their email everything approach when it comes to blogging, Posterous has published some excellent advice for bloggers living in a hostile country.

With Twitter and Facebook now shut down in Egypt to quell government protests, email is the only reliable sharing platform left.

Same story in China.  If you’re living or traveling there, email posting via Posterous Sites or Groups is the only way to get videos and photos to your Posterous site and reposted to Twitter and Facebook. (Official Posterous Blog)

For bloggers traveling through (or even residing in) a hostile nation, establishing a Posterous account might be something to consider as you can use the platform to auto post upon numerous platforms (which is useful if your government decides to DDoS your blog).

For those of you who prefer other platforms like Blogger, WordPress.com, or Tumblr, you can configure your blog for email posting which will allow you to easily publish text as well as images (note: with the latter two you can also post videos as well).

Self hosting WordPress fans can install the Post Via Email plugin to achieve something similar, although if anyone knows any other plugins (that are up to date) feel free to let us know in the comment section below.

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January 26, 2011

From Movable Type’s Ashes, A New Melody Arises

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With Movable Type fading away into obscurity (unless you live in Japan), it looks like Melody (which is a fork of Movable Type 4.34) is entering its last round of beta in anticipation for its first release candidate debut.

So it is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Melody 1.0 Beta 3, the last beta before we release RC1 next week, and hopefully 1.0 shortly thereafter. So to all Melody beta testers: time to fire up your test instances and take one last opportunity to bang on Melody before it finally ships. And to the rest of the Melody and Movable Type community – get ready, 1.0 is right around the corner! (Official Melody Blog)

Despite my heavy affection for WordPress, I’ve been rather impressed with Melody overall (especially their user interface) as well as how they plan on making Melody designer friendly via YAML (which is suppose to be much easier to use than HTML).

It will be interesting to see if Melody can prove itself as a superior alternative for dissatisfied Movable Type users instead of WordPress (which seems to be the first choice among defectors), although from what I’ve seen thus far from the team, Melody may prove to be a blog/CMS hit a few years from now.

Users curious about the blog software can either download Melody (note: link will trigger an automatic download) or test it out for free via Open Melody Demo.

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Egypt Blocks Facebook and Twitter Access Amid Street Protests

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Facebook EgyptHow do you break up major protests in your country? These days you block the efforts of protest organizers by blocking the two major means of organizing protests, Twitter and Facebook. That’s exactly what Egypt did today as their security fources continue to battle protesters with water cannons and tear gas.

On Tuesday several users reported Twitter was blocked in an effort to stop videos, photos and other written “propaganda” from being aired online, that block was then confirmed by Twitter.

Shortly after the Twitter was blocked users then began to report that Facebook was also being prevented access throughout the country, a fact confirmed by HerdictWeb a website run by Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. read more

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WordPress Android App Leap Frog’s Smartphone Brethren

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Once again it looks like my Android friends will have yet another reason to boast about their DROID, Evo or Samsung Galaxy smartphones after WordPress recently updated the app with a feature that is perfect for both smartphones and feature phones.

A big thanks to contributor Christof Dorner, who added support for QuickPress shortcuts on the Android home screen. Just long press on the home screen, select ‘Shortcuts->QuickPress’ and then select the blog that you would like to use. You will then have an icon on your home screen that takes you directly to the new post screen to start blogging straight away! (WordPress for Android)

For those of you unfamiliar with WordPress, QuickPress is a feature that allows a blogger to quickly jot down thoughts without being distracted by other post settings (i.e. formatting, categories, image/video layout).

Although the feature is now baked into every WordPress install, QuickPress is not yet available upon WordPress for Blackberry, iOS, Nokia or even Windows Phone 7.

Even though users can easily get by without utilizing QuickPress (as WordPress for iOS’s layout is very basic compared to its WP brethren), it would be a great feature to have for those of us who enjoy blogging on the go.

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Logging Into Facebook Is Now Secure

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Facebook LogoFacebook has just announced two additional levels of security that should compliment their remote logout feature (which they launched in September of 2010).

Starting today we’ll provide you with the ability to experience Facebook entirely over HTTPS. You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from public Internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries or schools. The option will exist as part of our advanced security features, which you can find in the “Account Security” section of the Account Settings page. (Official Facebook Blog)

While activating the HTTPS feature does have its advantages (especially for those of us who frequent WiFi hotspots), Facebook did mention that enabling encrypted pages will increase loading times, so you may have to be patient when logging in. read more

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