February 23, 2011

Tumblr Debuts Curation Feature For Post Tagging

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Tumbler Explore Page TinyTumblr wants bloggers to tag their posts, while giving users the ability to find those tags in an easy to navigate setup, that’s why today they announced their new Explore Page.

The page uses a writers tags to show posts in a more “democratic” method, literally any tag can appear on the company’s explore page, bringing more readers to a bloggers Tumblr pages. The tags are met with images for those tags which provides a nice Web 2.0 appearance.

Tumblr visitors will also see the “Tumblr Wire” at the top of the page which shows the top tagged topics.

For users looking for constant information on a certain Tag they can also setup alerts via their Dashboard which means a YouTube news blogger would do well to always use the YouTube tag in their posts to reach their core audience.

The tagged feature only helps users already inside the Tumblr community of course Tags help with SEO so if you aren’t using them already you should be.

Now if we could just get Tumblr to add top posts to their front page, rather than providing a simple “Sign Up” option perhaps the site could bring in more traffic for people looking for top curated posts from the popular blogging platform. read more

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February 22, 2011

Twitter For Blackberry Embracing Long Awaited Features

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Despite not being officially maintained by Twitter HQ (RIM supports the app), Twitter for BlackBerry is one of the top mobile apps despite its limitations.

Fortunately for BlackBerry addicts, RIM is about to introduce a few useful updates that are considered standard features by many third party Twitter apps (not to mention the official ones as well).

Some of the new and exciting features in this release include Geotagging Tweets, Push @Mentions, Chat-Style Messages, #Topic Autocomplete and more! You’ll also notice that we’ve updated the Twitter graphics throughout the app to reflect the new look of the Twitter brand. […]

Now when you’re mentioned on Twitter, you’ll immediately receive a notification on your BlackBerry smartphone through the use of BlackBerry Push technology. You can control whether you want to be notified when anyone mentions you, or just when your followers mention you. With Push @Mentions, you’ll know who is talking about you or to you, so you can continue the conversation as it happens. (Inside Blackberry)

These features are not yet live for Twitter for BlackBerry, as RIM is still beta testing the future release in order to squash any bugs remaining within the app.

There is still no word on when (hopefully not “if”) RIM will consider adding video support for the app, a feature available for both the official iOS and Android apps (not to mention a few third party BlackBerry apps as well).

Users interested in testing out the latest features will need to log into the BlackBerry Beta Zone (account required).

For those of you testing out the app, what feature do you love and what features would you like to see?

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Yet Another Facebook Scam, Watch Out For Free Southwest Flights

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Southwest FlightSee that link on your buddy’s Facebook page that offers free Southwest flights? I dare you to click on the link and see what happens. As should be expected nothing is free, especially not airfare which seems to have new prices attached to it everyday. It’s all just another Facebook scam.

After clicking on your buddy’s link the developer of the scam will ask for Facebook account access (pretty typical for apps) and you will then begin seeing messages you didn’t approve posting on your Facebook page.

The scam spreads like wildfire, sending out dozens of spammed comments to your wall and it’s not just clueless internet users who are being duped, heck even Jolie O’Dell over at Mashable fell for the link scam and she writes for the world’s number one social media news reporting website.

Remember the golden rule, if it says free or it seems to go to be true it is, so avoid it!

In the meantime here’s a screenshot so you’ll know what type of link to avoid:

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When Will Blogging Be Accepted as a Career Choice?

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It really depends on whom you’re asking… your super supportive aunt?  Well, then it’s a great career choice.  If you’re asking your school guidance counselor or your conservative parents, it probably won’t go over too well.  Blogging certainly has the potential to be a viable career choice, but when will it be accepted by the general public as a career choice?

There are really 3 issues

1. Perceived minimal barriers to entry.

2. Most people don’t truly understand blogs and how they can be monetized.

3. The success rate of making a decent living isn’t very good.

Anyone can be a blogger.  While it’s not easy to earn a living as a blogger, it’s easy to become a blogger.  What do you really need?  A free or very inexpensive website and the application of your time.  Any career that has minimal barriers to entry is not going to be accepted by those that are more conservative.  Their belief is that you should have to go to school, receive training, and at least do something to earn the right or the experience/knowledge needed to become a blogger.  Blogging is a relatively new field. School and colleges are usually ten years behind the real world in terms of determining what training is vital to the workforce.  Many colleges only recently began offering degrees in Web Design.  I work at a high school in New York.  I have yet to see any teacher complete or attempt any lesson plans related to blogging.

The truth is, most successful bloggers are far more sophisticated in their blogging activities than those that fail.  read more

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February 21, 2011

Can Twitter predict the Academy Award winners?

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If Twitter can aid a revolution, how much in predicting winners for the upcoming 83rd Annual Academy Awards?

If suppressed people of dictators can find Twitter as an avenue of expression, how much more for passionate discussions among movie fans. Are these discussions in any way an indication of an actor’s or movie’s popularity? Again, the question is: can it predict the winners of the Academy Awards? read more

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Twidroyd And UberTwitter Restored After Various Twitter API Violations

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ubermedia logoUberMedia apps Ubersocial (previously known as UberTwitter) and Twidroyd are back online today after nearly two days of no Twitter access due to various violations.

A Twitter rep told Mashable that the programs were banned from the company’s API for “multiple violations” which included, but were not limited to “a privacy issue with direct messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement and changing the content of users’ tweets to make money.”

After UberMedia fixed issues with their program CEO Bill Gross tweeted:

“Happy to say that UberSocial and Twidroyd are back online.”

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IBM’s Watson Could Be Used For Sentiment Analysis In Social Media

IBM execs are raving about Watson’s David VS. Goliath battle with Ken Jennings. While machine triumphed over man, we’re still far away from a HAL-9000 scenario or a terminator dominated world. Watson’s victory in Jeopardy gives the machine access to assisting us in many different fields but what if Watson were used with Social Media?

Sentiment Analysis

The Social Sphere is huge and gauging its impact has created companies such as Radian6 and Infinigraph to provide sentiment analysis but no machine is perfect. Instead, humans have been tasked with sifting through data sets to guess what the Social Sphere is thinking. Watson could radically change the sentiment analysis landscape.

The biggest problem with current sentiment analysis tools is the difficulty in differentiating a negative, positive or neutral statement. Watson excels at not only recognizing conversations and texts, but at understanding the meaning of words.

I expected Watson’s bag of cognitive tricks to be fairly shallow, but I felt an uneasy sense of familiarity as its programmers briefed us before the big match: The computer’s techniques for unraveling Jeopardy! clues sounded just like mine. That machine zeroes in on key words in a clue, then combs its memory (in Watson’s case, a 15-terabyte data bank of human knowledge) for clusters of associations with those words. It rigorously checks the top hits against all the contextual information it can muster: the category name; the kind of answer being sought; the time, place, and gender hinted at in the clue; and so on. And when it feels “sure” enough, it decides to buzz. This is all an instant, intuitive process for a human Jeopardy! player, but I felt convinced that under the hood my brain was doing more or less the same thing.

Being able to put a Tweet in to context can give us a better understanding of how a brand is being perceived through the social sphere.

What Is Watson?

The specs on Watson are nothing to scoff at either. Watson is made up of a cluster of ninety IBM Power 750 servers (plus additional I/O, network and cluster controller nodes in 10 racks) with a total of 2,880 3.5 GHz POWER7 processor cores (or eight cores per processor). IBM didn’t skimp out on RAM either; 16 Terabytes or 4,096 times the average amount of RAM in an average consumer laptop.

In its most basic form Watson is the culmination of powerful custom IBM Hardware and Software.

Watson might be the precursor of our modern day SkyNet but I, for one am not welcoming our robot overlords just yet. I’m taking comfort in the fact that despite IBM’s massive leaps in supercomputing, Watson can’t be crammed so easily in to the Human form factor just yet.

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The AOL Way Or The Highway? I’ll Take Route 66

AOL made waves a few weeks ago when an internal document titled “The AOL Way” was published and detailed the company’s intended direction for content creation. The gist of the document doesn’t look pretty: Is AOL on a content downward spiral?

BusinessInsider, which obtained the leaked “AOL Way” document breaks down the calamity. Writers are expected to put page views and revenue generation over great content. While great content and high revenue are often synonymous, AOL is taking a different approach and separating the two in the hopes of manufacturing blog posts in the most efficient way possible while expecting results only a New York Times best selling author could deliver.

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February 19, 2011

UberMedia Repents, Submits To Twitter’s Demands

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twitter earlybirdThe drama between UberMedia and Twitter is coming to an end, as the former has agreed to follow Twitter’s TOS, but also change the name of a prominent app upon Blackberry in order to avoid violating Twitter’s trademark.

We were immediately in touch with Twitter, and the changes they asked us to make were very small.  As a result, we have completed the changes, and new apps are currently being posted to their respective stores.  Twitter has assured us that as soon as those changes were complete, they would reactivate our applications.

Twitter also asked us to modify the name of UberTwitter.  We began a process of changing the name three weeks ago by polling our users, and we’ve decided based on their input to change the product name to UberSocial, which we completed today. (Official UberMedia News) read more

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February 18, 2011

Twitter Banishing Tweet Apps From The Twitterverse?

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Blackberry and Android fans unfortunately have two less tweet apps to use as Twitter has banished two prominent apps for violating their TOS (among other things).

We have suspended UberTwitter and twidroyd for violating our policies.

Every day, we suspend hundreds of applications that are in violation of our policies. Generally, these apps are used by a small number of users. We are taking the unusual step of sharing this with you because today’s suspension may affect a larger number of users. (Twitter Help Center)

According to a memo sent TechCrunch, Twitter banned UberTwitter and TwiDroyd for not only violating the social network’s trademark, but for also altering tweets sent out by users in order to generate more profit via ads.

Twitter has also suspended a third app from UberMedia (UberCurrent), although it’s unclear whether they will consider expanding the ban towards Echofon and TweetDeck (both prominent tweet apps upon iOS).

UberMedia has yet to publicly respond to their apps being blocked by Twitter (as they have been very silent upon their official blogs and twitter accounts), although hopefully they will provide an explanation soon in order to regain the trust of not only Twitter, but their users as well.

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