February 14, 2011

Gist ‘Relationship Manager’ Purchased By Research In Motion

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Gist LogoResearch In Motion (RIM), the company behind the Blackberry line of devices today announced the acquisition of Gist, a ‘relationship manager’ that socially connects your contacts into your life.

The program works by taking your Gmail, Google Apps, Lotus Notes and Outlook accounts and connecting their contacts in a single database that can then be accessed anywhere a web connection is available and through iPhone and Google Android operating systems.

The contacts that are pulled are then linked into either Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, giving users a truly social agenda with their contacts.

Taking the idea even further, Gist groups together contacts, for example you can look at specific conversations or even people in the same group or company. read more

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Twitter To Twitterverse: We Need A Few Good Translators

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In a bid to expand their reach globally (and perhaps catch up to Facebook), Twitter is reaching out to the community in order to help translate their services into other languages beyond their current selection.

Today we’re announcing a product that is a major step toward making Twitter more easily accessible by people around the world – the Twitter Translation Center. The Translation Center allows us to crowdsource translations from our passionate users in order to more quickly launch Twitter in additional languages. […]

The new Translation Center allows any Twitter user to sign up, choose a language and begin translating immediately. Translators can now help localize twitter.com, mobile.twitter.com, Twitter for iPhone and iPad, Twitter for Android, Twitter Help and the Twitter Business Center. We also improved the Center’s search functionality, added phrase tagging, created special translator profiles, enabled commenting on phrases and much more. (Official Twitter Blog)

Surprisingly Twitter seems to have forgotten to mention their Windows Phone 7 app (which might be an oversight) although Blackberry owners will have to depend upon RIM for future translations (as the “official” app is not supported by Twitter).

Twitter currently is  available in English, Japanese, Korean, as well as what is commonly referred to as “FIGS” (French, Italian, German and Spanish) by tech companies.

Twitter played a key role when it came to organizing protesters in Egypt (where Arabic is the official language), and by partnering with users they can help lower the barriers of entry for new users by ensuring that their is a service or site available in their mother tongue.

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Search Engine Optimization in 2011

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Times are changing in the world of Search Engine Optimization and it looks to liven up this sector. With Search Engines introducing ever more sophisticated algorithms, the art of providing good SEO Services is now crying out for more original and off the wall techniques.

For some time now the guidelines for optimum SEO has been set in stone. Run through your generic list of search friendly tasks, complete accordingly and maintain a decent link building system.

Now I’m not saying if you carry out the above technique that your SEO campaign will suffer, far from it. The basics of any SEO campaign still stand true:

• Take care of your Keywords – Something’s never change and good research within this department is always crucial

• Titles, Meta Data, Alt Tags – You know the drill – the list goes on, no need to waste time here on that

• Unique Content Creation – Another gem in the SEO crown, good production and distribution will reward you with some good linkage
Today, everyone wants in on the promise of great web visibility –
What advice will you receive? “Have you considered Search Engine Optimization?” read more

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February 12, 2011

The battle is on for .gay

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With the advent of new domain name suffixes such as .car, .movie, and .web, we may be seeing soon a more wider form of navigating the entire web.

We may also be seeing groups scrambling for control. In fact, the battle is on between two gay organizations who are both willing to control the domain name suffix .gay.

The Dot-Gay Alliance and DotGay LLC are both willing to pay the steep $185,000 application fee attached to new gTLDs to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), as well as the $25,000 annual fee to retain control of the suffix.

The Dot-Gay Alliance is planning to allocate 51% of its profits to different lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality and support organizations, making each .gay web address owner a contributor for the fight for LGBT equal rights.

On the other hand, DotGay LLC is planning to build communities around .gay. Imagine hotels.gay, lawyers.gay, health.gay, among others. It’s a pretty neat idea, admittedly.

What would complicate matters with future domain name suffixes is the news that the U.S. government is looking into gaining veto power over domain name suffixes. Currently, ICANN’s policy is to just ensure that a domain name suffix does not offend accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under principles of international law.

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February 11, 2011

Google Exec Praising Facebook Over Egypt?

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Facebook LogoWith President Hosni Mubarak resigning from office due to pressure in the streets (as well as online), it looks like one social network is receiving praise from a Google Exec who has become a hero in the land of Egypt.

“First Tunisia, now Egypt,” began CNN host Wolf Blitzer. “What’s next?”

“Ask Facebook,” answered Wael Ghonim, an Egyptian activist and the head of marketing in the Middle East and North Africa for search giant Google. “I want to meet [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg and thank him personally.”

“I’m talking on behalf of Egypt,” he continued. “This revolution started online. This revolution started on Facebook. This revolution started in June 2010 when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians started collaborating content. (Raw Story)

Despite his high profile within the Egyptian society, Wael Ghonim used his power and influence to counter what the Egyptian regime was doing instead of cowering in fear at the threat of being punished by the secret police (note: he was later on kidnapped but was released shortly thereafter).

Later on Ghonim goes on to explain that the best way to liberate a society is to give them the internet, which empowers people to organize themselves via social networks and counter government propaganda.

With Facebook being credited for helping organize the Egyptian revolution, we may see authoritarian governments take stronger measures against social networks in order to prevent something similar happening within their own borders.

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Twitter And Facebook Influence Was Big In Egypt Says Ambassador

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Twitter Logo and Facebook LogoAmerican U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice visited Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco and during a town hall meeting she praised the social networking website for helping bring about change in Egypt through the use of social media encouragement.

While some opponents of social media have been quick to downplay the importance of social network outreach, Rice said of Twitter and other social networks that “Governments are increasingly cognizant of their power” and that sites, specifically Twitter and Facebook have an “enormous impact” on the world stage.

When speaking about the impact Twitter and Facebook had in protest organization in Egypt Rice added:

“The power of this technology, the power of social networking to channel and champion public sentiment, has been more evident in the past few weeks than ever before.”

While it is true that organized protests existed long before social media, the ease at which people can now come together was evident in Egypt, not only were large groups of people taking to the streets, but smaller protests could be seen and heard all over the city, while “smarter” organization allowed for a better plan of attack against the countries corrupt government, allowing protesters to understand their roles in those public displays before heading out with thousands of others to partake in their countries revolution. read more

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Getting A Grip On Corporate Blogging

Corporate blogging can be tricky sometimes. One on end you have a brand’s image, red tape and potentially legal department to consider; on the other you have an audience to connect to. How do you balance them out?

Understanding what the company or brand is, being consistent and scheduling your content will make your job a lot easier and the client happy.

Eat, Live, Breath The Company

Bloggers and copywriters are generally creative folk but there comes a point when acting on your own will become a problem. You have to consider the company you’re writing for and even take in to consideration how much of an impact your connection makes. By doing so you walk a very fine line between creatively charged blogger and soulless marketing drone. Your happiness and to an extent your creativeness depends on you working for a company or brand you love. If it’s nothing short of passion, you’ll be miserable because your work requires to eat, live and breath the brand.

You will be writing on everything great about the company or brand and that means no fudging up facts. Even thinking you can get away with a little white lie now and then is a clear indicator you’re losing faith in something you should be wholeheartedly standing by. Even worse, someone is going to find a hole and not only point it out but Tweet it.

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Twitter Updates Android App, Makes It Look Pretty

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Twitter Logo - World BackgroundTwitter on Thursday revealed the newest version of their Google Android application, an update that brings with it a more “iPhone” friendly looking output.

Included in the apps new layout is a reconstructed menu bar which sits at the top of the page and allows users to view their timeline, direct messages, lists, retweets, favorites and @mentions, while Search and Compose options can also be found just above the menu bar at the top right hand side of the page.

Also included in this newest update is the ability to use the Android app without signing into your Twitter account and an option to sign up for a new account quickly and effectively. read more

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February 10, 2011

The Problem With Social Media Marketing

I’ve been immersed in some form of Social Media for the past 5 years. My latest experience; working with Social Media Marketing both interested and disappointed me. The potential of networking is amazing but it’s all moot if you have nothing worth sharing and you come off as a pitch man.

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Google And Facebook Both In “Low Level” Talks For Twitter Acquisition

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Twitter Logo

Rumors began surfacing today that internet giants Google and Facebook have been courting Twitter executives in what could end up being an $8 billion to $10 billion acquisition.

While the talks according to the Wall Street Journal are only “low-level” it’s believed that acquisition attempts have heated up over the last several months, although some insiders say they have “went nowhere.”

The huge valuation numbers come at a time when Twitter is estimated to have only taken in $45 million in revenue during 2010 with an estimated increase to $100 million, possibly $110 million in 2011.

At this time no company’s involved in talks have commented, which leaves a lot of speculation around the type of deal Twitter may be trying to etch out. read more

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