April 18, 2011

Yahoo Buzz To Be Discontinued

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Yahoo Buzz LogoYahoo Buzz is being discontinued.

The company announced on the Buzz site on Monday that it was a “hard decision” while adding, “however this will help us focus on our core strengths and new innovations.”

The company will allow the product to run through April 21, providing customers with enough time to remove Yahoo Buzz buttons from their web properties.

Buzz was a success during it’s early launch in February 2008, overtaking Digg in May 2008 according to comScore reports, however the aggregator quickly lost market share to social media sharing on Facebook and Twitter, while sites such as Digg and in a larger way Reddit continued to build stronger products while Buzz continued on a rather stagnant non-innovation path.

Personally I was never a fan of the platform, Yahoo appeared in many cases to push their own networks content to the top of popular pages by muddling up what was actually user voted content and what content was placed on the site by Yahoo editorial staff. At it’s core the system favored Yahoo editorial choices and not those stories voted by users which took away from the social aspect of the program. read more

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4 Tips for Advanced Guest Bloggers

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As most of you already know, guest blogging is one of the coolest and most valuable ways of marketing your business and promoting your blog. But the thing about guest blogging is that it gets to be a much more effective promotional tool the better and better you get at it. Once you’ve been practicing guest blogging for awhile, you’ll be able to approach more highly-ranked blogs, in the PR-6 plus range. Getting published on such blogs will astronomically increase your own traffic and page ranking, so once you feel comfortable enough with your writing skills and niche expertise, it definitely pays to go for the big dogs. Here are a few tips for snagging a guest post spot on higher-quality blogs.

1. Always pitch a thoroughly-researched idea in your initial email. This is one of the most important parts of getting your foot in the door with a highly-ranked blog. This is so because a PR6 + blogger probably has no problems getting content up as some of the lower-ranked blogs do. As such, the blog you are aiming for doesn’t “need” you to drum up content, so you will have to prove your worth by doing tons of research and carefully delineating an idea that will appeal to the blog’s audience. read more

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April 16, 2011

Google Video: It’s Time We Said Farewell

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For the few users who actually still use Google Video, you’ll be disheartened to hear that Google is terminating the service and giving less than 2 months to download any videos from the site.

Later this month, hosted video content on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and now we’re removing the remaining hosted content. We’ve always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its ability to let people search videos from across the web, regardless of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide. (Google Video Team)

Google is recommending users switch to YouTube, which has more bells and whistles although the service only limits videos to 15 minutes instead of over an hour (which made Google Video popular in spite of YouTube’s growth).

Although Google Video will live on as a search service, the technology behind the service will live on thanks to Blogger (not to mention premium Google Docs users as well).

Did you use Google Video? If so, will you miss it?

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April 15, 2011

Content Licensing 101 for Bloggers

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As we talked about last week, whenever you post a blog entry, upload a photograph to your Flickr account or post a video to YouTube, you’re creating copyrighted work and sharing it with the Internet.

As the creator and copyright holder of that work, you have certain rights and protections over it, including the ability to bar others from making unauthorized copies or publicly display/perform the work.

However, you might not want to enforce all of those rights. For example, you might be perfectly happy to let others copy your work and post it on their sites provided they give attribution back. Or, you might be happy to have them print out copies for their personal use so long as they don’t attempt to sell them.

This is where content licensing comes into play. It’s the means by which you give someone (or everyone) a certain amount of rights to use your work even though that use, without your permission, would have been a copyright infringement.

As such, it’s important to understand the basics of copyright licensing and what some of the options are out there. This is so you can maximize what you get out of your writing and, equally importantly, prevent misunderstandings and accidental infringements by others.

With that in mind, here’s a basic rundown of what you need to know to be savvy about content licensing on the Web.
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Time Lapse Twitter, Tracking The Fukushima Radioactive Cloud

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Twitter Fukushima Time Lapse MapWhen the Fukushima Nuclear reactor began to meltdown on March 11, 2011 the people of Japan and individuals around the world quickly gathered around social networks to discuss the catastrophe. Soon after community project Webnode began charting the number of new blogs and comments being generated around the catastrophe.

The results? 500 Million+ Tweets have been generated regarding the catastrophe with information being shared all over the world from Japan to the United States.

To follow information about the disaster Webnode followed keyword specific Tweets including the words: Radioactivity, Pollution cloud, Fukushima, and many other terms associated with the meltdown. To accomplish their goal in real-time Webnode used the Google Realtime system to gather the most accurate information possible.

The community platform then tracked the Fukushima radioactive cloud movement using The Austrian Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics. read more

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April 14, 2011

YouTube Launches “Copyright School” To Educate Offenders

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YouTube Copyright Center Cartoon CharacterYouTube has long had to deal with Copyright infringing members, however they are now taking a more proactive measure to educate those users about copyright infringement, launching what they call the “YouTube Copyright School.”

The program, a four and a half minute video in the style of a cartoon based PSA has now become required viewing for any site user who receives a copyright infringement notice from the world’s largest social video sharing website.

Watching the video (shown at the bottom of this post), you’ll quickly realized that it features characters from Happy Tree Friends, a popular YouTube video series. The video gives a quick rundown of copyright law and must be viewed before an infringing user can once again begin uploading videos to the site. After watching the video users are then required to take a short quiz about the content they just watched.

Along with the new video, YouTube has amended how they control copyright offenses. In the past users had a “permanent record” of violations, while users can now have one offense fully removed from their record by watching the video. Consider the new policy a “defensive driving class” type solution to copyright rule breaking.

YouTube is also launching a Copyright FAQ section, shown below: read more

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April 12, 2011

Evernote Adds Social Sharing Tools For Windows Users

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Everynote Twitter SharingWindows users who take advantage of the Evernote app will be happy to learn that the program has once again been upgraded.

This time the company is focusing their efforts on social media options for the note taking program after following up their recently heralded web app redesign.

Among social sharing options are the ability for Windows users to share notes (a first for the company). Users can choose to share individual notes through Facebook, Twitter and email at this time, while entire notebooks can also be shared for more open access to documents among workgroups. read more

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New Twitter For Blackberry Sheds Beta, Goes Public

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RIM has rolled out the latest update for the Twitter for Blackberry app (which they were beta testing for several months) to the masses, which should bring it closer to its iOS and Android cousins.

Although the new app includes a few extra features such as push notifications, mentions and auto-completion of hash tags (a feature long overdue).

However Twitter for Blackberry’s newest feature will help bring Twitter’s unofficial app into the 21st century.

[Y]ou can pinpoint your location in a neighborhood and include it your Tweets. […]

Viewing someone else’s location – if they have enabled this feature – is really easy too! All you need to do is select the location icon that appears in the bottom right corner of their tweet and a map view will open, allowing you to see where they were when they submitted that Tweet. (Official Blackberry Blog)

Adding location will help RIM remain competitive against rivals like UberSocial (formally known as UberTwitter), who embraced tweet location months (if not years) ago.

Unfortunately the latest update does not yet support video uploading (through third party services like TwitPic, Posterous or yFrog), although hopefully RIM will consider adding that feature when they roll out the next update.

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The Online Advertising Industry: Infographic

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by

Ever wondered how all those ads you see populating the websites and blogs that you frequent get there? Exactly how is the data gathered for all those targeted Google, Yahoo and AOL ads? Below is an infographic of the path of how online ads are generated from the initial data to the target audience.

Another great piece of work from Infographiclabs

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April 11, 2011

Twilight Game: Facebook Scam Of The Day

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Twilight Facebook ScamAnother Monday, another Facebook Scam. Users of the social network are being urged to avoid clicking on any links associated with Twilight: Breaking Dawn, links that claim to be a game for the popular book/movie series, which is in fact being used to grab users personal data.

After clicking on the link users are invited to play the game, users of Facebook HTTPS are even asked to switch their account over to a “regular connection.” Once connected the game auto “Likes” so it can spread to the users wall and infect their friends accounts.

After accepting the game users are asked to give the developer certain permissions and fill out a personal questionnaire. If you have went so far as to provide that personal information you have ignored all of the alarms that should have sounded in your head by this point. read more

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