May 18, 2011

Twitter To Developers: Ask Before You Receive

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Twitter LogosTweet developers seeking access to direct messages will now be required to ask for access instead of being given the keys to a user’s entire user account.

Beginning today, we’re giving you more control over what information you share with third-party applications. Apps that you use to access your direct messages will ask for your permission again. By the end of the month, applications that do not need access to your direct messages will no longer have it, and you can continue to use these apps as usual. (Official Twitter Blog)

Since there are many third party apps or websites that merely access Twitter to broadcast a message (i.e. Feedburner, Tumblr, mobile apps, etc.), restricting access should help ease fears that a random developer might be able to peak at messages not meant for public.

It may also help cut down on hijacked twitter accounts due to celebrities clicking on suspicious links (and direct messaging all of their followers with spam).

Hopefully Twitter refines these settings even further to include items like Tweet lists, access to timelines, bio info and the ability to alter ones profile picture.

For those of you who are tweet-a-holics, what other features do you want Twitter to restrict?

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Derwent Capital Markets Opens World’s First “Twitter Based” Hedge Fund

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Twitter Stock Market BirdLondon Investment Firm Derwent Capital Markets is using Twitter to hedge their future bets, quite literally. The company is using their own proprietary systems to examine Tweets before determining where to put investments in their $40.5 million hedge fund.

According to the company they are currently analyzing 10% of the 10 million tweets sent daily. Using specific trading algorithms and sentiment analysis the company then determines where to put their money.

The idea of using Twitter to determine markets isn’t new, StockTwits offers a third party application for market analysis, however Derwent is the first firm to form a full hedge fund for Twitter trading purposes. read more

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May 17, 2011

The Origin Of Twitter

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Twitter BirdThe popular short messaging and status update network, Twitter, has had a meteoric rise to fame. While the social network’s story isn’t as dramatic as Facebook’s history, the initial concept behind Twitter is very interesting.

read more

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Twittamentary Hopes To Capture The Effects Twitter Has On Everyday Life

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Twittamentary LogoTan Siok Siok, a documentary filmmaker from Singapore has created Twittamentary, an “experimental documentary about the everyday people who use Twitter.”

On the surface the idea of creating a documentary about a service that offers just 140 character messages may seem absurd, boring even, however Siok uses their film making skills to examine the core users of Twitter and how the network affects not only the users everyday life, but the life of those around them.

As should be expected, the movie, even while airing allows users to socially interact with the films production team in real time, creating a social experiment within their social experiment, while creating one of the most interactive movies to date. read more

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Social Network Tagged Announces New Social Gaming Studio

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Tagged Social NetworkSocial network Tagged knows how to develop a viral social game success, their hit game Pets currently brings the company $1 million per month in revenue and they are now hoping to capitalize on that success with the launch of their own social gaming studio.

The social network currently attracts more than 100 million users with their Pets game drawing 375,000 unique daily active users with more than 5 million trades per date.

When you consider that the entire network brought in just $32 million last year it’s easy to see why they would focus so much of their energy on the social gaming aspect of their platform. read more

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May 16, 2011

Formalizing Your Blog’s Online Ad Spend

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High level strategic preparation should go in to planning where you advertise your blog/website’s services. A major factor in this planning is understanding where others are finding success, and shaping a strategy around external and internal factors. Online advertising is changing dramatically as of late. Display advertising, the second most common form of online advertising, behind search, is experiencing exponential growth in maturity, according an eMarketer report, banner ad spending grew 23.1% in 2010. Banner ads are images placed within a relevant website and are priced on a cost per click basis. The reason why this news is surprising: display advertising has been around for more than 10 years as a mature medium, and some people believe that banner display advertising is a dying breed, as marketers jump ship to social, search and rich media. However, publishing website’s behavioral targeting, audience retargeting and search retargeting technology have shocked banner ads back to life. read more

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May 13, 2011

Twitter Is Down, Company Acknowledges System Issues

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Fail Whale on TwitterThe fail whale has been a mainstay on Twitter.com for the last hour (1:30pm Central).

On their status log Twitter acknowledged that they are having system issues:

“We are currently experiencing site stability issues. There may be intermittent issues loading twitter.com. We’re working to fix it as soon as possible.”

While Twitter is valued as a multi-billion dollar business they have a long history of running as if their service was being operated out of someone’s basement on a Commodore 64, recently they promised that a move to their own dedicated data center will solve their issues, hopefully that move arrives soon.

At this time the reason(s) for the system wide shutdown are not known.

Update: It looks like the site is back up and running for the time being.

 

 

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5 Things to Check When Reading a Terms of Service

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With TwitPic recently finding itself in hot water over a terms of service change that prevented its users from reselling photographs they had uploaded using the service (their TOS has since been changed to slightly less controversial terms), there’s been a great deal of interest lately the terms we agree to when registering new accounts at various site and the time bombs that could be buried in there.

The truth is that very few people take the time to as much as skim the TOS before clicking “accept” and are completely unaware of what is in the legally binding contract they just “signed”. This has the potential to create major headaches down the road when and if these services decide to exploit their rights to their fullest.

So, if you’re motivated to be a little more careful with the terms you agree to, here is a quick primer on five critical things you want to check when accepting a new TOS. While, obviously, this isn’t a complete list, these are probably the things you probably want to look for first in order to best understand what it is you’re signing and what it might mean moving forward. read more

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May 12, 2011

Facebook Caught Planting Negative Google Stories

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Facebook LogoFacebook has taken “credit” for planting stories around the web which bring into question Google’s privacy policies.  The plot backfired however when the Google hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller tried to get a prominent blogger to post the negative information and that blogger posted the emails from the PR firm.

Chris Soghoian, the blogger who was approached by Burson posted the following email from the company:

Google, as you know, has a well-known history of infringing on the privacy rights of America’s Internet users. Not a year has gone by since the founding of the company where it has not been the focus of front-page news detailing its zealous approach to gathering information -– in many cases private and identifiable information — about online users.”

The email furthers Facebook cause, describing Google’s services as the:

“Latest tool designed to scrape private data and build deeply personal dossiers on millions of users –- in a direct and flagrant violation of its agreement with the FTC.” read more

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May 11, 2011

Facebook “Spare Key” Security Flaw Existed For Years

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Facebook SecurityFacebook user information was passed along to advertisers and third parties for years according to a Symantec report passed along to the social network last month.

The issue occurred when more than 100,000 Facebook applications accidentally passed along user access tokens. Those tokens, known as a “spare key” could then be used to access a users account, allowing third parties to post info to a user’s wall and access other parts of their accounts.

Anyone with access to an access token would also be able to mine for personal information, gain access to a user’s friends’ profiles and access other parts of a users accounts, however no reported evidence of such events occurring were reported, in fact it’s believed that third parties were not even aware that they were receiving the extra information. read more

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