August 31, 2011

Blogger Finally Gets Design Improvements, Better Editing System

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Blogger Screenshot

Google on Wednesday revealed massive changes to their Blogger system, including a new design and a much improved editing system. The announcement marks the first time in years that the company has released a major update to their blogging system.

Users willing to try out the new system should receive a pop-up announcement starting today when they log into their blogger accounts.

According to the company the new system is meant to look more like Google’s current aesthetic, while providing a simplified post editor that offers more features to keep users posting on the rather archaic blog platform.

The company has also announced a new “Overview” section which allows users to view recent traffic and blog comments for their Blogger based accounts.

According to Blogger Product Manager Chang Kim: read more

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Facebook Preparing Music Service With Spotify, MOG and Rdio

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Facebook MusicFacebook is getting ready to leap into the online music streaming business with partnerships that include Spotify, MOG and Rdio.

According to rumors the new partnerships will be announced at the f8 developer conference on September 22. The new program will allow users to listen to music directly from Facebook.com.

Two sources close to the partnerships told Mashable on Wednesday that Facebook will not be responsible for actually streaming any music or media but will instead rely on partners to provide content to site users. If the rumor is correct Facebook will be treating music streaming more like a platform as they already do for apps and games. read more

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Amazon Announces @Author Program, Users Can Now Ask Writers Book Related Questions

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Amazon At Author For Twitter

Have you ever read something in a book or finished a new novel only to be left with a bit of confusion or unanswered questions? With Amazon’s new @Author program for Twitter and Kindle users can now have their questions answered directly from the books author.

Currently sixteen writers are participating in the program which works by allowing readers to ask a question right form their Kindle ebook.

To use the program users place a cursor at the beginning of a passage with their 5-way controller, at which point they press down to anchor the passage, from there users highlight the passage with the controller and then enter their question for the highlighted section, starting with the phrase “@Author.” Finally users choose the “save & share” option from the pages choices and their question is sent to the author. read more

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HootSuite Adds Much Needed Facebook Functionality Upgrades

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Facebook Tools On HootsuiteSocial desktop platform Hootsuite on Wednesday announced new Facebook functionality that is sure to please users of the program and Facebook as a whole.

New options on the platform now include the ability to post and provide monitoring for Events and Groups, improved Pages and Profiles with streamlined photo uploading, geo-tools capabilities and the ability to search all public updates from within the stream.

Using Facebook streams users can manage Profiles, Pages and Groups from the dashboard, look at photos and view news feeds, events and other features found on the system. The program even allows users to assign posts to team members so they can check out what you’ve assigned.

The search functionality in the meantime allows users to search streams based on words they selection, allowing brands to receive instant feedback about their products and services.

Hootsuite also made it more simple to add photos, allowing for direct uploading rather than forcing customers to link to an image. Hootsuite uses the enhanced compose box for this method and it works smoothly and efficiently. read more

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Wanna Be Sued? The Wrong Words On Twitter Could Cost You

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Twitter LogoA recent study by legal information firm Sweet and Maxwell has discovered a significant increase in internet-related libel cases throughout England and Wales, thanks in large part to micro-blogging service Twitter.

While the number of cases only jumped from 7 to 16 in the year to May 31, 2011, that more than a 100% increase and none of those cases involved “established” media companies according to the study.

The study also found that more companies and small businesses are suing to protect their reputation with lawsuits increasing from five lawsuits in 2009, to 16 companies filing cases in 2010. read more

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Tumblr Surpasses 13 Million Monthly Unique Visitors In U.S.

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Tumblr ScreenshotBlogging service Tumblr on Tuesday announced a new record number of unique visitors for a single month. According to site officials Tumblr scored 13.4 million unique visitors in the U.S. during the month of July.

If those numbers are correct that would mean a 218% increase in site visitors based on the same period one year earlier.

Analytic information firm comScore also shows that Tumblr has seen their most massive increase since inception from April to July where visitor counts increased by more than 5 million monthly uniques. read more

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August 30, 2011

Foodily Utilizes Facebook To Provide Recipe Sharing Among Friends

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FoodilyFoodily on Tuesday announced a new Facebook application that allows users to share recipes on the social network.

The new program provides users with a dedicated, real-time feed of recipes their friends have saved on the site, while allowing users to view the recipe boxes of their Facebook friends.

Furthering the social experience, when you save a recipe to your Foodily account the friend who initially shared the recipe is notified, allowing them to ask you what you thought of the recipe, thus creating more recipe user engagement. read more

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Flickr Introduces Geofences, Allows Users To Control Which Locations Are Revealed

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Flickr GeofenceFlickr on Tuesday introduced a new feature called geofences which allows users to set geographic privacy settings for each of their photo location tags.

To use the program Flickr users draw a circle on a map to put up a geofence, users then choose the privacy settings they want for that area and all previously uploaded photos along with future uploads in that geofenced area will follow that areas privacy settings.

According to the official Flickr blog:

“You might want to create a geofence around the your ‘home’ or ‘school’ that only allows ‘Friends and Family’ to see the location of the photos you geotag in that area by default,” while they add, “So the next time you upload a photo with a geotag in the radius of a geofence, it will follow the geo privacy setting you’ve designated for that hotspot.”

While Flickr is often slow to innovate the new geofence feature will affect more than 300 million photos and brings the company a much needed boost to their flimsy privacy. read more

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Beach Boys Use Crowdsourcing To Showcase Music Videos

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Beach Boys Smile Music Video ProjectThe Beach Boys are taking on the age of social media to promote videos for two of their classic hit songs Good Vibrations and Heroes and Villains.

The group will be releasing The Smile Sessions on November 1 and the band along with their label Capital Records are working with crowdsourcing platform provider Tongal to provide viewers with $10,000 in prizes.

The Beach Boys are embracing the social media age by crowdsourcing videos for two of their classic songs — “Good Vibrations” and “Heroes and Villains” — to generate some buzz for the Nov. 1 release of The SMiLE Sessions.

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August 29, 2011

Chrome Extension Brings Google Translation To Google+ Posts And Comments

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Google Translate LogoHaving a hard time communicating with your international followers on Google+? Have no fear a new Chrome extension has been released for the social network which provides automatic post and comments translation.

Release on Monday Google Translate for Google+ is capable of translating 50 languages and can easily be installed using standard Google Chrome extension downloading.

According to Google Translate front-end and mobile development lead Josh Estelle:

“We’ve heard from a lot of Google+ users wanting an easier way to understand posts written in other languages. I’m an engineer on Google Translate and thought we could do something about that.” read more

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