September 30, 2011

5 Legal Problems Raised By Mobile Blogging

Cell Phone in CrowdBlogging, as well as almost all media, is become much more mobile. Not only are people reading and consuming news on the go, but they are also recording, writing and photographing it as well.

This move stems directly from the rise in both smartphones, which often include high-definition video/still cameras, as well as other portable recording and Internet-connected devices. From Flip cameras to laptops, you can run an entire multimedia empire without ever sitting in an office.

However, all of this mobility comes with it a series of new legal questions and issues that desktop-only bloggers don’t have to face. When you’re recording audio and video on the street, you have some additional concerns to worry about.

Fortunately, they are legal questions that you can easily address and deal with, so long as you’re aware of them and take steps to avoid them before you step out the door. read more

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September 29, 2011

Study Says Twitter Revenue Will Reach $400 Million By 2013

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Twitter BirdNearly since it’s inception Twitter has been attempting to find new ways to generate revenue and now thanks to their “Promoted” products a new study suggests that the company’s revenues will grow from $45 million in 2010 to nearly $400 million by 2013.

According to tracking firm eMarketer Twitter in 2011 is on pace to earn $139.5 million, a 210% incrase over last years numbers.

According to Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer:

“Since their debut in April 2010, Twitter’s Promoted Products have proven successful in the U.S.,” while she adds “Marketers have shown solid engagement rates with Twitter advertising — in some cases better than those on Facebook — despite Twitter’s relatively smaller audience.”

With a user base that currently sits at 100 million active users the estimated revenue stream growth from Twitter could increase over the $400 million estimate if Twitter finds new ways to engage users and grow their base. In comparison Facebook current serves more than 800 million users worldwide. read more

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September 28, 2011

Groupon Launches Rewards Program, Gives Businesses More Control

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Groupon Rewards ProgramGroupon on Wednesday rolled out Groupon Rewards, a new program that allows businesses to provide extra incentives to Groupon users who spend a certain amount of money with their company.

Integrated with Point of Sale systems the program allows businesses to offer special incentives as users pass varying thresholds, those incentives then become available as special Groupon offers.

In a blog post Groupon says of the system:

“Consumers earn rewards at participating merchants simply by paying with the credit or debit card they have on file at Groupon.com,” while adding, “After spending an amount set by the merchant, the consumer unlocks the ability to purchase a special Groupon for that business.” read more

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September 27, 2011

Facebook Valuation Reaches $87.5 Billion, Check Out Their Meteoric Rise

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Mark ZuckerbergPrivate share trading at Facebook has pushed the company’s valuation to $87.5 billion. The company is currently trading private shareholder stock at a price of $32 on SharesPost.

The incredible rise of the Facebook system began in 2008 when an internal valuation sat at $4 billion, by 2009 an investment from Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies took the company to $6.5 billion.

Fast forward to 2010 and the company was quickly valued at $12 billion during the start of the year a number that quickly climbed to $34 billion by year end and then climbed again to $50 billion by the start of 2011. read more

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September 26, 2011

Zynga Delivers CityVille To Google+ Users, Offers One More Reason To Leave Facebook

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CityVille Now Available On Google PlusZynga, creators of the uber-popular social game CityVille have brought the game to the Google+ social network.

The announcement comes only one month after Zynga and Google+ teamed up for the Google+ Games platform and shouldn’t surprise anyone since Google is an investor in Zynga.

The game joins Zynga Poker and marks one of the first 16 game titles offered by the social gaming company.

Putting the two games into perspective, CityVille has more than 70 million unique players every single month while Zynga Poker attracts just 30 million.

Pushing their games out to Google+ also means Zynga won’t necessarily be dependent on Facebook where the largest chunks of their traffic is obtained.  At this time Facebook receives 30% of Zynga’s revenues through the use of their Facebook Credits platform, while the company pays the same percentage for Apple for iOS platform use. Google on the other hand is offering better terms to developers which has made the platform an attractive offering. read more

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Apple iPhone 5 ‘Assistant’ Provides Revolutionary Voice Command System [Rumor]

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iPhone 5 LogoDuring an Apple conference on October 4 the iPhone 5 is expected to be announced and with that announcement a new ‘Assistant’ feature is expected to arrive, a feature that would double the devices RAM to 1GB.

According to reports Assistant is the next evolution of the Apple’s voice control system.

Rumors say Assistant is a new way to interact with your iPhone based solely off voice commands, for example a user might say “make appointment at 9am with Dentist” at which point the iPhone 5 will create that appointment in the user’s calendar.

Another example from WebProNews uses location based reminders alongside assistant for example a user might say:

“Remind me to buy milk when I arrive at the market.”

Once the iPhone 5 user arrives at a store that sells milk the reminder will be shown using location based services.

The Assistant feature is also expected to offer GPS directions based off voice commands, power your text messaging and read text messages back to users and even ask questions about what you want so it can provide proper assistance. For example you might say “Email John Doe” and the phone would ask you which one of their email addresses to use if multiple addresses are found. read more

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Does Google Really Know What’s Best for Your Blog?

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Some blog owners will read Google’s guidelines and take anything the company says as the rule of the internet.  And while many of the policies Google sets forth are good practices for any website, does it mean that we really have to follow every little thing the search engine company says we should do.  There are many cases in which something Google says is taboo is actually a very good idea for your particular blog and it might even be beneficial to your readers as well.

For instance, Google has stated that it is “evil” for you to run a blog contest in which you ask other blog owners to link back to your site as part of the entry of your contest.  They see this is a way of manipulating the search results, but it’s also just good practice to get other sites to link to you so people can find you through other blogs.  Getting backlinks is not just a good practice for getting a better ranking in the search engines.  It’s also a great source of traffic for your blog and you should be trying to get as many other blogs out there to link to your pages.

Since Google is the largest search engine on earth many people also assume that any guidelines the company lays down must be the law.  But no search engine is the police force of the internet.  So it really begs the question that if Google says something is wrong for you to do on your blog, but that same thing is really beneficial to your readers, what side do you take?  Should you just listen to Google and rob your readers of what they want just so you can stay in the good graces of Google? read more

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September 23, 2011

Blog Herald Week In Review: Google+ Goes Public, StumbleUpon Announce Changes And More

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social mediaThis week has been one of big changes as Google+ rolled out to the general public, Facebook announced massive upgrades to their social networking system and StumbleUpon managed to anger users a month ahead of their proposed changes. Here’s 5 stories from the last week you should be sure to check out.

 

Google+ Ditches Private Invite-Only Status, Welcomes Everyone To Platform

Google+ managed to attract more than 30 million users to their new social network when it was in closed beta with private Google and user invites only and this week they announced that anyone can now join and enjoy the network. With Facebook fans angered over the networks newest changes to profiles Google+ could have a big month ahead of them in terms of user number growth.

read more

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Groupon COO Departs As Company Corrects IPO Offering For Third Time

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Groupon Social Buying PlatformMargo Georgiadis was hired as Groupon’s Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.) just five short months ago and already she has announced plans to return for work at Google thanks to a hefty promotion.

Not only is Margo going back to Google to become president of the Americas, she’s the second COO lost by the company in just two months.

News looked even more grim for Groupon after they issued a third amendment to their IPO which cut revenues in half for 2010, making America’s “fastest growing company” in history spiel seem a whole lot less appealing for investors. Groupon filed the amended S-1/A paperwork with the SEC on Friday afternoon.

Realizing that the COO role has been a near disaster for his company CEO Andrew Mason has announced that he will take over much of the role himself. Here’s what he had to say: read more

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Blogging, Privacy and the New Facebook

Over the course of this column, we’ve talked a great deal about privacy, both legally and ethically, and how it intersects with blogging. We’ve looked at the problems with anonymous blogging, privacy and email and even some of the false privacy-related legal threats a blogger might face.

However, privacy is a very thorny issue, even more so than most areas of law online. The reason is that much of what we think of as privacy law is actually decided on a state level, meaning in the U.S. alone there is effectively 50 interpretations of privacy law. This says nothing, obviously, about the international implications.

But privacy issue for bloggers is about to get a lot thornier than even that, or at least a lot more visible. At its F8 conference, Facebook announced a new API that is going to make it easier for people to share more things with their Facebook friends, including sharing things that they did not decide, at least on an individual level, to put out there.

Combine this with its already-promised new buttons for websites, including “read”. “watch”, etc. and it’s easy to see how the issue of privacy will likely be brought into focus again for bloggers.

So, no matter what you think of the new Facebook features and tools, it’s important to be aware of the potential legal and ethical implications of using them and, to that end, it’s worth taking another look at privacy. read more

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