Busy Week for Opinions in Social Media

SocialSmack

SocialSmackIt’s proved a busy week for opinionated people in the realm of social media. Two new sites have launched in the last week that afford users the ability to save and share their thoughts about products and places: Fablistic and SocialSmack.

Fablistic, geared towards social networking via ratings and reviews, aims to bring a more interpersonal touch to the format behind traditional opinion powerhouses like Amazon reviews. Fablistic has a five point approach: save, share, organize, remember, and explore. In essence, it provides users a way to remember what they thought about things like restaurants, books, movies, electronics, or other products and services. While they’re at it, they can let their voice be heard across the Fablistic site and discover other topics that might be of interest by viewing the opinions of others. [Read more…]

Say Goodbye to Amie Street, Amazon Says

Amie Street

Amie StreetIn a move that is bewilderingly shocking to some news outlets, Amazon has acquired AmieStreet.com for an undisclosed amount. The move, however, could have been viewed as inevitable, since Amazon has been funding Amie Street since 2007.

What should be the focal point of surprise for most is that Amazon plans to shut down the AmieStreet.com services as of September 22nd. AmieStreet.com has been a seller of downloadable music since 2006. Its unique roots were its pricing; songs became more expensive, capping at a maximum of $.99 per song, based on how many people purchased them. The more popular, the greater the cost. In stark contrast to this is Amazon’s own music download service, Amazon MP3, which has a set price similar to Apple’s iTunes.

It appears as though Amazon will shift AmieStreet.com’s customers over to that format exclusively, as it was announced to users in e-mail that a $5.00 credit towards Amazon MP3 purchases would be given to them when AmieStreet.com shuts up shop. [Read more…]

Spam, Scams Plague Ping

Apple Ping

Apple PingWith Apple’s new iTunes-based social network Ping skyrocketing past 1 million users in its first two days, it was perhaps inevitable that it come strongly across the radar of hackers, spammers, and scammers. In fact, it took less than 24 hours for the first wave to spam to appear. Now the same problems that have long plagued other popular networks like Facebook and Twitter have taken root in Ping.

The million dollar question is: how effectively, and quickly, can Apple not only eradicate existing spam, but prevent future spam from occurring?

According to eSecurity Planet, Bradley Anstis of M86 Security suggests Apple could begin by effectively disabling links in comments, since comments are the offending medium. “It would be too much to manage comment approvals, but implementing some form of automation to strip out links from comments is a good starting point,” he said. [Read more…]

WatchMouse Enhances Social Media Transparency

Social.DownorNot.com

Social.DownorNot.comTransparency in reporting of major social network performance recently received a shot in the arm courtesy of WatchMouse. Using their Public Status Pages, WatchMouse now tracks 20 giant social networks’ uptime and other performance metrics at Social.DownorNot.com.

Specifically, users can view the performance speed and uptime of home pages, login pages, and APIs from Classmates, Del.icio.us, Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Friendster, Gowalla, Hi5, Hyves, LinkedIn, MySpace, Netlog, Orkut, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Xanga, Xing, Yelp, and YouTube. If upon automatic checking any site returns errors or takes longer than 8 seconds to respond, it’s marked as error and unavailable. The uptime percentage has its basis in the number of errors reported by such checks. [Read more…]

Social Media Rides with 9/11 Charity

Ride with the 40 Route

Ride with the 40 RouteAhead of the upcoming anniversary of the September 11th attacks, McCann Worldgroup has partnered with a motorcycle club called “Ride with the 40” to raise money for a national memorial at the Flight 93 crash site. According to AgencySpy, 3 producers from McCann have joined Ride with the 40 on a cross-country road trip to generate funds by utilizing social media throughout the journey.

The concept is to encourage people to donate to the cause via their web site and via text message, but also to create a community effort by inviting people to participate in social networking with Ride with the 40 and fellow followers. Ride with the 40 are utilizing Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare to document their journey, which began in Newark, NJ last week and will end in San Francisco. [Read more…]

BBC Weds iPlayer and Social Media

BBC iPlayer 3

BBC iPlayer 3The much-discussed new version of the BBC’s iPlayer, which allows users to watch television shows and listen to radio programs up to a week after they’ve been broadcast, has finally been released. It’s been expected after a number of development blogs that this new version, iPlayer 3, would place greater emphasis on social interaction, and expectations have been met.

Primarily, the new iPlayer offers fairly seamless integration of Facebook and Twitter to allow users to share what they’re enjoying. This follows a growing trend towards user recommendations as tastemakers. (Apple’s Ping recently joined this fray, but Netflix dropped out of the competition.) [Read more…]

Social Networking Lured in by New Movie

Catfish Movie

Catfish MovieThere’s been much (and much and much) ado about upcoming Facebook movie The Social Network, based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, but relatively little buzz has descended upon another social media movie soon to debut: Catfish.

Catfish
is a documentary tale about a photographer, Nev Schulman, who is contacted by an eight year old girl, asking permission to paint one of his photographs. Her ensuing painting draws Nev into a Facebook relationship with her and her family – and, ultimately, a romance with the girl’s older sister. According to the synopsis by Universal Pictures, unsettling information about Nev’s love interest prompts him, his brother Ariel, and Henry Joost – the latter two both filmmakers – to take a road trip to uncover the truth. [Read more…]

Netflix Pulls the Plug on Social Network

Netflix Community Features Disabled

Netflix Community Features DisabledIt’s been long time coming, since Netflix hammered the first nail in the coffin of the social networking features of their site this past spring. But Friday the end became reality as the doors closed definitively on Netflix community features.

The move comes just days after Apple launched its new product-based social networking service Ping in iTunes. Now Netflix admits the community aspects of their site were hardly used and their engineering resources would be better spent devoted to developing aspects of the site that are highly popular – such as video streaming. Whether Netflix’s poor experience blending products, services, and social interaction will bode unwell for Ping remains to be seen. [Read more…]

Apple Pings Your Music Tastes

Apple Social network Ping

Apple Social network PingApple’s new Ping network has debuted with the most recent release of iTunes.

Ping, not to be confused with social network updating service Ping.fm (or the web site Ping.com, which has nothing to do with music or social media whatsoever), is Apple’s new niche social networking service dedicated to connecting people based on their tastes in music. Ping is not a standalone web site; it comes packaged only with the software, which is available for both PC and Mac.

Interestingly, Ping is disabled by default and is therefore an opt-in user experience. One might think that Apple would be pushing for users to try the free service, but Apple is promoting social interaction by making users’ details such as name and hometown visible to the public unless specifically set to private. Furthermore, the types of music you enjoy, based on your iTunes statistics, can be hidden – so that embarrassing fetish for show tunes need not be known to the world. [Read more…]