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March 29, 2012

Tumblr Reaches 20 Billion Posts, Almost Forgets To Tell Everyone

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Tumblr 20 Billion PostsLeave it to the team at Tumblr to nearly forget to mention that they’ve reached 20 billion posts. The company used a rather casual tweet to its 237,000 followers to make mention of the mathematical big milestone.

In the tweet the company said:

“Forgot to make a big deal of this earlier.”

For a company that just got its start in 2007 they should be considering the feat a big deal, especially when considering that the company’s massive content is almost solely created by users who are not paid or even asked by the company to create content.  read more

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March 13, 2012

Twitter Enters Blogging Platform Space, Acquires Posterous

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Twitter PosterousTwitter has just made a major leap forward in blogging by purchase Posterour, a blogging platform that came out of a 2008 Y Combinator sponsorship.

The platform operates just like WordPress and Tumblr by allowing users to create free blogging accounts which they can then use to post stuff on their “Spaces.”

Posterous has focused on “ease of use” which means an 8-year-old or an 80-year-old can literally figure out the system in no time at all.

On the Twitter blog the acquisition appears to be more of a talent buy:

“Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.” read more

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February 2, 2012

Tumblr Hires Two Veteran Journalists To Write About Tumblr

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TumblrSocial blog service Tumblr has hired two journalists to help cover the networks extensive community.

Well known writers Chris Mohney, SVP of content for BlackBook Media and Jessice Bennett, senior writer and editor for Newsweek and The Daily Beast have been hired to cover various areas of content and conversation for the network which includes nearly 44 million blogs.

The task of covering Tumblr won’t be easy, as Bennett told Time:

“Basically, if Tumblr were a city of 42 million, I’m trying to figure out how we cover the ideas, themes and people who live in it.”

The main idea will be to showcase bloggers use Tumblr to better showcase their work in creative, fun and unique ways. The writers will post their stories on the Tumblr staff blog while a new Tumblr site will likely be created to showcase their efforts.

read more

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October 28, 2011

5 Legal Nightmares to Scare you on Halloween

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Trick of TreatWith Halloween rapidly approaching, almost everyone is in the mood for a good ghost, zombie or vampire story. But while there’s always a good chill to be had from a scary tale or movie, some of the most frightening things aren’t works of fiction or stories at all, they’re simple facts.

Of those types of scary things, there is little more frightening than the law itself and how it can impact our daily lives.

As bloggers, we’re even more vulnerable than most when it comes to legal issues because, in addition to the usual spate of laws one has to follow day-to-day, we have the responsibilities of dealing with mass media law as well. Something, previously, few outside of the TV, radio, print and related industries had to deal with.

So, if you want some scary thoughts to give you something to ponder, here are five of the scariest legal realities and what they mean for you. read more

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October 21, 2011

20 Legal Facts Every Blogger Should Know

Courthouse ImageWhen it comes to legal issues, most bloggers are either unaware or misinformed about the laws that they operate under. Unless you studied to be a journalist, publisher or a lawyer, you most likely didn’t get an overview of mass media law. That’s unfortunate because now, with blogging and social media, everyone is a journalist and/or a publisher, at least from a legal perspective.

With that in mind, there is simply way too much to ever cover in one article. However, here is a brief overview of some of the facts that you need to know in order to stay safe online. Obviously, this won’t be in-depth and, if you want more information you should consult an attorney (or at least do further research).

But this should give you an idea of what you should be looking for and what questions you should be asking.

Also, it’s worth noting that these facts are based on U.S. law, if you are outside the country, obviously the situation is going to change.

On that note, here’s a look at 20 legal facts every blogger needs to know: read more

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October 7, 2011

5 Ways Your Site is Probably Breaking the Law Right Now

Handcuffs ImageMost sites don’t try to break the law. Only a few actively make an effort to violate any kind of law and most of those are generally shut down fairly quickly, either by aggressive hosts or, in worst-case scenarios, law enforcement.

But this doesn’t mean everyone is perfect either. Most sites, at the very least, bend the law and sometimes outright break it.

This isn’t because they are run by bad people but because of the nature of the law itself. Sometimes it’s poorly-written law that is almost impossible to not break (at least technically) and sometimes it’s lack of knowledge about the law itself.

So what are some of the ways you’re probably breaking the law online? There are too many to choose from but here are five you should definitely take a look at. read more

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September 26, 2011

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

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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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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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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