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Explosion of electronic cheer

this New Years Eve

Facing the music

December 31, 2010
TwitterIllustration: Simon Bosch

Our love of social media means more people than ever will be connected to Twitter and Facebook as the new year rolls in.

They’re just three little words. But uttered at the right time, they can inspire fireworks. Happy, new and year, that is. It’s among the few expressions improved by novelty spectacles and a sparkler. But while the phrase has been the same for generations, how we express it has transformed in just a few years. That sparkler, for example, can blaze on your smartphone screen (once you download the app). And photos of you wearing those funny glasses can go global by 12.01am.

Australians are intoxicated with social media and, come tonight, many will be using them intoxicated, too. According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, in the year to June, almost 40 per cent of the nation’s population logged on to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter – up 400,000 on the previous year. As those 8.7 million people are drinking, chatting or dancing tonight, a fair share will also be uploading, posting, sharing or tweeting.

Of course, this social explosion of electronic cheer will be accompanied by a collective tapping of texts (Telstra alone had estimated it would carry about 66 million of these across last New Year’s Eve and January 1). But as a portrait of someone’s party night, a text seems old hat and one-dimensional viewed against the spectrum of detail provided by social media.

A digital native gearing up for the night out, for instance, might use photos published on Twitter to vet an outfit (in 140 characters or fewer) with thousands of followers. Hours later – after checking the address for the party on Facebook – she could use Foursquare’s ”check-in” feature to broadcast her location online. Flowing as steadily as the drinks, tagged photos and status updates could keep her up-to-date with how the night’s unfolding elsewhere. A mobile phone video can be uploaded on to YouTube and immediately distributed to her pals via Facebook or Twitter. All before they – and millions of others – add their tipsy tweets to a torrent of joy at midnight.

This may seem an extreme example but it’s not. A drip-feed of digital connections is now crucial to many people’s social lives – just watch how many are glued to fancy phones at the next gathering you attend. But just how enmeshed with our lives is social media? Is it an adjunct to our social lives, or do we need it to function? And who’s using it anyway?

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) surveyed 1800 Australians to find out and the results bear out what any parent of teenagers will tell you. Social media – with Facebook the biggie – have become so ingrained that entire sectors of society find it hard to interact without them. For example, more than half (52 per cent) of the 736 respondents aged 18 to 30 said they would lose contact with many of their friends if they stopped using Facebook. About a quarter (26 per cent) of all the age groups sampled said they went out more as a result of social media. And it’s not only Meg Ryan who’s got mail – seems it’s her cyber-savvy peers as well. A fifth of those aged 31 to 50 said they’d had an intimate relationship with someone they’d met online.

The APS’s Dr Rebecca Mathews likened the demographic trickle-up effect of social media to the advent of the mobile phone. ”There were all these people, these adults, who were reluctant to have a mobile – we know now that almost everyone has one,” she said. ”And it’s the same we’ve found with this: that almost everyone is involved with online social networking.”

The relentless spread of social media probably means you’re at most only a couple of degrees of digital separation from your boss. Anything posted mid-celebration tonight could boomerang back to whack you in ways far worse than tomorrow’s hangover ever could.

Just ask Antony Dekort, who was sacked after he posted photos of his New Year’s Eve on Facebook. The Port Macquarie barman had called in sick and, despite being able to produce a doctor’s certificate, Fair Work Australia found the digital evidence damning. Or as commissioner Michelle Bissett put it in another recent judgment: ”It would be foolish of employees to think they may say as they wish on their Facebook page with total immunity from the consequences.”

While the ramifications aren’t as dire for most, many of us have learnt that social media has a downside, too. Keep this in mind tonight: almost a third of those surveyed by the APS had posted something they regretted online. And it’s easy to see why. Although alcohol exacerbates the scale of any social misjudgment, your digital voice booms louder online. Evidence of your social transgression is not just witnessed in a sticky-floored room but across your entire social network – in an instant and, potentially, forever.

The perils of drinking and digitising have spawned safeguards such as the Social Media Sobriety Test, which forces users to perform a series of simple co-ordination tests before granting access to Facebook et al. It’s a novelty site but perhaps it’s telling that it resembles technology devised to stop drunks getting behind the wheel of a car. So you might love tonight, hate it, endure it or sleep through it but when the (digital) clock ticked over into the internet age, it brought social media with it. And like the random guy who turns up at your party, drinks your beer and makes a pass at your friends, it’s not leaving any time soon.

But perhaps this era of ever-increasing screen resolutions can bring goals for the new year into sharper focus as well. At the very least, ”I will update my Facebook privacy settings” should join our roster pledges to lose weight, give up the smokes and call (or at least email) our mums.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

December 31st, 2010 FACEBOOK, GOOGLE none Comments

Look out Google,

Facebook’s the ‘second internet’

December 30, 2010
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: AP

Google’s supremacy is being challenged by facebook on the internet with a radically different approach to how people live, work, play and search online.

Where Google delivers search results selected by algorithms that take into account the user’s web history, Facebook emphasizes  a richer level of personalisation based on one’s own “likes” and the recommendations from Facebook friends.

Mark Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room six years ago and is now worth an estimated $US6.9 billion, refers to it as the “social graph.”

“I think what we’ve found is that when you can use products with your friends and your family as well as the people you care about they tend to be more engaging,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with the CBS show 60 Minutes.

“The social graph is incredibly broad,” said Wedbush Securities social media analyst Lou Kerner, picking up on Zuckerberg’s favorite phrase. “It includes not only what you do and what you like but people you know and what they like and the companies you interact with.”

For some internet watchers like Kerner, Facebook is constructing a parallel network built around the interactions of its more than 500 million members.

“I refer to Facebook as the second internet, maybe more valuable than the first because we’re all interconnected on it,” Kerner told AFP.

“Social media is an increasingly important part of how you reach people and it’s a growing part of every marketer’s budget,” he said.

“The idea is you do not want to fight Facebook, you want to embrace Facebook and leverage Facebook because this is where people are going to spend increasing amounts of time,” he said.

According to online tracking firm comScore, Google receives more unique monthly visitors than Facebook but visitors to Facebook spend more time at the site than they do on Google properties.

Since early 2010, Facebook has been rolling out features which put it on a collision course with Google – an @facebook.com email service which competes with Google’s Gmail and “Facebook Questions,” a search engine of sorts which lets Facebook members ask questions and get answers from other members.

Facebook has also been facing off with Google on the hiring front, forcing the Mountain View, California-based Google to recently raise salaries by 10 per cent across the board.

“They’ve become competitive in some areas, but it’s not that Facebook has grown at Google’s expense or that Facebook is growing and Google is shrinking,” said Danny Sullivan, editor of technology blog SearchEngineLand.com.

“Google is not going away,” agreed Kerner. “Google, in fact, I think is going to benefit from the emergence of social media.

“Because what it’s doing is it’s driving people to spend more time online and when you?re spending more time online, you end up doing more searches,” he said.

“Where they’ve really been encroaching on each other more is in the display space,” Sullivan said. “Facebook has a lot of people who buy display advertising. Google wants to sell more display advertising.”

Sullivan also said Google “has been trying to encroach on their social area, but they haven’t been very successful.”

Zuckerberg, who was named earlier this month as the Time magazine person of the year, acknowledged to CBS “there are areas where the companies compete.”

“But then, there are all these areas where we just don’t compete at all,” he said.

Time managing editor Richard Stengel said Zuckerberg – the second youngest person named to the cover of Time’s ritual annual issue – and his social networking service were “transforming the way we live our lives every day.”

Facebook’s growth is not necessarily a bad thing for Google, which has been coming under increased scrutiny from anti-trust authorities in both the United States and Europe.

“Some of it plays very well for Google,” Sullivan said. “Google is able to say, ‘You know, we have this stiff competition out there.’

“It’s not necessarily to Google’s disadvantage that Facebook is growing.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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31.. http://blinklist.com/





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F a c e b o o k F o r m u l a – Part [1]series of 9 chapters

Basics-The Nuts and Bolts
The internet and social media sites especially have led to the line between our social and professional lives blurring ever more with each passing day. Social media sites give people the opportunity to connect with old friends, make new ones and expand their professional network with only a few clicks, from the comfort of their own home.
Social media sites have redefined the concept of globalization, which was the „in? word two decades ago for large corporations. Unfortunately for the latter, the current globalization concept has allowed businesses of all sizes to tap the benefits of being present in a wide number of markets. This is because the internet has become a business channel that is practically free and companies are no longer required to make massive investments in building an offline, local presence in whichever market they choose to expand into. In fact, why expand into a single geographical market, when one can access the world with a few clicks of the mouse?
Of course, this doesn?t mean that it?s easy to compete against the giants, but, after all, why take on a giant when you can still build a profitable and sustainable business that will change your life and that of future generations of your family without competing directly with the giants.
The one advantage you have, as a small business owner, over a large corporation is relationships. Yes, you heard right! You are more likely to spend time building relationships with your customers than any large corporation as they are mostly focused on their bottom line and ROI, overlooking strategies and tactics that may not convert into tangible results immediately. However, even the „big boys? are beginning to understand the value of social media sites and building relationships with their customers, which is why you need to jump on this train of opportunity before it passes you by.
What you need to understand is that the change that has and is taking place is not in the core concepts of marketing, which are more applicable than ever, but in consumer behavior. You see, social media sites have given consumers a voice of their own and they are less likely to fall for advertising campaigns that cost millions to put together. Instead of rushing out to buy a brand new, shiny product, most consumers? first stop is their favorite social media website to research the product in question.
For companies who simply „don?t get? the social media space, this can be a killer. However, for those savvy entrepreneurs who understand the new consumer, this is a resource that can be leveraged to create an incredibly successful business.
Why You Need to Be Present
Facebook currently has over 400 million users, making it larger than many of the world?s nations and it is growing every day. Additionally, this social media platform?s demographics are so diverse that it makes an ideal marketing vehicle. In fact, more than 50 percent of U.S. users are 26 years old and above, meaning that your marketing efforts will meet with even greater success as these are usually the people who make direct purchase decisions.
Likewise, many businesses are also wising-up to the necessity of integrating social media into their traditional marketing strategies, which includes Facebook. Ergo, whether you are in the B2B or B2C sector, you will still find Facebook highly effective.
However, you do need to remember that it is only a marketing tool as the principles have remained the same. In other words, identify your target market, understand their needs and wants, build a relationship with them and only then attempt to sell to them.
The key to successful social media marketing is to understand your audience and to build a relationship with them. Consumers aren?t interested in doing business with faceless companies that hide behind a logo. Especially when they have so many other choices. So, let?s get into the nitty gritty of marketing on Facebook and creating a brand that will have consumers running to you.
This work assumes that you know how to open a Facebook account and have a vague understanding of how to navigate the site. We will be covering how to build a Facebook page for your business but will be looking at this issue from a marketing point of view rather than the technical side of matters since the basics of Facebook usage is outside of the scope of this ebook. However, a quick Google search will help you with any problems you may encounter.

See you next chapter

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

SEC probes trading

in private Internet firms: reports

BANGALORE | Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:20am EST

BANGALORE (Reuters) – The U.S. securities regulator is looking into trading in privately-held Internet companies including Facebook and Twitter, media reports said, citing people familiar with the inquiry.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters to several people trading in the stock of these companies, seeking information about topics that include how such funds are valuing shares of those firms, the Wall Street Journal reported.

SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment to Reuters on the Journal report.

An emerging crop of online trading services such as SharesPost and SecondMarket facilitate share trading of unlisted Internet firms.

The probe is in a preliminary stage and appears to be partly focusing on funds that have been set up to allow investors to trade in private companies, the newspaper reported.

The regulator may also probe how the existence of funds affects an SEC rule that states that private companies must have fewer than 500 shareholders, or else publicly disclose significant financial information.

This was part of the reason Google Inc went public in 2003, the Financial Times said.

In recent months, the implied value of Facebook has risen more than 50 per cent, while the value of Twitter has more than doubled, the FT reported.

Early employees and investors in private companies have recently been selling their stock to buyers who want exposure to these fast-growing enterprises, the FT said.

(Reporting by Abhinav Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Derek Caney)

Sourced & npublished by Henry Sapiecha



Reuters Small Business presents expansion pitches from upstarts across the country. Boulder-based startup BlipSnips has created a Web platform that lets users tag specific moments in videos to share on their social networks. Here’s the pitch:

Entrepreneur's Edge: BlipSnips View videos here

Entrepreneur’s Edge: BlipSnips (2:13)

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Dec. 21 – Small businesses are leveraging their profiles on Facebook to boost their business by keeping in close contact with customers.

Karina Huber reports.

Getting the message out on Facebook View video here

Getting the message out on Facebook

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

December 24th, 2010 FACEBOOK, VIDEOS AUDIOS none Comments


Facebook gets a facelift (1:41)

Dec 06 – Facebook’s new revamped profile pages put more user information front and center, raising new questions about how much users want to reveal. Bobbi Rebell reports.

VideoWatch this video here

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

December 18th, 2010 FACEBOOK, MAPS STATS none Comments

Facebook intern maps world

via online ‘friends’

December 14, 2010
A map showing Facebook connections around the world.A map showing Facebook connections around the world. Photo: Supplied

A Facebook intern interested in seeing how political borders affect friendships around the globe has created a map of the world by sampling data from the social network’s 500 million user base.

The map displays friendships as lights on a deep blue background. The eastern half of the United States and Europe shine the brightest, while China, Russia and central Africa, where Facebook has little presence, are mainly dark.

“I was interested in seeing how geography and political borders affected where people lived relative to their friends,” said Paul Butler, an intern on Facebook’s data infrastructure engineering team.

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“I wanted a visualisation that would show which cities had a lot of friendships between them.”

Sourced & publishd by Henry Sapiecha