Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Google Me" Social Initiative on Hold

Google Me, billed by some as the second coming of Facebook, is being delayed until April 2011 at least. The 'virtual playground' according to Ben Parr of Mashable, Google was trying to keep this a 'secret social initiative.' Parr thinks the delay is being caused by disagreements on the "design, purpose, and execution" of the project.

Why is Google even trying to enter the social space, earlier attempts such as Google Wave have been complete failures to the point that Google has discontinued them. Because Facebook has tripled traffic to US news sites while Google News stayed static. More people are visiting US news sites via Facebook and Twitter than any other source, including Google News.

But Google says Google Me isn't even a product according to Hugo Barra, Google Mobile Product Management Director. The Telegraph puts it this way: “Google’s mobile chief has flat out denied that the search company is developing a ‘traditional’ social network, called Google Me, to rival Facebook”.

So how can a product that has a horrible name according to Hugo, not exist, according to Hugo.

Google Me, does not have a design, a purpose and is reported to be in a state of disorganization with different teams working in conflict according to inside sources.  The failure of another social initiative at Google is another win for Facebook.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Technorati: not currently displaying submissions

Message on Technorati's website when I tried to submit a page:
Thank you for your Favorites Submission

Thank you for using Technorati Favorites! Technorati is collecting Favorites information as usual, however not currently displaying them in the site. Your submission was just saved. We are working on an upgraded Favorites system we think you'll like much better than the previous system. When we roll it out in the near future, all your previous favorite submissions will again be available to you. Thank you for your patience!

I'm concerned about Technorati and not just because of technical difficulties. Is Technorati taking it's eye off the ball with the Woman Channel, is it becoming political?

Screen-shot of new Technorati Page in Beta. Note the Women Tab in the upper left hand side of the page.
Related news: Technorati recently acquired Silicon Valley Mom's Group and launched "Technorati Women

About Technorati Women:
Technorati Women Channel will feature content about parenting, food and living, fitness, finances, and style, along with targeted content and social-media ads. Source: David Cohen

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

YouTube Isn't the Only Place for Internet Videos

The amount of time people spend online watching internet videos is astounding. People spend countless hours watching, and even rewatching, videos from all over the internet for whatever reason. Can you count how many times you have been asked to watch a YouTube video? YouTube is by far the biggest name in internet video distribution. The site is so big, in fact, that many people have gained international fame and celebrity status just because of their YouTube videos (enter Fred and that Double Rainbow guy).

YouTube has an estimated 24 hours of video uploaded to it every single minute! So it is safe to say that sifting through the content for just one site is a daunting task. However, YouTube is not the only place where people can get their viral video fix. While it may be the largest and most popular video sharing site on the internet, there are still some other contenders that can hold their own just as well.

ShortForm launched back in June and gained much praise for its human and software aggregated take to finding videos and placing them in auto-play channels. ShortForm has a ton of channels that are configured for you that sit in a range of categories like "Super Cute" or even "Facebook Hits". ShortForm makes it easy for you to create your very own video channels allowing you to link both your YouTube and Facebook accounts. This allows you to pull in your favorite videos from both sites and create a truly unique channel.

Creators of the site Uncrate bring the internet yet another great site known as Devour. Devour is a hand-made collection of different web videos. Every day the people over at Devour crawl the web and post the most insane, most incredible and most hilarious videos they can find. Like ShortForm, Devour has different channels you can peruse, or you can search for videos or just start randomly clicking away at whatever looks cool.

MovieClips.com is what I like to call freaking incredible. The site is a place where you can find movie clips that are completely licensed and just watch them. Find clips from damn near any movie you like and watch the clips the site has to offer. The best thing is that you can even embed these clips into your own blog if you like. You won't be able to upload on MovieClips.com, but this is the perfect place if you just want to watch.

If you are a person who has a lot of time to waste or needs to burn some time at the office,, then Redux is the place for you. The site isn't just for video as it turns statuses, RSS feeds and shared links into an ongoing stream of content, but its highlights are in its videos. Create custom channels or join other channels and add your own content, the choice is yours. Once you have a channel you can then play it in TV Mode which gives you an endless stream of video from whatever you have selected.

StumbleUpon Video
Many people use StumbleUpon to find cool or interesting new websites, but you can also use the site to find awesome viral videos. StumbleUpon revamped their video discovery system last month to which they added friend recommendations as opposed to most popular or highest rated. StumbleUpon also aggregates content from sites like YouTube and Vimeo but also brings in content form places like Hulu, CollegeHumor and TED.

Viral, internet videos are one of the most popular forms of entertainment in today's society and access to them is even greater with all the smartphones and iPod devices out there. While many places get overshadowed by the giant that is YouTube, there are still some very good sites out there for you to get your viral videos. So the next time you have some time to kill, be sure to check out one of the sites above, you will definitely find something you like.
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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Another News Feed Patent Win for Facebook

FacebookFacebook has just generated a personalized feed of stories available to users of the site. The interesting thing is that Facebook won a patent for the service, which is quite similar to the news feed-related patent the social media giant was awarded earlier in the year.

The patent, lengthily named "Generating a feed of stories personalized for members of a social network", describes different methods and systems used for generating dynamic relationship-based content which is personalized for each and every member of a web-based social network.

Exactly like the first patent, this patent was filed on August 11, 2006. The patent that Facebook received back in February of this year speaks in greater detail about an actual news feed. However, the content of both patents seem to cover pretty much the same ground.

Here are two excerpts from both patents Facebook has won just to give you something to compare and contrast: "generating dynamic relationship-based content" versus "generating news items regarding activities associated with a user of a social network."

The newest patent for Facebook, on the other hand, seems to be more concerned with displaying data that stems from a relationship between two users. This excerpt from the abstract of the newly awarded patent: "At least one action of one or more members of a web-based social network is associated with relationship data for the one or more members to produce consolidated data."

This is reminiscent of one of Facebook's newest features which allows you to see all the interaction that takes place between you and another Facebook user. So far, these patents for Facebook have only been used in a defensive manner. Other companies have not been sued that have similar feed features to Facebook's. However, the mere fact that Facebook has control over these patents gives the site an immense advantage over its competitors.
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