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Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 26/2009

“Welcome to the world of tomorrow!” No, that's not right. Let me try again: “Welcome to the world of the last seven days!” That sounds better! There's a lot to show-and-tell, so without any further ado, let's jump straight into last week's social media news.

The Future of Facebook

There's been a lot of talk about Facebook's future last week. Regular Geek views the new multiQuery API plus the profile search as two important steps in opening the walled garden:

There is a very strong feeling from developers that a closed system like Facebook cannot succeed. While I tend to agree that a completely closed system will have difficulties, Facebook has slowly opened up little by little to a decently open system. They still have some work to do before they become as open as Twitter, but the foundation has been started.

And Copyblogger, even goes a step further in explaining “How Facebook kills SEO”:

But the rise of Facebook creates a growing segment of the web thats completely invisible to search engines – most of which, Facebook blocks – and can be seen only by logged-in Facebook users. So as Facebook becomes ever larger, and keeps more users inside its walled garden, your web site will need to appear in Facebooks feeds and searches or you will miss out on an important source of web traffic.

ReadWriteWeb looks even further into the future. My guess is that scenario 4, “distributed social networking”, has a huge potential, and Google wave might give this a huge boost:

The next step after Facebook may be no social network in particular at all – it may be social networking as a protocol. A set of standards that let you message, share with and travel to any social network you choose. Suddenly all the social networks have to improve because they are competing on quality of service, over customers that have free will and are able to leave at any time.

From blogging to lifestreaming?

Blogging is dead – that's what they've been saying for a couple of years now. But is lifestreaming here to stay? Of course a social media feed is a welcome guest on many sidebars, and the time budgets are indeed shifting:

It seems as if blogging is becoming old hat, or at least evolving into something smaller, faster, and more portable. Im with Louis Gray, Im not going to give up my blog, instead, I think of it as the hub of content, and the rest of the information I aggregate (notice the Twitter bar up top and the Friendfeed integration below). To me, joining the conversation is certainly important, but it doesnt mean the hub (or corporate website) goes away.

19 Twitter apps compared

Mashable compares 19 twitter clients, from pro-dream-machine to keep-it-simple:

Now that Twitter is older than a toddler, you have a variety to choose from. From apps for groups, Mac and PC specific clients, and apps that let you do a whole lot more than tweet, you can use this guide to help you find the desktop client thats right for you.

And just in case you don't know what to do with these clients, take a look at his Mashable posting on twitter strategy..

The matrix tie-knot

I found Henry's video on Lifehacker – this one should make many Matrix fans quite happy:

If you're a very sharp-eyed fan of Matrix movie trilogy, you'll recognize the knot captured below as a rare specimen sported by “The Merovingian.” The knot itself didn't originate with the movie, and isn't rightfully named “The Merovingian Knot,” but the Ediety Knot. Still, it's nearly impossible to find any reference to it independent of the movie, so let's just keep the Wachowski-an etymology for now.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA-n2xkYX6s[/youtube]

It took me a couple of tries and my knot is still not perfectly symmetric – but I must say: great video-tutorial!

The cost, the pay-off, the quickie

The Cost (and Payoff) of Investing in Social Media sure is an impressive title. So there's no need for actual arguments, especially when the introduction acts as a series of climaxes:

But is social media right for your business? Could it be a free substitute for a traditional (read: expensive) advertising plan? How much time should be spent in the care and feeding of all those profiles? The answers may surprise you.

It sure did not surprise me – actually, I'd have guessed that the answer would be “maybe”. But one thing I do know for sure: SM strategy (read: social media. don't read: Sado-Maso) is not a series of quickies and requires careful analysis and planning. So this is probably one of the dumbest quotes I've read in a while:

Time is money, but Weathers says it's all about how you manage it. “Previously wasted down time like sitting in taxis for 20 minutes or standing in a bank line for 10 minutes is now spent on my mobile phone, bouncing between Twitter and Facebook. It's getting easier and easier, and for branding an entrepreneur, I think it's golden.”

While writing the occasional tweet on your way to the airport or answering Facebook messages via Smartphone-client is a great time-killer for geeks, this is not what social media marketing is about.

btw: bad, bad entrepreneur.com! Using a javascript that dangles with the contents of the clipboard when copy-pasting is just… not a good thing.

Most WordPress Themes suck!

And it's Blair Williams who claims that – author of the mighty and highly acclaimed Pretty Links for WordPress. Now we all know that good looks are sometimes sufficient for a night of fun, but if you're thinking about a long-term relationship, there are plenty not-so-visible factor to be considered: in the case of a WordPress template comment formatting, landing pages and many more are among these. In his post, Blair outlines the 10 most common issues with WordPress templates – definitely worth a look if you're thinking about switching!

I'll think a theme looks clean, beautiful and professional then I install it, have a look under the hood and realize that it has fatal flaws.
This really makes me wonder how many people are slaving away on their websites and blogs all the while their site is dying a slow death because of a WordPress Theme that they think is fine.

Brno comin' up

It's been a while since Sacha Baron Cohen shocked the world as Kastachstan reporter Borat. In his new movie he portrays a gay Austrian fashion journalist – I'm so looking forward to see this film – starting on 10th of July. The trailer is *very* promising:

Pic of the week

Man's Best Friend is the title of zedzap's bw-shot – very nice pic, no HDR this time :mrgreen:

hundewoche

Video of the Week

This movie has got it all: action, car stunts, daring love scenes… unlike the director of the latest Bond movie, Asim Varol did a great job:

And that's it – see you again next week! Thanks for you whuffies and never forget: comments and feedback make blog authors happy :mrgreen:

Input for weekly round-upGot any news you'd like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?
Don't hesitate to contact me! Of course I'll include a backlink to your original story.

So don't hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 23/2009

Step in, ladies and gentlemen – welcome to the weekly Blogistan-round-up! It's my duty to entertain you (and sometimes maybe even piss you off), but who cares – it's all in the blog, st00pid! From Google Wave to the sluttiest brides in 2008, the blogosphere is here to cover your every information need.

Google announces Wave

The buzz is on – Google has announced the release of their newest project called “Wave” later this year. The stakes are high, as Wave claims to redefine the way we communicate and collaborate on the web. E-Mail, contacts social networks – Wave will tear down the boundaries between documents and dialogue:

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.
A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.

Google posted a couple of screenshots, future beta testers can sign up here. This in-depth presentation from Google I/O waters my mouth; and btw: Wave will be completely Open Source.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_UyVmITiYQ[/youtube]

So much for Twitter's trending topics

“But all good things, they say, never last”, sang prince. And now TechCrunch is saying the same about Twitter's trending topics:

Up until recently, Twitters trending topics – which are prominently displayed on their Search homepage and now also in the sidebar when youre using the Twitter website – were an awesome way to get a feel of what was buzzing on the Web, in a way that virtually no other web service was able to do.

+

But then came the pirates and Michael is really pissed!

Today, when you look at Twitters trending topics, youll notice that the large majority of trends are memes started by a single user or a group of users, with the main goal offering entertainment rather than spreading information. Thats all fine and dandy – no harm in having fun – and I realize well that Twitters trending topics are not necessarily required to be giving you and me an overview of stuff that really matters, but I cant help but think its a pity that that list is starting to turn into the top 10 of chain letters people used to circulate through e-mail messages in the late nineties.

Oh dear gosh, I wish more people would recognize that manipulating social media platforms is so much more fun than obeying their “laws”…

The real name problem

Many native Indians have names like “Robin kills the Enemy”. Their name is in their passport, the same applies to people with exotic names like Lisa Strawberry. But if your name sounds like made up (but actually isn't), you might have trouble keeping your Facebook account. An article on Spiegel Online [in German] reports that a couple of users got deleted without any previous notice. Facebook's policy requires you to use your real name, and with the ongoing success of the platform a lot of users are running multiple fake profiles with strange names. Removing these might be a good idea for FB in terms of scalability and reliability, but the collateral damage has become so big that the group Facebook: don't discriminate against Native surnames!!! already has more than 4.000 members, among them the likes of Linnie Birdchief, Carl Fourstar jr. and Sandy White Hawk. Facebook speaks person Barry Schmidt admitted mistakes, and the said accounts have been reactived, but the waiting period is quite long as only 850 people are on the payroll of the world's largest social network.

Russian investors buy a share of Facebook

New York Times reports that Russian internet investment company Digital Sky Technologies acquired 1.96% of Facebook for the sum of $200 million:

Digital Sky won because its founders Yuri Milner and Gregory Finger have strong experience running Internet properties in Eastern Europe and Russia, and “a deep, advanced understanding” of social networking technology, Zuckerberg said.

We all know that FB is burning money at an amazing rate, but Zuckerberg still plays it cool – after all, he is running the largest social network in the world. Yet still numbers have gone down: when Microsoft purchased 1.6% in 2007 they had to pay $240 million – during the last two years, the overall value of the platform has decreased from $15 to $10 billion despite the growth in user accounts.

Happy B-Day, Mr. Shoemoney!

Jeremy Shoemaker turned 35 this week – congrats, man! I love your blog and there you're the person who taught me the most valuable lessons about online marketing and blogging – thx for your excellent posts and keep up the great work! You definitely got a fan in Vienna :mrgreen:

This week's href=”http://www.shoemoney.com/2009/05/29/friendshirtme-free-shirt-friday/”>T-Shirt of the week is also definitely worth a look: it was printed by Friendshirt.me. And the comments say it all… when I saw this app I instantly had to order mine!

What is a Micro-Scobble?

Robert Scobble is a tech evangelist and twitter legend. Disqus blog published and interesting interview with man responsible for the tweet-frequency-unit “Micro-Scobble”:

I grew up in silicon valley, I had no choice. My Dad was an engineer and I grew up in Cupertino about a mile from Apple Computers. I had an Apple Computer in 1977, in my junior high I was in the first computer club , and I got a tour of Apple when they were one little building. So yeah, Ive always been around tech.

My bride is not a slut. She just looks like one.

Judith sent me this great article – thx! Take a look at the Top 5 Sluttiest Wedding Dresses Spotted In 2009! Even though is nearly breaks my heart that Miss Carey is no longer single, I have to admit that with this elaborate sense of taste she'd get a job in any brothel in the whole world:

The Mariah Carrey slutty wedding dress certainly doesn't leave anything to the imagination. Fully equipped with garter belt, stockings, and a main fashion piece better off worn under the dress or on the wedding night, this dress starts us off with its moderately tame slutty fashion.

Video of the week

This one goes out to the Open Source Community – I usually don't publish ads as the video of the week, but in this case Redhead has done a fantastic job – and with over 3 minutes, in these short-clip times this is almost an online feature movie. Congrats to Peter Novak on this fantastic job!

Pic of the week

New to my weekly round-up: starting this week, I will publish a “pic of the week” – no special topics whatsoever. Since I started digi-SLR myself my appreciation for those perfect shots has grown immensely. Choosing the proper pic wasn't easy at all, but this Manasquan Reservoir by Joisey Showaa is one fantastic shot:

manasquan

And that's about it for this week – thx for visiting my blog, see you again next week!

Input for weekly round-upGot any news you'd like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?
Don't hesitate to contact me! Of course I'll include a backlink to your original story.

So don't hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 21/2009

This weekly round-up comes with a free day of delay, as I was pretty business last night taking pictures of the sunset from Braunsberg. Riding my bike home I had to be very careful since a nightly meeting of a rabbit and a motorcycle is usually a very unpleasant experience for both sides. I haven't digi developped all pics yet, but this one turned out quite nicely:

braunsberg-sunset

So back to blogging business – what a week! We now finally know that there actually *are* differences when it comes to the two sexes using social media. Read more

WordPress.tv: Automattic goes television

WordPress.tvOne week ago, Automattic launched a brand-new WordPress-centered video site: WordPress.tv features various screen casts, presentations and tutorial videos on the world's leading blog content management system. The available clips are bound to water the mouths of beginners and pros, as they range from basic explanations like “How to post a blog entry” to all the advanced presentations held during last year's WordCamp.

Keeping Automattic's mission statement in mind, this launch is a huge step in my opinion – videos and screen casts are extremely helpful when it comes to understanding the potential of WordPress:

Blogging is too hard. Through WordPress we?ve enabled millions of people to effortlessly publish to the web. Now we want to enable millions more.

Some of my friends didn't have any programming in mind when they started their blogs. But it seems that sooner or later almost everyone feels the strong urge to start tinkering with his theme, installing new plugins and so on. So since the technology is a part of blogging, ease of access is the way to go. Now I'm fully aware of the fact that competitors like Typepad take a totally different approach, but to me fading out the underlying scripts doesn't make too much sense in the long run, and this is why I'm very excited about the new video repository, especially since there's much more goodness to come:

On WordPress.tv, you'll find tutorials for both WordPress self-installs and WordPress.com to help you get blogging fast and hassle-free. We?ve kicked things off with the basics ? now you can shape what comes next. Just drop us a line and let us know what you?d like to see added.

There's a contact form for entering your own videos (just take a look at the guidelines) and a commenting function. Personally, I would like to see two new features added in the near future: a basic editorial “rating” (beginner, advanced pro) and a user rating (WP-Rating might do a great job on that). Once again, congrats to Matt and his team – I'm positive that during the next month a couple of online enterprises are going to copy WP's idea and open their own niche-Youtubes. Here's an interview with Matt on the way Auttomatic operates – quite interesting stuff:

Blog-Carnival: Best and worst gadget 2008

6fireA new year has just started and I'm happy to invite all my readers to datadirt's first blog carnival: I'm curious about the new hardware you bought during the last year. Which shiny piece of technology is your favorite gadget, and which not-so-shiny one disappointed you? Feed the inner geek, write about satisfaction and disappointment. I'm sure that most of my readers experienced both scenarios, so let's just share them and spread the knowledge :mrgreen:

Note: This carnival is also available in German on datenschmutz.net

This blog has received a nice 5 during the recent page rank update, so I'm more than happy to give some link juice back. The entrance is wide open: chose anything that might qualify as a “gadget”.

Rules: There are no rules – except for the fact that I will list all entries on this blog when the carnival is over, so please keep me updated about your entries either via trackback or via comment. The best/worst gadget 2008 blog carnival starts today, 12th of January, and ends in two weeks on Sunday the 25th of January.

I'm really looking forward to your entries – here's my best and worst gadget selection:

My favorite gadget of 2008: Terratec 6fire USB

I'm quite satisfied with my new Samsung syncmaster screens, I love my Energy CB20 speakers and there's plenty more gadgets that come to my mind. But there's definitely a highlight: my new external soundcard Terratec 6fire USB is perfectly equipped for my needs and offers excellent sound quality. 6 analogue ins plus 6 outs in combination with the XLR microphone plug (including a switch for 48V phantom voltage for studio mics) guarantee versatility for all home-studio and podcasting needs.

The driver is stable (I'm running Vista64), the ASIO-latency is extremely low and the simple yet powerful software allows free routing of all available channels. Very good value for money – at Amazon, the soundcard ships for about 200 Euros. I don't dub my vinyl, but thanks to the routing-per-channel features the 6Fire easily qualifies for digital djs and home-producers. Cinema freaks don't need to switch soundcards, there's a digital 5.1 out as well.

My worst gadget of 2008: Logitech Z-10 speaker system

z10Combining amplified speakers with a slick and elegant touch-screen display sounds like a brilliant idea – in theory. But I do not even want to know about the fun Logitech's engineers had when declaring this piece of unfinished work: “Hey, we know that the touch-screen is not working well – who cares? There is not API or software anyways.” But that's not even the worst part: the speakers use USB to transmit music, which is not such a bad idea after all for laptop use, but the big big problem is this: as soon as the speakers are connected, every kind of internal or external soundcard is deactivated. Now ain't that great? I tried using the line-in, which renders all the additional touch screen functions useless and decreases the sound quality quite much. Since the product is way too heavy to qualify as a mobile laptop speaker, there's not much us for the Z-10 in my opinion. The sound is not that bad for speakers of this size – but the money is much better spent on a pair of JBL control speakers.

But now for your gadget-stories of 2008. Looking forward to your postings!

The simpler explanation of the internet

Lonja explains the technical development of the internet in an elegant and nearly-hypnotic short video, only using picol.org black-and-white icons. Very instructive movie – I will definitely show this to plenty of my students in the next couple of years:

Read more

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