Tag Archives: social-network

Twitter now Boasts Nearly 200 Million Visitors

During the CM Summit today, Twitter COO Dick Costolo informed the gathered crowd that Twitter now has approximately 190 million visitors per month. Collectively, those people send out about 65 million tweets per day. Holy Twitter client – that’s a lot of updates. ““We’re laying down track as fast as we can in front of the train,” says Costolo. These numbers are up slightly from 180 million self-reported unique visitors per month back in April, and 50 million Tweets per day in February.”

The number of visitors to the site is not the same thing as the number of registered users. Costolo reminded us that most users never send out a single tweet (though I cannot imagine that!). Instead, they use the site to consume information and news. It’s also not clear how many of those 65 million tweets come from spam bots and the like.

Twitter is much more than just a place to update your friends and family. It’s honestly the fastest way to find out the latest news – usually while it is happening. For instance, my assistant Kat used Twitter two nights ago to track the deadly and destructive tornadoes that ripped through Illinois. She has family in and near the locations where the damage was the worst, and couldn’t reach them during the storms. She kept her eyes glued to Twitter, finding out information there far quicker than she did on any other source. The local newspaper website (and tv site) didn’t have ANY information about the storms until more than an hour after they happened. However, people living through the catastrophe were live tweeting every moment.

Social networking is about staying connected – with the world. When you open up your mind to the possibilities that are out there and learn to take advantage of them, you’ll find yourself learning new things every moment of every day.

How To Introduce a Child to Social Media

Kids want to grow up a whole lot faster than we feel is good for them. You remember what it’s like, I’m sure: you just know that you’re way more mature than your parents give you credit for. They don’t understand what it’s like. They are too old to truly “get” you. I hear from kids in our community on a regular basis, and many of them say these things. They ask me questions about how they can break into the tech scene and start to “get noticed” online for their efforts. I tend to point them towards places such as Twitter and YouTube. But what happens if the kid in question is truly still a kid? If they’re under the age of 13, they are automatically discluded from sites such as Facebook and many other popular social networking sites.

On Tuesday, the answer for these kids will go out of the beta phase, and be available to the public. Togetherville is aimed at kids aged 10 – 13 and the grownups in their lives. Founder Mandeep Singh Dhillon called Togetherville “the first platform that really integrates young children’s ability to use the Web with their grownups close by.” Anonymity is not allowed on the site. Kids sign up as themselves, without even an avatar to use. Parents control every aspect of the experience, right down to who is allowed to be a child’s friend. The site encourages parents “to create neighborhoods of the real people in their child’s life to be around their kid as they grow up online.”

The free site will let kids play games and watch videos. They can also create and share artwork. The chat feature doesn’t work the same as a normal one would. Kids cannot type something into the chat box. They have to instead choose one of the prescreened “quips” that the staff has come up with. This will reduce the risk of a kid accidentally revealing personal information. Videos that are available have also been screened before being added to the site, and deemed appropriate for the age group.

Another unique feature is that “parents must be Facebook members to sign up their children for the service. Parents sign in with their Facebook user name and password. Children’s information is never sent to Facebook so the only way information about a child can get onto Facebook is if the parent or another adult enters it–just as is the case with offline activities. Parents can also chose to allow adult or teenage Facebook friends to interact with their child but all of the interaction takes place on Togetherville, not on Facebook.”

Let’s face it: today’s kids are the first generation of a world that is revolving more and more around social and digital media. Togetherville is an excellent – and safe – way for adults to introduce the young people in their lives to social media. This site can help give you the tools you need to help your child become adept in the world of social networking.

Ning Services Will Remain Free for Educators

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the disappointing news from the Ning camp. The service had announced that they will be suspending their free service, and only offer paid-for services in the near future. There has been a lot of discussion and rants floating around the web regarding this sad turn of events. However, no group was more outraged than educators.

Today, Ning proved they are listening. The company has signed a letter of intent with a major educational publisher to keep its service free for educators. Thanks to people such as Beth Kanter, the network has realized that there is a serious need to keep the free services in some situations. “We have to ask, ‘what is the cost of free?’” she said. This is in reference to many services and sites like Ning who shut down free versions… often without any warning at all.

The new paid versions will roll out in July. The good news is that the premium package – now called ‘Ning Pro’ – is going to cost a bit less than it did in the past. There will be three levels of paid service: Ning Mini, Ning Plus and the Ning Pro. Costs jump from $3.00 per month to $50.00 per month for the Pro version. The mid-level form will run a user around twenty bucks every thirty days. Ning is also promising new features based on user demand:

We’ll start with many of the things Network Creators have been asking for and extend the service from there. The end of Ning promotional links, leading to a more customized, branded experience for you and your members. An ad free experience and the option to run your own ads — if you like. Easy content export and back-up. The end of Ning ID and ability to add Facebook and Twitter sign-in. API access for a more integrated experience. The ability to charge for membership and accept donations.

I’m happy to see a few of these changes, and am waiting for even more to come about. I know that on our Geeks Ning network, we have a serious need for better ways to deal with unwanted members and spammers. We need more control over how members are managed and removed.

What are your thoughts about this newest development? Are you an educator who makes use of this platform? If so… will you now be sticking with the service, or choosing something different?

Will Yahoo be the Next Twitter?

According to a few published reports today, Yahoo is moving forward with their Twitter-style new service: Yahoo Meme. The company has now purchased the catchy domain name, Me.me, from the .ME domain registry.

Using Meme, people can write short entries and then add photos or videos to their pages, which are called Memes. You can follow other memes and even track entries from those pages on your dashboard. This sounds eerily like many of the other services already available on the Web. I keep waiting for the “next big thing” to come along. Instead, I keep seeing everyone jumping aboard the Twitter bandwagon.

Let’s face it: Twitter is a force to be reckoned with. Everyone wants to be just like them… with the user counts, the page views and the money rolling in. The problem is, though, there are a limited number of things you can DO with a micro-blogging site. If you want to keep it short and sweet, like Twitter does, you can’t add too many features. The beauty of tweeting is keeping it simple.

Instead of trying to copy what Twitter is doing in order to make a few bucks, why aren’t these other companies coming up with something entirely different? Just because we’re all in love with Twitter doesn’t mean we couldn’t possibly love something new. Give me innovation. Give me something different! Put your creativity and passion into developing something that I cannot live without.

Then, and ONLY then, will you ever begin to be able to “compete” with Twitter.

How to Make it Big in Social Media

Everyone has their own idea as to how to be the next big thing in social media. Almost none of those ideas are right. In some ways, it’s almost luck of the draw as to who becomes “famous” on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In many cases, people find themselves elevated to the rank of “famous” within social media circles with a lot of hard work. It’s not easy to cultivate a following and keep them interested. Trust me on this. I’ve gained followers, and I’ve lost followers. It happens on a daily basis. However, I don’t have a panic attack if someone unfollows me. I just figure I’m not their cup of tea, and go on about my life.

Not everyone can say the same with any degree of truthfulness, though. I know quite a few people who spend more time tracking how well they are doing on Twitter than they do actually sending out tweets. They are so immersed in the “numbers” that they have forgotten what got them their followers and friends in the first place. People don’t follow someone simply because they are “popular”. They follow someone because they are genuinely interested in what the person has to say.

In any case, it’s often humorous to watch someone who has decided they are famous on Twitter or Facebook. I love it when a person has become “too important” for their own good. Call me a meanie, but it’s just plain funny to watch those giant egos burst when they finally realize that they weren’t so important after all. Only then do we ever get to see the real person.

Tremendous News hit the nail on the head with a recent post: 7 Signs You’re Taking Yourself Too Seriously on Social Media.

  • You Actually Posed For A Picture With The Clear Intention Of It Being Your Facebook Or Twitter Profile Picture.
  • For Real-Life Crises, You Seek Advice From Anonymous Internet People.
  • You Have Customized Social Media Clothes.
  • You Think Your Facebook Fans Are Like Real Fans.
  • You Panic When Your Follower/Fan/Friend Growth Stalls.
  • You Think You Have More Influence Than Established Mediums.
  • You Think Because A Celebrity Acknowledges Your Existence, You’re Immediately Friends.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you recognize yourself in any of the above scenarios, it’s time to step away from TweetDeck and get back in touch with reality.

Log In to Facebook With Style

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Not long ago, I uploaded a video where I talked briefly about the new Microsoft Silverlight 4 Beta Client for Facebook. I REALLY like this application, so I was happy that Marques wanted to do an in-depth look at this in a new screencast. This Silverlight beta really is breathtaking, and makes Facebook visually compelling. It makes me actually want to USE Facebook more often!

The interface is just plain beautiful. The actual website doesn’t look like this with the glowing buttons down the side, and the gorgeous category filters. It looks way better than the actual Facebook experience.

At the top there are more category filters, such as to allow you to filter by people. This is what really separates this application from the rest. You can really interface nicely with your Facebook without getting distracted. Yet, you will get all of the data you will ever need.

If you notice in the video, this application is very quick and loads perfectly. It also makes heavy use of all of your Facebook photos… yours and your friends’. It’s integrated with your photo albums, which is nice!

Microsoft has also enabled this client to integrate with your Facebook calendar. Lastly, you have the ability to comment and Like posts from within the application, just like you could if you were on the website itself.

Thanks, Marques for another excellent screencast! If you’re interested in submitting a screecast for our channels, shoot me an email. We’re always looking from fresh new content to promote that deals with technology or social media.

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Does Free Speech Exist on the Internet?

I’ve seen this type of discussion come up many times within my community, and in others. When someone breaks a site rule and is “reprimanded” for it, they will often scream about their Freedom of Speech, guaranteed by the United States Constitution. I always get a chuckle out of this. You see, when you join a privately-owned site and agree to abide by their rules, there is no Freedom of Speech. The owners and administrators of said service are well within their rights to tell you what you can – and cannot – discuss on their little corner of the Web. If you don’t like it… well… no one is forcing you to stay there as a member.

This may sound harsh to some of you, and I don’t intend for it to be. I guess I’m trying to remind all of you that common courtesy and a maturity in following rules YOU agreed to when you joined a particular site are far more important than anything else. Anytime I see some ticked off person on Geeks yelling about their Freedom of Speech, my first thought is to ask them what rule THEY broke. I’ve learned over the years that 99% of the time, the upset person in question wanted to push the limits, and discuss something illegal, or otherwise against the rules.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that the owners of a particular site or service have the final – and likely, ONLY – say in what is and isn’t allowed there?

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Internet Society

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What kind of impact has the Internet had on you (personally or professionally)? Do you remember what life was like before the Internet? Could you imagine your life without the Internet? Could you imagine a world without the Internet?

Michael sent an email to me. He’s a high school student, doing some research on the Internet. Specifically, he’s writing about how the Internet has changed the World. He claims that I am pretty knowledgable about this particular topic. I beg to differ, but will do my best to help him out! He has a few questions he wanted me to answer.

  • In your opinion, what is the best benefit the Internet has given us as a society? – To me, it’s all about information access. When I was in high school, the Internet didn’t exist the way we know it now. It was a true eye-opener the day I realized what type of information I would have at my fingertips thanks to the ‘Net. Information is power, and the global community has become a lot more powerful, and a lot more aware. We are easily able to discover a lot more than we were previously able to.
  • In what ways has the Internet negatively affected the way we interact? – Chances are, you could go to the page where you found this video, and see people leaving idiotic and rude comments. They do this simply because they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. Many people feel that they can lose all social graces when they are online, and treat people like utter crap. I, however, always try to treat people online the same way I do in my physical life… with respect.
  • If someone who doesn’t know anything about the Internet asked you what the main purpose is of the Internet, how would you respond? – Connection… either to information, or to people. The Internet is a lot like a screwdriver. It’s a tool, which can be used for good – or bad. If you’re not using the right tool for any particular job, you won’t get very far. The results won’t be what you expected them to be. If you don’t respect and understand that this tool that connects you to information and other people, it could have disastrous results for you. The Internet is empowering.

If you are doing any type of research project that I may be able to help with, feel free to shoot me an email with your questions. Also, I’m interested in hearing what YOUR answers are to the above questions. Feel free to leave me a comment here, and let us know your thoughts.

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What Happens When FriendFeed Goes Down?

Earlier this morning, an article was posted on TechCrunch, discussing the fact that FriendFeed was apparently not working. The author claims that the remaining two FriendFeed users were ticked off at being unable to reach their favorite service. With tongue in cheek, he talks of how FriendFeed has become a ghost town since its acquisition by Facebook – something the Facebook team promised wouldn’t happen.

As you scroll past the article and begin to read the comments, you’ll notice some rabid FriendFeed users valiantly defending the service. If one were to go by those comments, it would appear that FriendFeed is still a happening place. The sad truth, though, is that it really has become a virtual ghost town. It wasn’t that long ago that the site saw as much traffic per day as rival sites did. Granted, I’m exaggerating a little bit. But I think you get what I’m saying.

When Facebook bought the site not long ago, we were told that they were planning to work hard to keep it viable. They promised us the moon and stars… and nothing is being delivered. Every day, I see more users disappear from the site. There are no teary goodbyes. They just fade away and stop posting.

I do still believe that FriendFeed COULD be a great service. If only someone wanted to take the time to bring it back to the front of the pack…

How to Make use of Geeks

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Joseph is a member of our community, including having an active account on Geeks. He recorded a video talking about how he makes use of Geeks, and giving recommendations as to how YOU can best use it, as well.

Geeks is a site that allows you to have a profile, participate in discussions, add videos and photos, and even have a blog of your own. You can even join or create groups for anything you are interested in, which lets you meet people with common interests.

As of the writing of this post, Geeks has just over 26,000 members. There are more than 13,000 blog posts, 18,000 discussions and 1100 groups! Our members have added approximately 10,000 videos, 64,000 photos and several thousand audio files.

You can earn points through Ning, and give virtual gifts to your friends. Leave a comment for anyone you choose, or have fun decorating and customizing your profile page. Most of the content on the site can be shared with the World via Twitter, thanks to a simple-to-use Twitter button that will show up near the posts.

If you aren’t a member of Geeks yet, what are you waiting for? There are so many things you can do and get involved with… and it won’t cost you anything other than your time and imagination.

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