social network

Sponsored stories

5 December 2011

“You can call it a story, many people would call it an advertisement”.¬† Emily Maitlis’ report on life inside Facebook, and the money making machine Zuckerberg has successfully managed to transform the social network into, is going viral, like everything Fb does these days.

With an IPO just around the corner that would value Fb at more than US$100 billion and each of us, users, at more than $125; the word “privacy” still gives hives to Mr Zuckerberg and his team.

It’s not the first, nor the last, Fb will get an “insights” documentary shot within their premises with interviews of their top execs, pre-founders, employees…. but if each time there’s a program or news piece on the company “issues” and “voices” warn about the same old ghost, then something is not working properly.

Right now on our fb page (and we know this changes every time we log in) we have two sponsored stories and 4 ads occupying an entire column of the 4 column-layout the current version has. The “people you may know” suggesting tab barely appears from time to time and those tricky “sponsored stories” telling us how much our friends love another brand (who has paid to be shown there) are more omnipresent than ever. This is their latest ad-engineered baby, and it’s proving successful, while it plays with our feelings.

Would you agree for fb to use your name and photo when saying “Mr or Mss so-and-so likes this brand” without you knowing? The latest controversial advertising service in a long love-hate relationship between the blue giant … and our personal privacy.

The program is still available on BBC’s iplayer, and you can even download it, a definitely must-see report and great work by the people at Money Program.

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Creative Arte

3 October 2011

We may create our own arty-party social network one day, but in the meanwhile we just had a look at ARTE’s new site-building proposal:

There is a need for every artist to showcase their works on-line, and thanks to the wonders of our digital world these have a tremendous list of tools to do such thing. From creating personal pages (Indexhibit..) to joining large art-specialised social networks (Deviant, Saatchi online, Behance…) or simply a personal blog (tumblr, blogger, wordpres…). The choice is massive (and we aren’t taking into account many local and university dedicated networks)…

So the big cultural European giant network ARTE (mostly only well-known in France & Germany) have decided to create their very own personal / artist profile site-building open to all sorts of art-related individuals or collectives.

Let’s think of ¬†as the ARTE version of tumblr for creatives proposing a publishing platform where you can upload any type of media (videos, pictures, flash content..) and use it not only as a blog or on-line showcase but take advantage of their hosting video & media services. A priori there are no limits to upload HD videos (we’ll dig into this) & we really like the classy look of their embeddable player, hopefully with time the customizing & organizing content options will grow.

They describe it as a “site for inspiring contemporary audiovisual creation” and we have to admit that coming from such a recognized network as ARTE is, we’ll give it a serious go. So from now on we’ll use our “creative” arte space as a way to interact & discover amazing collectives & individuals. We highly suggest you try & grab a personal space, it’s free… although you’ll have to convince them why you deserve access to their platform. This way red cells!

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Google +

28 June 2011

Now who was expecting this? Everyone! Techcrunch have been talking about circles, rumors, Google’s internal super secret Facebook killer project for months… ages? And it has finally arrived… “Google +”. Nothing to do with all their previous social attempts (Orkut, buzz which never really took off, or +1 which will definitely match in this new experiment besides already being a sharing & search-help positioning tool).

Let’s see if we can summarize what Google + is without needing a 30min post….

In essence Google+ is the Google approach to how on-line social interaction should be done on-line (not only sharing)…. Google is still first amongst the most visited places on planet earth… but Facebook is just behind so what can they do? Add a social layer that truly covers ALL of its on-line services. And how can we do that? With an omnipresent bar that reminds EVERY Google visitor (not necessarily a user) on earth of the presence of this product / sharing tool. Breaking Google+ into 3 main subtools:

Circles is the core functionality allowing users select, organize & filter contacts for “optimal sharing” (nothing new here) from their Gmail & Google contact list (we imagine you can import facebook + twitter contacts too?).

drag&drop to create your circles

Then lets say you’re searching for a trending topic on Google, once you get the result you can instantly share it with those people circles which you can access from that famous black bar. No need to click on the search result itself… and the same applies if you happen to be using/visiting any other Google product and be logged-in… think of youtube, maps, picassa, blogger, docs, sites….

Then come the “Sparks” which is some sort of a contacts-universal “interests search box”, when searching for one of your favorite topics Google will propose what they think is purely related to your “Interests”, how? We assume using +1, your contact’s +1 hits, your navigation history (kept by Google when you’re logged on obviously), your personal and your close “circle’s” interests will have something to do with those results. “For nerding out together”….

And finally come the “Hangouts”… some sort of “I wanna chat” alerting feature (and a redesigned video chat tool) for those circles you chose to constantly keep in touch with (imagine video chat with up to 10 people).

Many other things have been announced … “Instant upload”, “Huddle”… so for more info, pics and a fully comprehensible description go for their interactive tour, or read patiently Techcrunch’s post. ¬†Unfortunately G+ is on beta mode, so you’ll probably need to sign-up for an early access.

Seems like Google have also understood that their minimalistic… nearly rudimentary design approach to all their services needed a strong user interface redesign, just like Microsoft with Windows Phone 7 or Windows 8. Let’s see how successful G+ is.

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1 September 2010

Bada Ping? We yet don’t know what the “Ping” effect will bring but Apple’s latest & sharpest move announced today wasn’t a nano with a touchscreen or an iPod touch with a front facing camera… it was the “Facebook & Twitter meet iTunes” move….

Continue reading Ping

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