The Delightful and Dubious Online Tech Trends of 2013

The Delightful and Dubious Online Tech Trends of 2013Have you been blissfully caught off guard by all of these new and fancy tech trends that are saturating the marketplace? Wonder which tech trends will stick around or which should be buried in the desert along with lost copies of Atari cartridges? Yeah, I hear you. Personally, I don’t have a whole lot of time to be perusing and checking out these new apps and gadgets all on my lonesome, so usually it’s on the suggestion of a friend or maybe a rogue reader with a keen eye that wants to get my opinion. So I took a look over some pretty big tech trends that have made a big impact on 2013 so far. Take a look and add your own! You know, be interactive!

Tech Trends: The Apps We Love and Hate

Snapchat: So some Stanford University students got together and pieced together an app that would allow the user to take brief snapshots from one second to 10 seconds and, then they allegedly fade off into the ether, never to be seen again. Currently, the demographic model is full of tweens, teens, and baby-adults below the age of 25, which puts Snapchat in a weird position. Anyone I know over the age of 25 who owns Snapchat is adorably questionable, at best, or they’re curious just like most of us are. What does it mean? What’s the reason? Users can take lurid pictures, embarrassing selfies, and revealing portraits and think that they will vaporize the second they will it, yet dozens of programs on the Google Play store say otherwise.

Just searching “Snapchat” shows that obviously an exploit exists, as well as reports that those images of yours don’t exactly leave. No, in fact they are saved for at least 30 days anyhow, so obviously some smart little jerks have figured out how to save your preciously stupid brain hiccups that made you take snaps of your junk and post them up for mere seconds. Can someone screenshot it? Sure they can. What does the company think of this? Obviously it finds it deplorable but — hey — you’re the one trusting an app with your naughty bits, so who is really at fault here?

The Delightful and Dubious Online Tech Trends of 2013
As you can see, Snapchat makes up only one application on this list of tech trends, and every other search brings up its dubious little screenshot thieves.

Vine and Instagram Video: Founded in 2012 and then quickly acquired by Twitter, Vine’s a nifty little program that helps you make and produce six-second videos that are easily condensed and posted up on social media without the huff and puff of most social media outlets like Facebook and such. Instagram would release its own quickshot video section to its app that allows up to 15 seconds as well as your normal Instagram filters. The fascinating thing about this is what people are doing with these videos.

People like Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, used Vine to post the most popular reaction on Twitter to the Red Wedding episode of her show, acted out in mere seconds by herself. Folks are getting creative in thrilling ways and using Vine and Instagram to show it off, and it’s never been more interactive of a world as when you give the people a way to let you see through their eyes, one sepia filter at a time. Some tech trends are exciting in simple ways.

The Delightful and Dubious Online Tech Trends of 2013
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones fame gives six seconds of fan reaction on Vine.

Candy Crush Saga: Who would’ve guessed that a candy-coated, brightly colored Bejeweled clone would so easily capture the hearts of people all around the world? But nobody can stop it. I had yet to have witnessed this confection that developers at King came up with in April of 2012 and less than a year later, it surpassed FarmVille in social media games. What was doing it? Was it how quick it is to pick up such a simple concept with adorable, harmless visuals? Possibly.

It might have something to do with the fact it isn’t a required time sink like most of those other “Ville” games happen to be. When you don’t need to constantly tend to crops, check on your city, or any other arguable waste of time, it opens you up to be able to enjoy something more at random. With only a set amount of turns, most levels don’t take long to complete. And while you are only allotted a certain amount of retries within a time period, it’s not such a bad thing to be told to back down and go do something else until you have more opportunities to bite into a level. Not too bad for a brand new title to bring in nearly $700,000 a day in revenue, is it? Quite a bit of money people are spending on those truffles, you know?

Real Racing 3: Is it possible we’re doing too much with our smart phones? Are they making us dumber? Are they making us think we have any business playing a racing game on our phones? Sure, I can understand tablets that are wide enough to handle and/or appreciate a game of this kind of high-definition, but I know people who are turning on their phones and syncing up to this game on an almost daily level.

Why are we doing this, hmm? Released in February of this year, Real Racing 3 absolutely wowed critics with its beauty and rightly so; the game has some incredible presentation, offers in-app purchases for vehicles and upgrades, and does what most free-to-play app games do but with the splendor and visuals of something you’d see on our current-generation gaming consoles. So it’s beautiful and it’s making money, but do we need it on our phones? On our tablets, sure, but our phones?

Playing this on my phone felt wrong and awkward, yet I was still compelled to play it just so I could see the visuals some more. Cars are crisp and beautiful, tracks are well laid-out, and this game could easily be something I’d purchase for $15 on the PlayStation Network and race against my friends. Instead? Phone. I’m stuck with it on a phone. Makes no sense.

Soundtracking: Bringing a “check in” approach to your music collection, Soundtracking is like setting a playlist for your day, not ahead of time but as your day happens around you! Listening to a song and it’s speaking to your current mood? Soundtrack it and the app will either listen to the sound around you if you’re listening out loud, grab it off of your phone, tablet, or Spotify, or you can search for the song you’re thinking of at that moment and let it out on Facebook and Twitter.

Maybe people will dig your vibe and follow your Soundtrack, opening up brand new audiences to music at the touch of a button. Honestly, of all the things listed here in this article, I think Soundtracking is a tech trend that has turned me on the most with its quick, reflexive interface, its smart lingo, and its no-frills desire to share music with everyone I know.

The Delightful and Dubious Online Tech Trends of 2013
On Soundtracking.com, you can find some of the trending Soundtrackers today, sharing music from all over the world!

Tech Trends: Social Media and the New Niche Machines

While some of these tech trends are certainly not new, they’ve either faded into the background or blown up more recently and I’m thinking it has to do with the user experience. We’ve all changed, haven’t we? With more freedom comes far more responsibility, and when you let the world at large play with websites like Tumblr, Vine, and Instagram, we all become a little more in tune with the audience we built.

The lot of us have a song to sing aloud and when we know we have all these freedoms to say what we want when we’re doing it without the constraints of Facebook or MySpace (do people still use that?) to hide their pretty words and take away their creative process.

Tumblr: With a dashboard consisting of seven buttons sprawled out at the top of your page, you can get to ushering forth your message as quickly and evenly as possible. The tech trend of hashtags are like the private little Reddit pages that you keep all to yourself, pleasantly seeking what other users are creating, talking about and re-blogging from their minds or from the minds of others.

Microblogging has gone where bigger blogs couldn’t go, and that’s where Twitter sent them. When WordPress is too heavy and meant for those intensely dedicated to the words and audience at large, Tumblr just wanted to see what you had to say and without the pretense or complication. In June of this year, Yahoo! bought Tumblr and, as of August 8th, Tumblr hosts more than 100 million blogs. Not too shabby for the place that people too chatty for Twitter go in order to get their heavenly Internet sermons to the masses, be they photos, gifs, or rants about the upcoming season of BBC’s Sherlock.

Fitocracy: Combining the love of reaching levels and achieving goals in video games, Fitocracy is among tech trends that award users with achievements to boast for every fitness landmark they reach in goals set forth by fitness instructors, professional nutritionists, and more from all over the world. Completing quests always seemed like something out of World of Warcraft and those tech-savvy yet health-seeking individuals could do well to give Fitocracy a try and see if it fits, so to speak, with their trophy-requiring lives.

Does it work? Sure, dozens swear by it, and my feed is littered with wonderful achievements and fitness peaks that friends of mine worked hard to get and boast about with pride! See, getting some fun recognition doesn’t have to be reserved for video games only, but when you pump out some of those crunches before work in the morning, too!

Klout, Pinterest, and LinkedIn?: Are we still doing this Klout thing? Are people still “pinning,” and is anyone actually checking out their LinkedIn activity? To me, Klout always seemed like a place where people impregnated each others’ feeds with self-importance and over-inflated corporate sponsorship. Talk too much about some beverages and someone will consider you an “Influencer” so much so that, before you know it, bitches be offering you tea bags as a Klout Perk. Yeah, that happens. That happened to me. Some tech trends are kind of lame.

Pinterest?: It’s Tumblr for those without the attention span to push forward and send their own message so much as re-pin someone else’s neatly — it’s like scrapbooking on the Internet. It came and went and died a death when people realized the simplicity of other sites and how we could easily tell our stories outside of just repeated imagery on a corkboard.

As far as I know, not a single person has actually gained a job and/or done anything other than show off the people they know on LinkedIn. An ever-growing resume online, it becomes a quick study in Facebook for the workplace and nobody should be offering jobs to people based on some delightful little blurbs and resume-esque coding on a website. No, we need to see it as social media only and something that holds the same weight as Facebook because we can still, easily, control our message there.

Hell, I haven’t logged into my main LinkedIn page in years and if anyone were to look that up, they’d think I hadn’t worked at a new place since 2007. Is that true? Sure isn’t. However, when you look me up on Google, it’s one of the first pages you see. Now is that anything you should be regarding heavily when it comes to your professional career? No, because it’s still just another page on the search engine that can come and go with the fleeting fancy of the average human’s attention span (and fickle tech trends).

Tech Trends: So What’s Next?

It’s leaving a lot of possibility for the upcoming applications and social media mavens when you see just where we’re sitting now with tech trends, isn’t it? With rumors swirling about an Amazon branded gaming console akin to the recently crowd-funded OUYA, we could see integration with our current tech that brings not just gaming applications, but social media applications to a brand new front. It’s always been a cumbersome thing to take part in the Android world from the comfort of your television and such, but maybe that day is soon to pass.

The world is brimming with technology and its naturally forming tech trends, and the biggest and brightest are yet to come. Once we’re all wearing eyeglass smart phones and wearing small hard drives as watches, none of us are going to look back at 2013’s early half and think that the tech trends going on were anything other than a flash in the pan. We’re going places, kids. Look out.

What apps and websites have caught your attention this year and what are you hoping to stumble upon before 2014 rears its glorious head on us all? Sound off below and share your best guesses for future tech trends with the lot of us!

Header images thanks to Petr Kratchovil and Silviu Firulete — modified by the author. Application images sourced from respective sites listed.

MySpace Cuts 47% Of Staff

We’ve seen this once before in rumor form; MySpace is essentially on a downward spiral with no end in sight. The company is losing money and users to Facebook, which has become the dominator in the social networking world. In MySpace’s official announcement today, CEO Mike Jones indicated that 47% of the staff of the company will be cut from various positions.

Since late December, these rumors have been floating around the news sites; today the cuts are dramatic with approximately 500 employees losing their jobs.

Mike Jones said in his statement that MySpace will be working to focus more on being an entertainment destination for the Gen Y community. Mike Jones went on to explain that MySpace is streamlining the company and getting rid of what is unneeded.

To try and save itself from the grave, MySpace announced that it will be entering local partnerships around the UK and Australia to help manage advertisement sales and content. Additionally MySpace is hooking up with .Fot (dot-Fox) Networks, to help expand its entertainment base and get more local traffic by going straight to the source. Although these details have not been totally released, we should see more information very soon.

MySpace is acknowledging that Facebook is too big for it to compete with any more; now it has revamped its image to become more of an entertainment hub, going from a place to connect with friends to a central database for online entertainment. MySpace seems to be bouncing back a little with its competition shifted from Facebook.

Mike Jones confirmed this, saying that the new MySpace is picking up and trending positively, and seeing an increase of new users. Mike Jones threw some statistics out and said since the new relaunch, 3.3 million new profiles have been created, with a 4% ride in mobile users — bringing MySpace to a grand total of 22 million still active and newly active users.

With the change in MySpace’s direction, it is out searching for new competition and to show its old users what it is like at the new MySpace.

MySpace Aims For Major Layoffs

MySpace aims for major layoffs that will affect 50% of its employees. Multiple sources have claimed that this once social media giant is going under, and they are going down bad.

Trusted sources at All Things Digital report that MySpace management is in a frenzy to find cost cutting ways to reduce expenses. MySpace owner, News Corp, asked MySpace to cut costs in wake of reduced traffic and revenue from the dieing site.

This news is not to be unexpected, after making a very significant effort to revamp their image and create more connections, MySpace cannot keep up with their competitors. In October we saw one of MySpace’s biggest make overs in the history of the company, their business model changing to focus on the generation-Y demographic who are the most tech literate. But, in the end they were not able to keep up with their audience.

With a major breakdown in November, MySpace partnered with Facebook to let users sign in to MySpace with Facebook and for users on MySpace without a Facebook around their information could be transfered over and synced between the two sites.

News Corp executives do not see a turn around from MySpace anytime soon, and might never see one. The rumors are shifting now to when and who will buy off MySpace. From our view, it will be likely that Google or Facebook will acquire MySpace by the end of 2011

Are You Still Using MySpace?

Seb asked me in chat recently if I actually use MySpace. I have an account there, yes. I actually even receive tens of visitors there each month. I admit that I really don’t even USE the site. Do you?


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From all appearances, it seems as though MySpace has turned into almost a joke. They are working hard to rebrand the site and turn it into something unique that people will want to use again. However, I just don’t see it happening. When they first came up with the customizable pages, everyone loved it. We could make our pages look however we wanted… until it got out of control. Everywhere you look there are blinky things, strange graphics and comment pictures. It’s overload of a very bad kind, and people who actually care about such things seem to be the only ones using the site still.

Everyone I talk to who takes part in social media profile sites is on Facebook. LinkedIn is ranked up there as another site people feel the need to have a complete profile on. If I mention MySpace, I get strange looks or outright cynical snorts.

What are your thoughts? Are you still using MySpace?

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Burglary Suspect Logs Into MySpace Account And Forgets To Log Off

Police in Florida had an easy time  finding and arresting a teenager, after he had broken into a home. The teen took his time while going through the home’s contents, drinking soda and eating food along the way. He apparently made himself so much at home that he used the victim’s computer to log onto his MySpace account. There was one thing that he forgot: to log off of the account after he was done.

One article states:

A caretaker of the home on Sugarloaf Key was preparing to remove hurricane shutters from the house when he spotted a person sitting inside on the living room couch.

When police arrived, no one was in the house, but they discovered empty soda and food containers, marijuana on a coffee table and an open back window. In one of the home’s bedrooms, a computer was logged into the MySpace account of 18-year-old Robert Rupp, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Police arrested Rupp a short time later as he was walking around the neighborhood. Rupp, of Big Coppitt Key, was found to have screwdrivers in his pockets. He said he broke into the home because it was cold outside.

Rupp is charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools and theft.

It does make one wonder what this kid was thinking about. Common sense would tell you that anyone could ID you from any social networking account — especially if you take the time to log in and forget to log off. LOL

Comments welcome.

Source – Sun Sentinel

Can My Employer See My Private Facebook Posts?

There should be an image here!Q: On Facebook, if a person is not friends with any co-workers and has all settings set to friends only, would the employer be able to access that person’s account in any way, shape, or form? — G

A: In general terms, an employer wouldn’t have direct access to a person’s account under those circumstances (meaning they couldn’t view everything posted as if they were a friend), but the reality continues to be that anything you post on the Internet should never be considered truly private.

If you have any concerns about the wrong people seeing something you post, you should find another way besides Facebook to communicate the information to others.

Despite persistent Internet rumors that employers have a secret division at Facebook that they can pay to gain access to private profiles, nothing could be further from the truth.

If Facebook ever compromised the privacy of its users in such a covert way, there would be a mass exodus from the network as an untrustworthy system.

Having said that, Facebook’s privacy setting can get confusing and there are a number of areas of assumed privacy that many users overlook.

The most obvious is the ability to Like or Share most anything that appears in your news stream. As soon as someone you are friends with clicks the Share option on anything that you have posted, it becomes visible to their entire network and possibly more based on their privacy settings (including everyone if they have very lax privacy settings).

A single friend that has their wall post privacy set to Friends of Friends will extend any ‘Shared’ information that you may have originally posted two layers out.

Hypothetically, if your employer is friends with one of your friends or even a friend of a friend, it’s conceivable that they could come across something that you intended to be viewed only by your friends.

Privacy in the electronic age is virtually uncontrollable, which goes back to the advice of refraining from putting anything into electronic form (Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs, IM, text messages, etc.) that you wouldn’t want others to see.

This Facebook scenario is really no different than sending an email to someone assuming that it will stay private only to have them forward the information to others intentionally or by mistake.

Make sure that don’t use Facebook’s ‘Recommended’ settings for privacy so you fully understand what you are agreeing to share.

When you get to the Privacy Settings screen, be sure to click on the ‘Customize settings’ link so you can go item-by-item for ‘Things I share’ and more importantly ‘Things others share.’ Don’t forget to decide whether friends can check you in to the new ‘Places’ location-based feature of Facebook.

One thing that’s important to understand is that if you inadvertently had a privacy setting set too lax (like Everybody or Friends of Friends) and you change it to Friends Only, all of your old posts are still under the previous setting.

The only way to reset the privacy for old posts is to delete them and repost under the new privacy setting. Existing photo albums can be changed all at once by clicking on the ‘Edit album privacy’ link while you are in the ‘Customize settings’ section or via the ‘Album Privacy’ link when you go to your existing albums.

Another area that is often overlooked in Facebook’s privacy settings is the “Info accessible through your friends” setting under Privacy Settings/Applications and Web sites.

Third party applications and Web sites that your friends use can gain access to your information based on what is checked in this area as well, which could end up allowing something in your profile or status updates to end up on non-Facebook Web sites or networks.

Ken Colburn
Data Doctors Computer Services
Data Doctors Data Recovery Labs
Data Doctors Franchise Systems, Inc.
Weekly video tech contributor to CNN.com
Host of the award-winning “Computer Corner” radio show

Social Networks Influence Health Behaviors

There should be an image here!Scientists have long thought that social networks, which features many distant connections, or “long ties,” produces large-scale changes most quickly. But in a new study, Damon Centola, an assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has reached a different conclusion: Individuals are more likely to acquire new health practices while living in networks with dense clusters of connections — that is, when in close contact with people they already know well.

Researchers often regard these dense clusters of connections to be redundant when it comes to spreading information; networks featuring such clusters are considered less efficient than networks with a greater proportion of long ties. But getting people to change ingrained habits, Centola found, requires the extra reinforcement that comes from those redundancies. In other words, people need to hear a new idea multiple times before making a change.

“For about 35 years, wisdom in the social sciences has been that the more long ties there are in a network, the faster a thing will spread,” says Centola. “It’s startling to see that this is not always the case.” Centola’s paper on the subject, “The Spread of Behavior in an Online Social Network Experiment,” is published in the Sept. 3 issue of the journal Science.

To see what difference the form of a social network makes, Centola ran a series of experiments using an Internet-based health community he developed. The 1,528 people in the study had anonymous online profiles and a series of health interests; they were matched with other participants sharing the same interests — “health buddies,” as Centola calls them in the paper. Participants received e-mail updates notifying them about the activities of their health buddies.

Centola placed participants into one of two distinct kinds of networks — those oriented around long ties, and those featuring larger clusters of people — and ran six separate trials over a period of a few weeks to see which groups were more likely to register for an online health forum Web site offering ratings of health resources.

Overall, 54 percent of the people in clustered networks registered for the health forum, compared to 38 percent in the networks oriented around longer ties; the rate of adoption in the clustered networks was also four times as fast. Moreover, people were more likely to participate regularly in the health forum if they had more health buddies who registered for it. Only 15 percent of forum participants with one friend in the forum returned to it, but more than 30 percent of subjects with two friends returned to it, and over 40 percent with three friends in the forum made repeat visits.

“Social reinforcement from multiple health buddies made participants much more willing to adopt the behavior,” notes Centola in the paper. Significantly, he writes, this effect on individuals “translates into a system-level phenomenon whereby large-scale diffusion can reach more people, and spread more quickly, in clustered networks than in random networks.”

Centola thinks the existence of this effect has important implications for health officials. A “simple contagion,” in network theory, can spread with a single contact; a “complex contagion” requires multiple exposures for transmission. A disease, Centola suggests, can spread as a simple contagion, but behavior that can prevent the disease — such as going to a clinic for a vaccination — might spread only as a complex contagion, thus needing to be spurred by reinforcement from multiple neighbors in a social network.

“If there is a significant difference between simple and complex contagions, that actually matters for our policy interventions,” says Centola. The public promotion of screenings and other forms of disease prevention might best be aimed at communities and groups that act as closely clustered networks.

Centola thinks there is also further work to be done evaluating the effects of online social networks on behavior. “There is a natural implication in terms of what this means for designing online communities,” says Centola. His new research, building on his current paper, aims to find new designs for online communities, in order to promote good health practices.

Jayne Fairley @ SAGE Publications UK?

[awsbullet:social network dummies]

Will Facebook Stay?

There should be an image here!For a couple of years now, Facebook has been the overpowering social center for everyone from tweens to the oldies. It’s grown from just a social community for college kids to now advertising central and home to flash games. But how long will this last before someone else comes in with something fresh and new and cause Facebook to be a primitive way of messaging?

The first big blowup was MySpace years ago, even though it wasn’t even that long ago. It allowed people to share photos, message friends, and put their favorite song of the week on their page. It was a huge success and had millions of users. The addition of MySpace Music was a breakthrough and allowed upcoming artists to get their name out there and land record deals and fans. Still to this day MySpace Music is used for new artists wanting to make it big as it has such an easy way of uploading and searching.

However, as all good things must come to an end, MySpace pretty much did… or at least was done with its golden days. The new thing was what a young man created and called “Facebook.” It started out being used as a way for college kids to meet others and do basically the same thing that MySpace did but without the young teens and emo shots. Facebook started to grow and grow, and started receiving popularity from all different ages. As said before, it basically did the same thing that MySpace had already been doing — just tweaked and more refined. More people were switching over and were pleased with the new social network. It had things like albums for photos and status updates for telling what you were currently doing. It blew up and Facebook starting receiving worldwide popularity. And now, it is the largest social networking site.

But how much longer will Facebook be in its prime before something else comes in? Will something like that ever happen? Is Facebook so big now that it’s nearly impossible? No one knows for sure, but many are thinking they want to create the next big site. Some say it can’t be done because Facebook has everything you could ever want. However, a lot said that about MySpace. Until then, millions and millions of people will log onto their Facebook each day to see if they have any messages or notifications.

My name is Dakota and I live in Georgia. I am 18 years of age and enjoy technology. I am going to school for computer science this upcoming fall. I can be found on Twitter here, and YouTube here.

[Photo above by Vasjen Katro / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Frintr

There should be an image here!Do you remember those Magic Eye images that were popular back in the nineties? If you looked hard enough at the image, then you could see the hidden image within. Of course, if you were like me, you were never able to see the hidden image and disliked anyone that could because of your pure frustration. Collages are different because you can see the smaller individual images that make up a larger image if you look close enough. In fact, it’s not too hard to make a collage these days because a variety of online services can do the heavy lifting for you. Frintr is a service that makes a collage of your profile picture out of the profile pictures of your friends.

The tool supports Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace (they’re still around?). When you login to these accounts through Frintr, the service can get what it needs to make the collage, and as you’ll see from the examples on the site, the collages look great. Low-resolution collages can be created and downloaded for free, and if you want a high-resolution version, you can either pay for a digital download or pay to have a print poster sent to you.

The Internet Doesn’t Forget – Be Careful What You Post Or Say

Places like MySpace and Facebook have changed the way most of us have socialized on the Internet. These social networks have provided a way to stay in contact with family and friends, but these same postings have also come back to haunt some. The N.Y. Times recently related a story about a student who was denied her teaching credentials since she was pictured on MySpace as a drunken pirate. The university felt that this type of behavior reflected poorly on a potential teacher and she was rejected for a teaching degree.

The story continues with the would be teacher taking her case to court and the court upholding the right not to issue her a teaching credential because she would be a public employee.

The story went on to state others who have had problems:

With Web sites like LOL Facebook Moments, which collects and shares embarrassing personal revelations from Facebook users, ill-advised photos and online chatter are coming back to haunt people months or years after the fact. Examples are proliferating daily: there was the 16-year-old British girl who was fired from her office job for complaining on Facebook, “I’m so totally bored!!”; there was the 66-year-old Canadian psychotherapist who tried to enter the United States but was turned away at the border — and barred permanently from visiting the country — after a border guard’s Internet search found that the therapist had written an article in a philosophy journal describing his experiments 30 years ago with L.S.D.

According to a recent survey by Microsoft, 75 percent of U.S. recruiters and human-resource professionals report that their companies require them to do online research about candidates, and many use a range of sites when scrutinizing applicants — including search engines, social-networking sites, photo- and video-sharing sites, personal Web sites and blogs, Twitter and online-gaming sites. Seventy percent of U.S. recruiters report that they have rejected candidates because of information found online, like photos and discussion-board conversations and membership in controversial groups.

The bottom line is this: do not post or say anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want your mother to see or hear.

Comments welcome.

Source – N.Y. Times

Ad.ly

Have you ever thought about one of your social networking accounts and wished that you could make money by distributing advertisements through it? There are people who are totally against monetizing your followers and friends in this way, but in the end, the choice is yours. Depending on your profile and following, there are probably numerous advertisers who would like to distribute their messages through your network and pay you for the privilege to do so. Ad.ly lets Twitter and MySpace users test the waters and see what they think.

The process is actually pretty painless and fully transparent. Once you’ve created an account, you can begin to receive requests from advertisers. It’s important to mention that you’re in control of the messages that go out to your network. You can either accept or deny an ad, and if you choose to accept it, then it will be published and you’ll be paid. Not only do you get to approve the ads, but they’re also clearly marked as ads for full disclosure. Who said it doesn’t pay to be a social networker?

Why Facebook Is Better Than MySpace

There should be an image here!Facebook is a great social network. With over 350 million users from all around the world, 50 million of them get online every day. There is a great user interface, great features, and great support.

MySpace was the largest social network on the Internet for a few years, and at the time it seemed like everyone was there. And then came Facebook. It grew like wildfire, and the amount of things you could do also grew like wildfire. People loved it, and still do.

Today, Facebook is about three times the size of MySpace. There are games, groups, pages, apps, and all sorts of things. Granted, MySpace has all those same things. But here’s the difference: Facebook has a much more… usable user interface.

Facebook has a simple interface. MySpace has an interface that pops out at you and makes it so that you can only be on the site for so long before your eyes hurt.

The average user spends about 50 minutes a day on their social network of choice, so they don’t want to get done and have hurting eyes.

If you pay attention to people that have accounts on social networks, you’ve probably noticed that many people just join them to play the games. That’s another advantage Facebook has.

Since Facebook has a better user interface than MySpace, they can make the games look better, too. Yeah, the two networks have a lot of the same games. But since Facebook’s looks surrounding the games look better, people like it more. Plus, Facebook just has more games, so people have more options. And people like that.

And the last thing that I’m going to put in this list is that Facebook has fan pages and groups. MySpace may have them, but it’s so hard to figure out how to even get started making them that there really aren’t that many. And people like to have the capability to become a fan of wacky things, and join groups that support things that they support.

There you have it — a few (albeit personally biased) reasons as to why Facebook is better than MySpace.

Questions? Comments? Send an email to [email protected]

My name is Mark Devens. I live in southern Minnesota, where the winters are long and cold, and the summers are just as long but a lot more humid. I love to write. I write everything from poems to tutorials, and enjoy every second I’m doing it. When I’m not writing, I like to work on computers, play with gadgets, and help people with anything they may need help with, tech related or not. I do some fishing, but not a lot. I’m much more of an inside person than an outside person. Since I’m inside so much, I often am very bored, and that’s how I manage to get so much writing in.

[Photo above by partiallyblind / CC BY-ND 2.0]

MySpace On Track To Be Cool Again, Honest!

As if attempting to dig itself out from what seems like never-ending obscurity, MySpace is fighting like crazy to remain relevant in a Facebook/Twitter world. What about made me fall over laughing was this statement.

“MySpace has quietly spent the last several months tweaking its social-networking service with the intention of appealing more to the under-35 crowd.”

Uh, when was this a problem? Because senior citizens were rocking the moving HTML-heavy themes with dancing .gif images and auto-playing music… clearly, MySpace was targeting people that were entirely too old in years past.

Seriously MySpace, are you drunk or just asleep at the wheel? The only place you have left to go is down to the 12 and under crowd! You’ve alienated everyone else. How in the world can that portal of bad HTML code not realize this?

The above being said, I do agree with the idea of MySpace trying to attract music and movie fans. At least that would be a tangible, logical demo for the disillusioned company to go after. Assuming MySpace is ready to awaken from a long and blind trip into La-La-Land, hitting select entertainment niches is about the only space left that the company has a shot left for creating its own “Space” for itself that will largely be untouched by the other giants in the social media realm.

[awsbullet:dischord records]

What Ever Happened To MySpace – Is It Really R.I.P.?

One may recall that Rupert Murdoch and his media empire munchkins had purchased MySpace for a whopping $580 million. I am sure that there were dreams of the mountains of cash that would flow into the News Corp. coffers, but those dreams have ended. After only a 9 month stink, the CEO of MySpace has resigned and MySpace continues to slide into oblivion.

In one recent news article it states the following:

Kevin also noted that Murdoch, and every large media company, need to think like startups. Unfortunately that is no longer in the DNA that defines Murdoch. If he thought like a startup, instead of hiring three managers, the company would have hired a strong chief technology officer, who had the vision and the guts to essentially take the living corpse of a social network and send a shock through its system. They needed someone who could think of and build a Spotify based on MySpace Music!

What the company needed was radical transformation. But what it got was infighting, politicking and constant contraction.  At the time Van Natta, Jones and Hirschhorn joined the company it had two things going for it -– the audience and the social graph. There was a time when celebrities used MySpace to stay in touch with their fans. Now they’re all using Twitter.

The audience has started to fritter away, moving to better, more current social environments such as Facebook and Twitter. As for the social graph, I wonder if MySpace really had one. I wouldn’t be surprised if more executives, including those from recently acquired startups such as imeem and iLike, left for greener and more viable pastures.

That seems to sum up eactly what News Corp. is not doing. That is, thinking like a start up company. Even Murdoch’s comments that the iPad is nothing without his content goes to prove that these people haven’t a clue what the Internet is all about.

I would venture a guess that if News Corp. continues on their current path of thinking, that we will see the end of MySpace, and there is a good possibility the end of News Corp. itself.

Comments welcome.

Source.

Murdoch – Now Tablets, Smartphones & eReaders Are ‘Empty Vessels’

What is it with this man? Doesn’t Rupert Murdoch know anything about technology? He is now saying that the newest gadgets being used by most of us and including the soon to be released tablets and nothing with content.

In an article he also stated that:CEO Rupert Murdoch addressed the growing presence of these devices but called them “empty vessels” without the content – things like newspaper articles, TV shows, Hollywood movies or any of the other forms of digital media that fall under the News Corp. umbrella.

What he should have said is that anything that doesn’t use HIS content and only HIS content is an ’empty vessel’.

“Content isn’t just King anymore but rather the emperor of all things electronic,” he said. Bigger and flatter screens are nice, but without the content, the devices will be “unloved and unsold.”

I personally have never been in love with any computer, gadget, smart phone or any device I have ever owned. I have enjoyed using the device, but love?  No love here, what about you? Do you LOVE your devices? LOL

Executives didn’t have much to say about MySpace, other than to say that the site is “not yet really where we want it to be” but that there are signs of “traffic stablization.”

What this means is that they were losing millions of members every month and now it is down to a few hundred thousand. Talk about something without content. MySpace = an ’empty vessel’. LOL

It it is kind of funny when you think about it. I am sitting here at my laptop computer which is full of interesting content from the Internet, email alerts I receive and so forth, and no one iota of anything from News Corp. I guess my laptop is an ’empty vessel’ as well.

Comments welcome.

Source