Do Women Really Rule The Internet?

Here are some facts that none of us can dispute. Facebook has amassed a client list of 600 million fans and continues to grow every day. Twitter handles some 25 billions tweets in a single year. Zynga has 100 million users on Cityville in just six weeks and the list of online social networks continues at an unprecedented rate. What is also growing is the number of woman who command a major presence at these sites and other sites far exceeding the number of male visitors.

Woman are just more sociable than men. In fact woman usually make up about 55% of those who visit social networking sites and spend usually 30% more time on social sites than do men. No real surprise here. I noticed that, in my list of friends on Facebook, woman in my life make up more than 60% of those who post on my wall. They also spend a lot more time on Facebook than I do, since they post a lot more information than I do or that other males on my friends list do.

What is really being noticed by large corporations with an Internet presence is that it is the women who generate revenues and not us men. No surprise here really. Men just don’t like to shop to begin with and this dislike is being manifested on the Internet just as it has been at the brick and mortar stores. Sites like Zappos, Groupon, Gilt Groupe. Etsy, and others report that 70% of their sales are made by women. Even Amazon started a separate site called ‘Amazon Mom’ that caters to the women in our life.

Facebook concurs that over 60% of users of its site facilities are in fact women. It was the women who flocked to Facebook first and made Facebook what it is today. Women post more on walls, join more groups, and add more photographs than us men do, which makes one wonder. If the women didn’t take the lead on Facebook, would Facebook be what it is today? I doubt it. We men just followed the lead of the women and joined later on the social network. Think about it for a minute, guys: would you have joined Facebook on your own without having the women on Facebook?

Social networks and sites that sell products need to recognize the fact that the women are in control. If a company or Web site wishes to increase their revenues, they should look at the women to take them where they want to go. Women have the power to make or break a product or keep social networks alive.

Do do women rule the Internet? You decide.

Comments welcome.

Source – TechCrunch

Blogging Is Alive And Well – Readership To Increase To 150M

Social networking sites like Facebook have a large impact on our lives and keep us in contact with family and friends around the globe. Twitter provides a fast and easy way to tell others what we are doing. But blogs have change from a decade ago when they were the main sources of communication. There was a time when people would blog about what they did during the day and share this information with others.

But today, blogs provide a different type of information, depending on the blogger and what he/she wishes to present to the reader. One will notice here at Lockergnome, a wide variety of different topics and fields of expertise, as well as different styles of writing. The number of bloggers has increased here at LG over the years and the material that is being presented is drawing a large audience of followers.

So where did the notion come from that blogging in on the decline? According to one article they put the blame on Mashable and the way they skewered the results according to one article.

The blogosphere has become the realm for things that cannot be expressed in 140 characters, a place where significant conversations, debates, and information exchange can occur. This shift means the blogging is maturing and evolving—not dying. Just as Facebook and Twitter have their uses, so does blogging. It’s just not the same use as it was thirteen years ago.

Here is a chart which show the statics of blogging on how blogging will increase in the years to come:

I believe that blogging will be alive and well for the foreseeable future. How about you? What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – the regator blog

Free Firefox Extension Attacks Unsecured Wi-Fi & Social Networks

Last Sunday a security group from Seattle, Washington demonstrated a Firefox extension that can hack computers using unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Though this is not anything new, the extension can steal information with just one click. The extension, called Firesheep, can capture social networking sites via an unsecured HTTP connection — social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and iGoogle using just a single click.

According to a report at threat post, The Kaspersky Lab Security News Service, it also stated that:

It’s no secret that Web sessions that use the bare HTTP protocol to transmit and receive data are susceptible to a variety of security attacks. What’s less clear is  how much information is floating out there in the ether, especially with the rise of “Web 2.0” and rich social networking applications and other Web-based sharing tools.

But now a pair of researchers have created a tool to identify and capture the social networking sessions of those around you. The tool, a Firefox browser extension dubbed “Firesheep,” was demonstrated at the ToorCon Hacking Conference in San Diego on Sunday. Its primary purpose is to underscore the lack of effective transaction security for many popular social networking applications, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and iGoogle: allowing users to browse public wi-fi networks for active social networking sessions using those services, then take them over using a built-in “one-click” session hijacking feature.

Firesheep works on unencrypted wireless LAN connections with services that do not use secure HTTP.

The researchers, Ian Gallagher of Security Innovation in Seattle Washington, and Eric Butler, an independent security consultant, also of Seattle, demonstrated Firesheep before an audience at ToorCon on Sunday: surveying and then hijacking audience members’ Facebook and iGoogle sessions. They warned that, without wider use of secure transaction tools for end-to-end Web encryption like SSL, more users were likely to fall victim to such attacks.

The problem isn’t new, Butler said, but has been the “elephant in the room” since the birth of the Web and the HTTP protocol that is its lingua franca. While technologies like virtual private networking tools (VPN) can help deter snooping, but don’t provide end to end encryption of Web sessions and, thus, just “move the problem around,” Butler said.

If you use unsecured Wi-Fi connections to surf and post on social networking sites, you should be aware of the risks. What makes this threat so dangerous is that any idiot can click on the Firesheep extension and complete an attack.

But there is also a possible good outcome to this type of an attack. Google has already secured its email program called Gmail with https, so Firesheep will not work. There is also a suggestion by some security experts that Facebook will also use a secure system in which Firesheep will not work.

In the meantime, be careful where you surf and be aware that the bad guys are lurking.

Comments welcome.

Source – Kaspersky

Source – Computer World

Would You Pay $65 Million If You Didn’t Steal An Idea?

During the past week we have heard about the hype surrounding the movies about Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame. Some have alleged that his donating the $100 million dollars to the Newark school system was to take away the hype of a movie that portrays him as a crook. Allegations are that he stole the idea of Facebook from his fellow Harvard classmates.

But in a recent article there was this one statement that caught my attention:

The film, due in cinemas next month, shines an uncomfortable light on a well-publicised rift between Zuckerberg, 26, and a group of Harvard classmates who claimed he stole the idea and subsequently made billions from it.

The new Hollywood film details allegations from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who later rowed for Oxford, and Divya Narendra who claimed they came up with the idea for the social networking site they called ConnectU.

But they lacked the technical expertise to make it work, so enlisted the help of computer science student Zuckerberg.

When Zuckerberg launched Facebook, they launched legal action against him after their significantly less successful site failed.

They accused Zuckerberg, a second year student at the time, of stealing the idea, source code and business plan for Facebook a year before Facebook was launched.

Last year, a US law firm accidentally disclosed that Facebook had paid $65 million (£41.4 million) to settle the claim.

A condition of the deal was that all parties keep details confidential or face a multi-million dollar penalty. Neither side has ever commented.

My first thought was this. If I was accused of stealing an idea and that I didn’t, I would fight the allegations.  With $65 million dollars I could put up a stunning defense. So when I hear that Zuckerberg paid this amount to squash the allegations, it tells me that he did steal the idea. Just my two cents.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – telegraph.uk.com

Thieves Use Facebook To Burglarize Homes

Police in Nashua, New Hampshire broke up a gang of crooks who were using Facebook to find out when homer owners would be gone. The cops were able to recover somewhere between $100k and $200k in stolen goods. Police were able to arrest three suspects and are looking for a fourth, maybe more,  suspects who were involved in the burglaries, which numbered over 50 during the month of August alone.

According to one news reported it stated that:

Investigators said the suspects used social networking sites such as Facebook to identify victims who posted online that they would not be home at a certain time.”Be careful of what you post on these social networking sites,” said Capt. Ron Dickerson. “We know for a fact that some of these players, some of these criminals, were looking on these sites and identifying their targets through these social networking sites.”

It is still amazing that after all of the warnings about what not to post online, that people still ignore this information.

Do you post personal information about yourself online?

Comments welcome.

Source – WMUR9

Facebook Gift Cards Go On Sale At Target Stores To Buy Virtual Goods

I must admit that I was surprised when I read that consumers will be spending just about $1.6 billion on virtual goods this year.  Of that amount just about $865 million will be spent on social networking sites. Target will start to offer Facebook gift cards in amounts of  $5, $25 and $50 starting this Sunday. The gift cards can be used by the purchaser or given as a gift to anyone.

In addition a recent article states that:

In addition to Zynga’s “FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars,” the virtual credits can be used in games such as Playdom’s “City of Wonder” and PlayFish’s “EA Sports FIFA Superstars.” Facebook in the past several months has been signing long-term deals with game makers such as Zynga and RockYou to use its virtual credits.

So what do you think? Will being able to buy gift cards from Target make your virtual purchases easier?

Comments welcome.

Source – SJ Mercury News

Generation Net – Bloggers As Young As 3 Years Are Telling Their Own Side Of The Story

There is a new generation of bloggers hitting the Internet as well as social networking sites. This new breed of Internet bloggers include children as young as three years old. These children blog about new toys as well as social issues. What is also surprising is that these kids are making upwards of $100k a year. Not a bad amount for kids who are just entering into their primary earning years. LOL.

A recent article also states:

Sonny To – eight when he started TotallySonny (totallysonny .blogspot .com) – is among those who already find blogging rewarding. “People send me things and I review them,” he says. Headphones, a new cereal and a toy owl are among the products that Sonny has blogged about. Now nine, he claims he got into blogging for more than just free stuff. “My mum was getting loads of traffic on her blog and it seemed like fun. Blogging has also made my writing much better and I have learnt how to explain things properly. It has made me much more confident.”

Maelo Manning, who turned 11 last week, says she likes to air her views. So much so that she has two blogs – after all, they are free to set up. “It’s fun to say stuff about what you’re thinking, especially about politics.” Her Lib demchild blog (libdemchild .blogspot .com) dispels the notion that politics is just for grown-ups, and she made some cogent points about the lack of affordable childcare in one recent post, which she used to bemoan Westminster Council’s decision to shut a free play scheme. She keeps to relatively lighter subjects at lifeofabloomingchild.blogspot.com – so-called because she finds it “lovely that adults think children are blooming. I hear them talking about this all the time, as in: ‘Why is that blooming child doing that?’ ” Despite being relatively new to blogging, Maelo already has hundreds of readers from as far afield as the US, Australia and Russia.

Like any fledgling craze, blogging is likely to become more popular, rather than less; recent research by Ofcom, the communications watchdog, found that although just 2 per cent of 8- to 11-year-olds have set up a blog, nearly one in five would like to do so. And interest is higher among older children, with 15 per cent of 12- to 15-year-olds already blogging and one in four interested in starting one.

Experts agree it is unrealistic to keep children away from the web. Barrie Gunter, a professor of mass communications at the University of Leicester, says: “Kids are more confident about using tools like blogs. They see them as an integral part of their lives, compared with adults who see them as an extension.” Even child protection experts see the upside. “It’s encouraging,” says Mark Williams-Thomas, a leading criminologist. “If a nine-year-old wrote an article for a newspaper, we’d be impressed. So why is it any different if they write a blog?”

What I find interesting is that contrary to the opinions of some, blogging seems to be alive and well. If a new generation of children is already starting its own blogs, it is a great sign that blogging will continue on into the next decade or so.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – The Independent

Divorce Lawyers Love Using Facebook Entries As Evidence

Last week I made comment about why we should watch what we post online, but now there is further evidence how such posts can come back to haunt us. Divorce attorneys use online social networking entries as evidence in divorce cases. Some of what people have posted come back to haunt them when they go to court. In a recent news article it stated some of these gaffs made by husbands and wife’s that were used against them:

  • Husband goes on Match.com and declares his single, childless status while seeking primary custody of said nonexistent children.
  • Father seeks custody of the kids, claiming (among other things) that his ex-wife never attends the events of their young ones. Subpoenaed evidence from the gaming site World of Warcraft tracks her there with her boyfriend at the precise time she was supposed to be out with the children. Mom loves Facebook’s “FarmVille,” too, at all the wrong times.
  • Mom denies in court that she smokes marijuana but posts partying, pot-smoking photos of herself on Facebook.
  • While this type of evidence may be only used in about 1 out of 10 divorce cases, it is becoming more common for lawyers to check Facebook and other sites for evidence. It would be hard to disprove these facts when the person themselves post the information. The article also went on to state:

    Social networks are also ripe for divorce-related hate and smear campaigns among battling spousal camps, sometimes spawning legal cases of their own.

    “It’s all pretty good evidence,” Viken said. “You can’t really fake a page off of Facebook. The judges don’t really have any problems letting it in.”

    But here is the biggest mistake people can make:

    Grown-ups on a good day should know better than to post boozy, carousing or sexually explicit photos of themselves online, but in the middle of a contentious divorce? Ken Matthews recalls photos of a client’s partially naked estranged wife alongside pictures of their kids on Facebook. “He was hearing bizarre stories from his kids. Guys around the house all the time. Men running in and out. And there were these pictures,” Matthews said.

    I bet some people really regret being so dump. LOL

    Comments welcome.

    Source – Siliconvalley.com

    Facebook Founder Unsure If He Gave Away 84% Of His Company

    In what could turn out to be a costly mistake for the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg may have signed away 84% of his company. What is surprising is the fact the Zuckerberg is unsure if he in fact signed a contract which gave away the lion’s share to a previous employer. It seems that back in April, 2003, Zuckerberg did in fact contract with Paul Ceglia to work on a project to set up a database of street pictures for what now seems a paltry $1,000. At the time, Zuckerberg had just completed a project at Harvard in which he had set up an online yearbook for students.

    Zuckerberg allegedly told Ceglia that he was thinking of expanding the Harvard project in what he called ‘The Face Book.’ A recent article also stated that:

    The parties, appearing before Arcara for the first time in the case, also provided new details of their clients’ stories in response to questions from the judge.

    “Mr. Zuckerberg did have a contract with Mr. Ceglia,” Simpson said. Zuckerberg, 26, worked for Ceglia as a computer coder, she said.

    Facebook claims Ceglia remained silent for more than six years and his claim is probably too old to pursue. Also, Ceglia claims his alleged contract, which refers to “The Face Book,” was signed about nine months before Facebook was founded, the company said in court papers.

    Today in court, Ceglia’s attorney, Terrence Connors, produced a copy of the two-page “work for hire” contract that his client said entitles him to control of the social-networking service.

    But there was this sentence that caught my eye:

    “Who knew then that it would turn into what it is today?”

    What it is today is one of the world’s most popular social network sites and is valued at about $25B. It is going to be interesting to see how this court case plays out. I would venture a guess that there might be an out of court settlement and the parties will not be able to disclose the amount of the settlement nor any details.

    Comments welcome.

    Source – Bloomberg

    RIP – Microsoft Kills Kin – Social Network Phone Dies After Only Six Weeks

    In what is being called ‘astounding’, Microsoft has already killed their Kin social networking phone. After years of development and spending millions of bucks, Microsoft dropped the phone after sales were dismal. In one article it stated that Microsoft had only sold 500 units after six weeks. So what caused the quick demise of the Microsoft project?

    According to one article it stated that:

    A major reason it bombed, besides the weird, non-specific faux hipster marketing? Price. Verizon priced Kin’s monthly service like a smartphone, even though it wasn’t one. Even cutting the device price drastically didn’t alleviate the high cost of the monthly plan.

    The few people that did buy a Kin will still get support from Microsoft, but the future of promised software updates is up in the air. It seems safe to say, though, Kin isn’t going to evolve into the things we hoped it would. At best, we have to hope the things we did love—Kin Studio—will make it into Windows Phone in some guise.

    Microsoft’s official statement on the matter:

    We have made the decision to focus on our Windows Phone 7 launch and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.”

    What is most telling about killing the Kin, is that few consumers will want to buy future Microsoft products, fearing that support could evaporate if the company decides to dump support. Though Microsoft asserts they will support the units that were sold, I seriously doubt this will happen. This is another example why Microsoft should stick to what they do best. That is improving their Windows and Office products and putting away the delusions of grandeur of ‘built it and they will come.’ LOL

    Comments welcome.

    Source – Gizmodo


    Will There Be A Facebook Killer Called ‘Google Me’?

    Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, made a startling revelation on Twitter that Google is in the process of unleashing a Facebook killer. The rumor, which Mr. Rose states is from a highly reliable source, states that the new offering will be called ‘Google Me.’ In a recent article we are presented with these words that in no way confirms that this rumor is true or not:

    While this is strange for so many reasons (since when do startup CEOs break such high-stakes “rumors” on Twitter?), we’d have to say that, if this isn’t some kind of weird account hijacking and the rumor turns out to be true, we’re not surprised nor should Facebook be fazed — Google Buzz was supposed to compete with Twitter and we all know how that turned out. We do however have a few questions, namely has Google given up on Brazilian social network Orkut? At this point it seems as though the search company is just throwing social networking ventures against a wall and seeing what sticks.

    Here is my opinion. Google trying to play catch up to Facebook is like Microsoft trying to play catch up to Google Search. It ain’t going to happen, folks. Facebook is in a league of its own and the popular social networking site is the king of the hill. Google is king of search and Microsoft is king of operating systems. That’s the way it is and that is the way it is going to stay.

    Comments, as always, are welcome.

    Source.

    Who Is The Real Terrorist? Mix-Up On Facebook Profile Demonstrates Hazards Of Web Journalism

    In an effort to find out more information about the alleged terrorist who was recently arrested for the attempted bombing in Times Square,  journalists got the wrong profile of another person named Faisal Shahzad on Facebook. Once the error was brought to the attention of the Web site that published the information, it was pulled and the information removed. But what is disturbing about the incident is not the mistake itself, but that another person could be labeled as a terrorist and the resulting harm it could cause.

    In a day and age where digital information is acquired by anyone who has access to social networking sites, what responsibility do journalists and bloggers have to confirm they have the right person? A recent article also states:

    But Facebook journalism is a tricky science, and it almost certainly should never involve the publication of photographs of a person whom you think might be an alleged terrorist, and then again, might just be a normal dude. That’s the kind of thing that can put someone in danger.

    This I believe is the bottom line, that the wrong person could be put in danger. I am sure that there are those who troll the Internet looking for any information that could identify someone who may not share their views. Though social networking sites go to great care to protect the identity of those who participate on the site, sometimes it is the users themselves that post too much private information concerning themselves and their families.

    I recently did an article [read it here] in which a recent survey shows that people still continue to provide private information on the Internet.

    What do you think?

    Comments welcome.

    Source

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    Consumers Still Act Like Dummies Online And Share Private Information

    In what should not come as a surprise, but still does, it seems that consumers still are using the Internet like a toy. In a recent survey by Consumer Reports, 52% of respondents have posted personal information online. It gets better. These people have posted their home addresses, date of birth, and also information about their children. Unbelievable!

    But when it comes to social networking sites, the numbers are less:

    On Facebook only, 42 percent have posted their date of birth, 7 percent have posted street addresses, and 3 percent have disclosed when they were away from home. About 23 percent of Facebook users, meanwhile, are either unaware that Facebook has privacy controls that protect this information or do not use them.

    Another 26 percent of Facebook users post their children’s photos and names, which could potentially expose them to predators, the report said.

    Of the 18.4 million people who have installed Facebook apps, 38 percent were confident that the apps were secure or had not thought about. About 1.8 million computers were infected by social networking apps in the past year, Consumer Reports said.

    Now that’s good news. Only 42% are idiots when it comes to posting information on Facebook! What is wrong with people?

    There was also this:

    Overall, Consumer Reports found that 1.7 million online households were victims of Web-related ID theft in the last year, 5.4 million online consumers submitted personal data via phishing e-mails, and that cyber-crime has cost American consumers $4.5 billion over the past two years, trashing an estimated 2.1 million computers.

    Solving this problem doesn’t require expensive technology, however, the report concluded. “It requires the networks themselves to keep improving their privacy practices and better educating users,” the report said.

    Better educate users? Where do these people live? In a cave? LOL

    Comments welcome.

    Source

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    Opt In or Opt Out – Another Important Congressional Decision

    As most everyone who uses Facebook knows, the Internet social networking site made some changes recently. Users have the option to opt out  if they wish to have their personal information not sent to several third parties. Now Senator Charles Schumer of New York and a number of other Democratic Senators want Facebook to change this to Opt in. Really, I kid you not.

    A recent article also stated:

    The issue surrounds Facebook’s decision to automatically share your data with select partners (currently limited to Docs.com, Pandora.com, and Yelp.com) the moment you visit the site. Rather than forcing you to click a “Log In With Facebook” button, Facebook automatically shares basic information about you. While there remains to be confusion surrounding the multiple services launched by Facebook at last week’s developer conference, Facebook could soon have to back down from this new trial service.

    At a time in our nation’s history when the bankers and Wall Street insiders are running amok, when we are trillions of dollars in debt, when we have wars being fought on two fronts, congressmen have the time to worry about whether Facebook users opt in or opt out?

    One word. UNBELIEVABLE!

    Comments welcome.

    Source

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