Hearting – ‘We Heart It’

Photo sharing sites have gained so much attention nowadays. Pinterest and Flickr are just two of the most talked about image-sharing social network nowadays. These media are more popular with the youth, especially among young girls. However, during the past few months, We Heart It, another photo sharing site that started in Brazil, was silently getting a million subscriptions from various locations.

Given that the company was only incorporated two years ago, and that Ranah Edelin, its very first CEO, was hired only two months ago, We Heart It already gained so much attention and has been used by a huge audience. Basically, it functions similarly to Pinterest where users can share images from other users in combination with Tumblr’s appeal to the young generation. Edelin said that in the present times, people tend to appreciate and express themselves more visually rather than the traditional textual way of conveying messages. Aside from that, images are easier to understand. Taking into consideration the trends, young people are more interested in sharing images rather than composing a posts on social media.

This may be the first time we’ll be hearing about We Heart It. But what we don’t know is that it already has more than 20 million users, with an estimate of one million registrations each month. In addition to that, it has been reported that users spend almost 16.5 minutes in the sites and the mobile app version is being used 25 times, on the average, each month. Again, for a start up company having numerous well established competitors, these figures are found to be significantly high.

In contrast with Facebook where one could connect and interact with his/her friends, We Heart It allows users to follow others who possess same interests as you. For instance, if you’re into photography, you can follow other users who are also interested in photography. In that way, you can meet new people, gain friends and even learn something from them. We Heart It can also be a way for you to go with your passion.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Email Beats Social Media in Online Marketing

We are now in the digital age where everything happens with the help of technology. Entertainment, information dissemination, education and even marketing could occur via the World Wide Web. With these advancements, a wide range of opportunities are laid in each of us. Without that much of an experience but is willing to take risks, a person can be involved in something like online marketing industry and some other businesses.

As long as you have a computer and access to the internet, you can be a successful entrepreneur. According to a survey, over half of the 50 richest people, age under 40, got their fortunes on the internet. Online marketing gives ordinary people the chance to start a business, publicize and gain profits just by effectively posting ads to the right web pages.

Marketing enterprises started emerging together with the surfacing of a lot of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Though placing ads and links to different web pages that directs users to the company’s page is a helpful strategy for them in acquiring buyers.

The internet is one of the main sources of customers of various retail companies. As a matter of fact, a recent survey was conducted by Custora in order to determine where a customer learnt about a certain company’s products or services. In the said study, it was found out that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter acquire a relatively lower number of customers compared to those who were reached through their emails. It is believed that this is due to the fact that a user already rendered his/her email address, that is, he/she already established a working relationship with the company. Moreover, the number customers who visits a retailer’s page from searching is 50 percent above average while those from Facebook is just average and those from Twitter is 23 percent below the mean. Aaron Goodman, a data scientist, claimed that Twitter is still not a bad place to publicize despite the low customer acquisition rate it achieved. Google’s ads, however, poses a totally different result. It doesn’t only redirect users, it also converts them t becoming a valuable customers.

Trending social networking sites still has a long way to run in order to help online retailers in their business. As of now, search engines remain as a main vehicle for users to get to the products or services they need.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Number of Phony Followers Sold in Twitter’s Underground Economy Found to be Increasing Significantly

Twitter, a social networking site now having millions of users, is now having troubles pertaining to its security measures. Existence of underground economy has been one of the greatest challenges faced by the San Francisco-based company. In line with this, Campbell, a network security vendor based in California, conducted a research and found out that approximately 100,000 fake accounts are present in the Twitter sphere that are used to sell bogus followers to interested users. Purchasing phony followers has been done by people hoping that it would boost their status. In the previous year, this market costs $18, now it dropped its value to only $11 per thousand followers. With this incident, Twitter holds the title for having the largest underground economy, according to the research done by Barracuda Networks.

Jason Ding, researcher from Barracuda Labs, claimed that fake social media industry is now growing significantly. Furthermore, detection of malicious accounts is also becoming a difficult task because users have found a way to really make an account seem credible. In the list of illegal sellers, Ding and his team noticed 52 from eBay and that there are a dozen of websites that publicize Twitter users on Google. The analysis of the study also revealed that certain businesses guarantee their buyers protection from fraud detecting engines and that some phony followers can be gained just by searching certain keywords, depending on their location.

Twitter is more pressured nowadays to step up with its precautionary measures especially in resolving the underground economy. Aside from establishing partnership with a third party to review its information security program, the firm also introduced a two-factor authentication in order to prevent attackers from hijacking existing Twitter accounts.

Up to date, Barracuda was able to identify 1,147 users that buy fake followers and that an average abuser has about 52,000 followers. Now, Twitter is trying to generate solutions and laws that would somehow resolve issues the firm is currently facing.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Americans Spend Most of Their Time Digitally

A survey, conducted by Buntin Group and Survey Sampling International, found out that Americans spend most of their time in different social media networks. The aforementioned study was commissioned by Desoto, Kan., makers of Chinet disposable table wares.

Based on the results of the appraisal, on the average, an adult spends 23 hours in a week interacting through online connections. Younger respondents, on the other hand, use up to 28 hours a week in average or approximately full 8 hours more than those aged 35-64 years old. Connecting to one’s relatives is also done mostly through the World Wide Web, approximately 60 percent.

In addition to that, statistics also said that half of the U.S. adults asked used to play games in various web sites at least once a week. Moreover, a very small part of the sample, 11 percent, actually met their digital friends in person over the last three months. Aside from online entertainment, 90 percent of the survey participants state that they use social media in order to ask someone out or to enquire for an advice.

86 percent believed that because of technology, they missed spending quality times with their friends and family. Aside from that, 84 percent said they’re longing for the warmth feeling they get after enjoying with some people. Due to the relatively large amount of time spent establishing digital connections with other people, even with relatives, almost 75 percent of the respondents claimed that they plan on attending more personal get-togethers starting next year.

Advancements in technology raise numerous positive feedbacks in our everyday life. However, for every pro, there will always be an equivalent drawback. Digital age makes our lives a lot easier. As a consequence, it somehow makes us miss some of the best things in life like spending time with friends and relatives. Moreover, these moments are simply incomparable than those created digitally.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Blackberry’s Downfall

Last June 28, 2013, analysts from Wall Street was expecting Blackberry to raise operating profits amounting to $25 million; however Thorsten Heins, chief executive of the company, admitted that the firm’s shares actually dropped off 27 percent of its total in just three hours thus missing its target sales. A lot of suggested causes were raised by different people involved in order to drill down with the issue.

BB’s Z10 and Q10 handsets seem to lose with its top competitors, Apple and Samsung smart phones. The said mobile phones’ shipment was also found to be decreasing especially during the beginning of June. Despite Heins’ efforts to further improve their product, revenues of the company result to be lower than the expected values.

Another said reason is the transition of management. Thorsten Heins only started running the company last year, replacing Blackberry’s founder Mike Lazaridis. As a new chief executive, he’s been putting up a lot of developments to their product in order to cope up and compete against iPhones and Android phones.

There were also rumours regarding Lenovo’s plan on acquiring Blackberry. The known Chinese manufacturer, stating their intention, helped a little in boosting BB’s profit by approximately 25 percent since the start of the year. As a matter of fact, Blackberry’s market value reached $7.6 billion on Thursday, before falling suddenly to $5.4 billion on Friday. Number of subscribers was also found to be decreasing in number – from 76 million in the previous quarter to just an estimate of 72 million recently.

Currency devaluation in Venezuela is also a potential cause of the decline. $72 million was diminished from the total revenues of Blackberry subscribers from the said country.

According to Mike Walkley, an analyst, Z10, Q10, Q5 and all other BB10 handsets are not enough to get along with the smartphone market.

Blackberry still has its hopes up that they will be able to get back what they lost.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

De Rosa’s Envisioned iPhone 6

Antonio De Rosa, designer from ADR studio, talked about the concept behind the creation of Apple’s new product, the iPhone 6. The said smartphone was rumoured to be launched by the company in 2014, also featuring a new operating system, the iOS 7.

De Rosa’s design is a combination of his own imagination and the spreading rumours regarding a wider display for iPhones but still weighing the same as the iPhone 5. First, it would have a 4.3” Retina 2 display screen running from edge to edge which suits iOS 7’s dynamic and panoramic wallpapers. In addition to that, iOS 7 also comes with simplified icons, lighter colours and more streamlined typefaces. Second, the traditional Home button is replaced with Apple’s logo with a finger identity system placed beneath it. Through this, the owner’s finger will be his/her way in accessing the phone; hence, giving users more secured use of their devices. Third profound feature is the 18 megapixel rear camera, also comes with a dual LED flash and noise reduction with image stabilizer, capturing every image even better than before. Aside from that, De Rosa also talked about other gesture-based buttons that will be found at the bottom, which is very similar to that in Android phones but Apple claimed that it’s just a sign that they are not afraid to follow the market trends. Sound inputs are also another talked about attribute. This means that certain functions can be triggered through voice control. Apple might also have plans on elevating the storage capacities of its devices. iPhone 6 is believed to come in different memory invariants – 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.

On top of all the aforementioned ideas is that iPhone 6 will run on A7 quad-core processor, unlike the existing iPhones which sport A6 chips. However, nothing was said regarding the device’s battery life but the company’s audience is also looking forward to having an improved battery life for better and longer user experience.

There are also some speculations that the release of this controversial iPhone 6 might also happen before that of the first talked about ‘cheap’ iPhone 5S. Mainly because of iPhone 6’s redesigned characteristics and its switch to the new iOS 7. The new operating system will be released in fall; hence, it’ll come with the all new iPhone 6. So, Apple users, let’s just all watch out for this interesting next generation of smart phones, the iPhone 6.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Top 5 Alternatives to Google Reader

They say that when one door closes, another opens. Hence, as Google Reader comes to its end, various feed reading applications will emerge and grab the opportunity of taking G-Reader’s place. To date, there are already a wide range of web services offering the same features – free, robust and easy to use. Users can then have a lot of options as to which tool to use and fully satisfy their needs.

Below, you’ll find five of the available alternatives to Google Reader.

1. Flipboard

This application allows you to manage your own magazines into a dashboard. It has the ability to create and share magazines, choose magazine covers, sort and delete items, and other stuff. Flipboard’s user interface also offers you the capability to quickly going through particular fields of the news you’re interested in. So, why not give this a try and load it to your iOS or Android device?

2. Feedly

Feedly is also an application available for iOS and Android users. Likewise, Chrome, Firefox and Safari also offer extensions for this feed reader for your desktops and laptops. Aside from the fact that it is highly customizable and minimalist, it’ll be easy for Google Reader users to import their existing subscriptions into Feedly. It’s just a one-click process then, there you have it, your whole new feed reader application! Organizing topics, adding feed content and reading through posts can be done efficiently and conveniently. Moreover, the company envisions to integrate this app with other mobile applications.

However, Feedly announced that there is a possibility of having a paid version of this tool in the future. But they emphasized that this will be done in order to measure the app’s real value and to lengthen the bond between the users and the company.

3. Pulse

An app for iOS and Android users, Pulse uniquely present feeds with graphics, as opposed to the minimalist view of Feedly. Easy post organization and viewing, Pulse provides the basic needs of readers.

4. NewsBlur

A free but also has a paid version, this app is available on the Web, iOS and Android users. For $24 per year, you can have full access to all of its features. The free account, on the other hand, only allows 64 subscriptions and can only display up to 10 stories at a time.

NewsBlur offers real-time RSS, that is, whenever a new post is seen, it’ll automatically push this item into your feed. You can also hide and unhide stories, depending on what you want and need. In addition to that, each entry is displayed exactly the way it is seen on its real source. And, of course, like the aforementioned feeders, you can share stories with your friends on your blurblog.

5. Feed Wrangler

Web and iOS application costing $19 a year, is the simplest reader application. And by simple, I mean the minimalist interface it has. Through this design, you can really put your attention and focus on the article you’re currently reading. Aside from that, it ensures users that it receives the services he/she wants and deserves.

These are just five of the alternatives for Google readers. There’s a lot more out there available on the Web and app stores. Also, you may want to switch app immediately before Google Reader finally bid goodbye so that configuring a new feed reader will be a lot easier and faster.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

RSS: Keeping You Updated

Really Simple Syndication, most popularly known as RSS or web feeds, is a tool for easily distributing contents to various places based on XML-format. Different web sites, especially news sites, want to publish their documents into other pages. In order to do this, a web site will create a RSS document, register it to a publisher then a user that can read RSS –distributed content could see the pushed document in his/her page. These web feeds may contain information such as recent changes on a page of a website, news stories, technical support updates, products news, announcements, new listings for a realtor or job vacancies. This process can be illustrated in Facebook’s news feed. For example, when one of your friends posted a status updates or liked a post, his/her activity will be added to your news feed.

There are two types of a web feed – partial feed and full feed. A web feed is partial when only a short description of the content is published. Full feed, on the other hand, is when the entire document is published in the RSS reader. Because of this, the reader doesn’t have to go to the website just to view the whole post, as compared to the partial feed.

RSS provides both recipients and web sites great advantages. First, through web feeds, companies can easily update and connect with their audience. Hence, relationship and bond between the two can be strengthened and lengthened. Second, it’ll be easy for the recipients to know the latest news from his/her subscriptions. You don’t have to search through every page just to make yourself updates. All you have to do is set up your interests and RSS reader applications will look over the World Wide Web for you. In addition to that, automatically keeping customers posted is also like a marketing strategy. Whenever a new product is available, a customer could immediately see and place his/her order or even attracts other people. For a new visitor, if he/she found the product interesting, there’s a possibility that he/she could become one of the company’s valuable subscriber.

Different web sites have the option of allowing RSS feeders. If a user wants to follow the RSS feeds of a particular site, he/she would just simply subscribe to it then all updates from that page will automatically be pushed to his/her RSS reader application. There is also numerous RSS reader available, depending on what one wants and needs. With the proper choice of web feeds tool, keeping oneself updated can be done easily and efficiently.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

FROM CRASH TO APPLICATION: THE BIRTH OF GOOGLE READER

 

Google Reader is an application launched by Google way back in 2005. The main objective of this product is for feed reading, feed caching and archiving. Basically, it allows users to view both the old and new posts from different sites he/she subscribed in. Through Google Reader, one could read articles from his/her favourite sites – without visiting the pages itself! Easy access, isn’t it? In addition to that, it also helps you keep track of the items you’ve read so the next time you visit Google Reader, it will only display unread posts. With that, it lessens the user’s confusion in determining which entries are done and which are to be read. Of course, readers also have the option to put his/her favourite posts together in the Starred items section.

Another feature of the Google Reader is providing recommendations. Different entries are suggested to users, depending on what the application thinks that the subscriber wants based on the entries he/she often reads or the sites the reader is currently subscribed to. These recommendations come in two options – recommended items and recommended sources. Recommended items pertain to posts similar to what the user reads. The recommended sources, on the other hand, offer web pages where analogous topics are posted. These suggestions are automatically generated and anonymous, that is, personal information of the readers is still protected according to Google’s privacy policy.

Everything started a few years back when a group of people, known as the Blogger team, initially thought of a way to somehow ‘organize’ blogging. During those times, creating blog posts is one of the mainstream social media activities. However, as months passed, it was observed that people started wondering as to what and where they should write, and where to find interesting posts they’d love to read. Then came the rise of different tools for blog aggregators like Bloglines. Of course, it is not that perfect. According to one of the pioneer members of the Google Reader project, when he was using Bloglines back then, before Reader was created, a browser crash occurred where his Bloglines tab was left open. So, as soon as he re-opened the application, almost more than 100 items were marked as read even though he hasn’t read all of it. With that, the thought of building a powerful web service for viewing subscriptions arise.

An API was produced to determine the state – read or unread – of a particular post and a feed viewer was constructed on top of this API to achieve the dream of building an intelligent web content delivery service. And so, the Google Reader was born! Even though it’ll be shutting down soon, it was and is still the best delivery system of different contents each user wants to see every day.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Kim Dotcom, More Than 600 Megaupload Servers Completely Wiped

On the 1st of February this year, LeaseWeb, a Netherlands-based hosting provider decided to clean up the data stored in all of its 690 servers, including those owned by Megaupload users. This incident, though it happened a few months ago, gained media’s attention only last June 19, 2013 when Kim Dotcom, owner of Megaupload, posted an update in Twitter as soon as he found out that all of its files were gone.

Dotcom, when asked by TorrentFreak regarding the issue, said that LeaseWeb didn’t inform him nor Megaupload users about their plan. And now that they wiped out everything, they could do nothing. The “largest data massacre in the history of the internet,” as he would call it, since petabytes of data was lost in an instant.

Since January last year, Megaupload has been facing legal battles in U.S. courts. Since then, Megaupload has been shut down for the investigation of piracy claims against the file sharing service. Now that all their data were lost, Dotcom is feeling more worried and disappointed. Not only tons of files from millions of European users were deleted, but also the pieces of evidence that they could use to defend themselves in court. Furthermore, Megaupload said that their legal team distinctly requested LeaseWeb to take hold of their data until the U.S. court finally made their decision.

LeaseWeb, on the other hand, insisted that they notified Dotcom before proceeding with the deletion and that they didn’t receive any request from Megaupload. “After a year of nobody showing any interest in the servers and the data we considered our options… we commenced the re-provisioning of the servers in February 2013,” LeaseWeb’s statement as posted in their blog. In addition to that, Alex de Joode, LeaseWeb’s senior regulatory counsel, also explained that 60 of the 690 servers were actually confiscated and transported to the United States by the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service. Thus, only 630 servers were holding Megaupload’s data back then. He also said that a notification was sent to Megaupload; however, they didn’t receive any response. As a consequence, they chose to push through with the cleaning up of its servers, as part of their standard procedure in minimizing security risks and maximizing the privacy of its clients, before offering its services to new customers.

Now, Dotcom and his legal team are further studying the matter on hand before deciding whether or not they will take steps against LeaseWeb.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS