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July’s Most Interesting and Important News

calendar_julyI realize that you’ve already read that many times, but this July’s news can’t be imagined without mentioning the announcement of Google’s new project – Google Chrome OS. Chrome operating system is intended to be lightweight and web-oriented. For now  no one  cares whether web apps only would be enough for users or not and how fast software manufacturers would release Chrome compatible programs. Everyone’s just wondering whether Google can compete Microsoft. Still, Google now position Chrome as operating system for netbooks and nettops, so the only prospective rival of Chrome OS is Windows 7 and particularly its version for netbooks and nettops.

Microsoft keeps up with Google in giving occasion to buzz about. Less then in a week after Google’s announcement of Chrome OS, Microsoft has announced that the new version of Office – MS Office 2010 – will include Web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can see Office 2010 preview at the preview site.

The less buzzy but not less interesting July’s news are:

1. On July 14th, 2009 Bit.ly celebrated its first birthday. One year old URL shortening service is already a serious competitor of tinyurl.com which held the first place in this field for years. And the main achievement is that Bit.ly became Twitter’s default URL shortener instead of tinyurl.com. 4 characters shorter – this means a lot when you have only 140 chars for a tweet.

2. Google already removed Beta label off its popular services – Gmail,  Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk. It’s a little surprising, even though successfully works for 5 years, because users got used to Beta label. If you still can’t imagine Gmail out of Beta, go to Settings > Labs in your Gmail account and enable “Back to Beta” option.

3. Firefox 3.5 released. In the first 24 hour after release it was downloaded by more than 5 mln people. Of course it’s less than 7.7 mln for Firefox 3.0, but the number is still overwhelming. Read more about Firefox 3.5 new features and find useful tips in my review.

4. Bing launched BingTweets search tool to combine Bing Web search and Twitter search. This is not actually what I consider to be real-time search, but it’s probably a step towards this. Bing and Twitter search results are displayed in two different boxes now. What I don’t like is that Twitter results emerge one by one and the oldest goes down. When the search is finished, you can see 4-5 latest tweets only and can’t scroll down to read even the tweets you saw while they emerged in the window. Other features work pretty well, including the option to share or tweet your search results.

Keep up with the latest news! Stay tuned.

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July 21, 2009 Posted by | Google, internet, Social Networks, twitter, Web 2-0, Windows | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TwitTruth – Twitter Lie Detector

Do you want to learn who is who on Twitter? Who are your new Twitter friends – promoters or engagers, what are chances they will respond to direct messages, what percent of their posts contains links, retweets, hashtags, etc.? Learn the truth at TwitTruth.com. It gives various statistics about Twitter accounts registered in TwitTruth.

You can add your account by simply logging in to Twitter and allowing TwitTruth to access your account. Also, you can invite other Twitter users to add their accounts.

One more interesting thing – on a home page of TwitTruth.com you will find a list of the top 500 Twitter users and statistics for their accounts. Go and learn the Twitter Truth!

twittruth

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July 7, 2009 Posted by | internet, Online tools, twitter, Web 2-0 | , , | 2 Comments

Social Mention – a Real Time Search Platform

Real-time search is what everyone talks about and looks for nowadays. Are you not satisfied with usual organic search and want to have the latest news only in your search results? Try Social Mention search.

“Social Mention is a social media search platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information”.

The number of social media monitored by Social Mention is rather big – more than 80 including the most popular like Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google, Yahoo, WordPress, Technorati, etc.

Social Mention search is not very fast, but the results you get for every query are really up-to-date and rather relevant. Results can be sorted by date, source, and post rank; you can view results for a specified time only. As well as in Google, you can apply phrase search (“your query” – in quotes) to narrow your search and get the most relevant results.

Social_mention

Social Mention also provides social media alerts. They are much like well known Google Alerts, but for social media – free daily email alerts on selected search phrases. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed for mentions of certain keyword and save your search results as CSV\Excel file.

Besides, you can get a kind of analysis of your search term popularity – you can see strength, sentiment, passion and reach values for each query. Also you’ll see the info about average time per mention, last mention time, unique authors, retweets, top keywords, top users, top hashtags, rank of the posts that mention your search term and sources where your term is mentioned most often.

Maybe, search results provided by Social Mention sometimes need to be more relevant, but I like the idea and believe  that Socialmention.com is a good implementation of real time search idea and it will be improved in the future.

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June 25, 2009 Posted by | internet, Online tools, search engines, Social Networks, Web 2-0 | Leave a comment

Firefox addons for sharing and social interaction

Social networks are on the peak of their popularity. How to make sharing in social media easier and faster? Use the best Firefox extensions for sharing and bookmarking content within social networks:

addthisAddThis – one of the most popular sharing tools is now presented as Firefox plugin. By adding AddThis to your browser, you have all your social bookmarking and sharing tools at your fingertips. Share any page, anytime, with anyone.

shareaholicShareaholic – enables you to quickly, and very easily share, e-mail, bookmark, and blog links via a wide array of your favorite web 2.0 social networking, bookmarking, blogging, and e-mail services. Shareaholic supports over 40 services including Twitter, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Delicious, MySpace, Sphinn, etc.

share-thisShare This – makes sharing any online content quick and easy. The ShareThis plugin allows you to share text, pictures and video to any contact via email, IM, text message, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Twitter and many more services. You can also store your shares for later or re-share them with the ShareThis ShareBox.

social-mediaSocial Media for Firefox – status bar that shows the number of Diggs, Reddit Votes, Stumble Thumbs and or Reviews, and Del.icio.us tags, Tweets, Sphinns, Mixx, and Tip’d votes so you can quickly see how popular certain content is. Also scans said social sites to show you what content hasn’t been submitted to other social news sites so you can be the first to add it.

yoono1Yoono – simplifies your social life on the web by centralizing all your social networks and instant messaging in one easy to use browser sidebar. Get all your friend updates automatically wherever you are on the web and update your status instantly across Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and more. Easily share these discoveries with your friends via your social networks.

mingglMinggl – a social interaction manager. The Minggl toolbar makes it easy to manage information, communication, and navigation across (and independent of) social networks. Minggl works with Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, LinkedIn, Digg and… more soon.

synergyshareSynergyShare – allows you to share any web page with over 50 social networking sites through the right-click menu. The only shortcoming is that SynergyShare is only compatible with Firefox 1.5 – 2.0.0.

Coming soon: Firefox addons for Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Facebook, StumbleUpon, etc. Don’t miss the next posts!

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May 7, 2009 Posted by | Browsers, internet, Mozilla Firefox, Social Networks, Web 2-0 | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

March’s most interesting and important news

calendar_march

My dear readers, this post will be the starting point of my monthly summaries of interesting and important news from all around the Web. I’ll be glad to see your comments, feedback or additions.

So, let’s start:

1. Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 Final. It can be downloaded from here. Read more about the new features of IE8.

2. Gmail added new features to Labs:

3. Microsoft launched The WorldWide Telescope Web Client Alpha to let you explore the univerce from within your browser. Web Client requires Microsoft Silverlight to be installed on your computer. It has less features than Windows client, but it’s still a great innovation, and a probable competitor of Google Sky.

4. Google made improvements to search results pages:

  • More useful related searches is now can be found for every query.
  • Longer snippets (a few lines of text that describe found pages in search results) for long queries.

5. Twitter fans was fooled by BBspot’s “Twitter Premium Account” hoax.

6. Blizzard improved their popular Battle.net. The main change is a “centralized account system that will let players manage all of their Blizzard Entertainment games, including World of Warcraft and future games, in one place without having to remember multiple sets of login information.”

This is what the March was for Internet community. And now we’re waiting for April and its news and innovations.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | internet, Web 2-0 | 3 Comments

Unusual traffic boosters

So much is written about traffic boosters and how to generate traffic for a website. There are techniques everyone knows about and almost everyone uses – keyword targeting, creating good content, link building, joining online communities, providing newsletters, etc. I’m tired to read about it, and you? All of these are so well-known that they became boring. It’s time to look for something new:

  • Making links attractive for visitors. Assuming you’ve found where to place links to your website – on your partner’s websites, on your blog, etc. – how will you make visitors click them? How will they attract the attention of your potential visitors? Usual textual links have minimal visibility and don’t excite interest. Pictures are much better – they attract attention and give an idea about what visitors can find by clicking the link. But moving pictures, like a slideshow, are even better. Moving objects are the first we see on a web page. That’s why creating a slideshow, even as small as a size of the smallest banner block on a sidebar, can make your link more visible and therefore more clickable. It’s better to make slideshows with built-in links. Also, different links can be assigned to different slides to drive traffic exactly to the web pages you need. Such slideshows can be easily created with the special software, for example, with the tool I’ve already recommended you – FlashSlider.

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  • Localization and geographical targeting. Do you know that English is spoken by only 35% of Internet users? Do you know that only ≈40% of queries on search engines are submitted in English? Do you know that search engines offer different results for the same queries depending on the user’s location? Websites to be displayed on the first page of search results are websites targeted for certain location. So, if your website is targeted globally, it can be ranked lower than websites with the similar content targeted for the place where the search query comes from. The first thing you can do is to translate a website at least to languages you know. The more languages, the better results. Language of the website is one of the main factors search engines take into account to determine its geographical belonging. The next is to make geographic targeting for a website, especially if it has a neutral top-level domain (e.g. com, org). Of course, if you really target globally, you shouldn’t exclude your potential visitors by setting local targeting, in this case you’d better to translate your website to different languages.
  • Traffic Programmer. A neat Firefox add-on: without registering and logging or providing any personal info, you become a member of web surfers network. You auto-surf other members’ websites, they surf yours generating the unique traffic for you. This is the simplest you can do. Unlikely to social networks, communities and bookmarking services, it doesn’t require much time and work from you. Everyone who has ever worked with social networks knows that to drive a real traffic from here, you have to spend hours every day. That’s why I like Traffic Programmer – it generates unique traffic with no efforts.

That’s the traffic generators I use. I’ll be glad to learn about yours in comments!

March 17, 2009 Posted by | search engines, traffic, Web 2-0, website promotion | , , , | 5 Comments

Facebook’s forth and back

The most discussed topic of the past few weeks on the Web was, of course, Facebook’s new Terms of Use.  Actually, there were nothing special in these terms except one little point that Facebook owns shares users’ uploaded info. Also, this info isn’t deleted even after deleting user’s profile. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to calm down users by telling they always own and control their content and ask them to trust Facebook (read the post). Still, as “trust” is not a legal term, thousands of users and Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have demanded Facebook to return to the previous terms of use.  This Tuesday, Facebook has returned to the previous terms, but not for a long time, as Mark Zuckerberg said (read the post). They’ll develop new terms to satisfy both Facebook and its 175 million users. So, everyone’s invited to join Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities group to discuss the next version of the Terms.

Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

I can hardly imagine how such a numerous and diverse group of people as Facebook users are can come to a single opinion. Still, the idea to ask for users’ feedback is great and I with Facebook good luck in developing the new Terms. Join and take part!

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Social Networks, Web 2-0 | Leave a comment