December 2009

Facebook & Google Get URL Shorteners

fbmeURL shorteners have been extremely helpful within the past year or so.  With the use of micro-blogging sites like Twitter, which limits you to 140 character, the use of site shortening services have seen an increase in traffic. 

Today, Facebook users have noticed that the social networking site has come up with its own shortening service.  Known as fb.me, users will now see this to help shorten links they post on the site.  A simple search on Twitter shows that many have already started using the new service.  An example, if you type “fb.me/iePlexus” you’ll be automatically taken to iePlexus’ Facebook Fan Page.  

While in the middle of writing about Facebook’s new feature, Google also announced they have created their own shortener, Goo.gl.  In a blog post early this afternoon, the company says while they are excited for the launch, the service will only be available through the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner. However, it looks like Google wants to eventually open the service up to everyone. 

It should be neat to see how both these services succeed.  However, if companies like Facebook & Google are creating their own shortening services, exclusive site shorteners like tinyurl& bit.ly could no longer exist.

Jet Set Away, Thanks To Social Media

tail-jetblueBy far, one of my favorite things about social media is the amount of free things you can get.  For example, over the summer, I was tweeting back and forth with FOX Chicago news anchor Nancy Loo.  She had mentioned that one of her co-anchors had never had popcorn from Garrett Popcorn, a famous Chicago popcorn eatery.  I had mentioned that I had never had it either and within a matter of minutes I received a Twitter response from Garrett Popcorn inviting me to one of their many stores to try some of their popcorn.  Needless to say, I eventually made my way to one of their shops for some delicious free popcorn.  Ahh, the power of Twitter.

I’ve told you about a few social media contests in the past few months.  Back in October, I shared a contest with you where the Colorado tourism board decided to offer a trip to Colorado for people who had never seen snow in the Snow at First Sight contest.  While an official winner has yet to be determined, the contest is designed around social media.  Users were asked to create a video and promote their video and the contest through Facebook & Twitter.  28 people are currently competing for the trip.  Voting is currently taking place and will soon close as 10 semi-finalist are chosen for a chance to win a dream trip and share their experience through social media.  (more…)

Tweeting The Twitter 12

twitter12Last week, I shared with you a report from The Big Money, which came up with a list of some of the world’s top 50 companies using Facebook to their advantage.  After the article was released, the online magazine revealed another list known as the Twitter 12

To figure out who would make it on the list, the company asked themselves one main question: Which companies get the most out of Twitter?   The Big Money looked at a number of statistics, such as the number of followers, Twitter growth from September through November, how often and what exactly are these companies tweeting.  The magazine only included companies with more than a million followers.   (more…)

The New Aol Launches

aolfishToday AOL launched the new independent ‘Aol.”  The one time powerhouse Internet Service Provider is trying to gain it’s strength back, while its traffic is expected to grow significantly in the weeks and months ahead.

As you’ll notice, AOL’s blue triangle logo is now gone and is replaced by a number of unique objects, such as a goldfish, monster, colored inks, and more than a dozen other options.  The company wanted users to choose what logo they felt appropriate, and change it as often as they’d like to create a positive user experience.  You’ll also notice that not all the letters are capitalized anymore, and it ends with a period.  The once owned by Time Warner company, is officially out on their own and they are definitely trying to make a statement.  (more…)

17% of Facebook Users Use Facebook Connect

facebook-connect2Facebook seems to have yet another statistic which will amaze us once again.  Last week on December 4, Facebook’s feature, Facebook Connect celebrated its one year anniversary since joining the site.  Late Wednesday, the company announced some pretty amazing statistics.

“Today, we are celebrating the first anniversary of Facebook Connect from the LeWeb conference in France,” said Ethan Beard, director of the Facebook Developer Network. “Facebook Connect is now available on more than 80,000 websites, and more than 60 million people are using the service to connect with their friends everywhere.” (more…)

Facebook Simplifies Privacy Settings

facebook_lite_teaserIf you haven’t already noticed, the next time you log onto Facebook, you will most likely be prompted with an “Important message from Facebook.”  The message contains information about Facebook’s new privacy settings. This should come as no surprise since CEO Mark Zuckenberg told users last week that changes were coming, and yesterday the company set up Facebook’s Safety Board.

“Developing privacy controls that work for 350 million people who all use the site in unique ways is a difficult challenge,” said Ruchi Sanghvi in a Facebook blog post this morning. “We’ve put a lot of work into today’s new features, using your suggestions to guide us, and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished.  However, we’re by no means done, and we look forward to your feedback, which will help us develop the next innovation in user control.” (more…)

Google’s Personalized Searches Could Change Rankings

ecsegar09Last week, Google rolled out an additional feature in its  personalized search results, which is based on your experience on the search engine.  This feature has been slowly rolled out to users signed into their Google Accounts.  An example Google likes to give is, searching for recipes. Lets say you simply search “recipes” and have clicked on epicurious.com a number of times.  Google will start ranking their site higher the next time you search for recipes.  It’s as easy as that.

It is a nice feature to have, but as previously stated, the feature was only available for users who were signed into their Google accounts and had their web history enabled.  That’s changing now and anyone using Google will be able to use the feature, even if you don’t have a Google account.  (more…)

Dell Thanks Twitter For $6.5 Million

twitter moneyIt would make sense that a major computer company would use its computers to market their product.  Earlier this year Dell joined the Twitter bandwagon, and currently is one of the most followed companies with just under 1.5 million followers.

In a blog post this morning, Lionel Menchaca, Dell’s Chief Blogger, wrote that social media brings, “a way to listen, learn and engage with customers, with a clear emphasis on the engage part of the equation. It allows us to further those direct connections with customers while also sharing what we are all about, making technology work, work better and harder for you.” (more…)

Facebook’s Safety Board Created

facebook-logoFacebook has always been on top, when it comes to user privacy and keeping their information secure.  On Monday, Facebook announced they were in the process of forming the Global Advisory Board.  The group consists of five organizations including Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, WiredSafety, Childnet International and The Family Online Safety Institute.

Facebook plans on regularly meeting with the group to get up to date information on security issues, to help protect user information. (more…)