Saturday, May 3, 2008

facebook recovers in the uk

Facebook's loss of 400.000 users in UK in January, down to 8.5 million, seems to have been just a minor blip in its upward surge. New figures indicate that the popular social networking site now has 9.9 million UK users according to Nielsen Online. Facebook now has twice as many UK users as MySpace

These latest figures come at a time when many people are beginning to ask whether they really want to be in a place where they can be found and poked by virtual strangers - and have embarrassing moments from their past plastered all over the Internet (see video in my last post).

While it is a testament to the networking site's success that it features in a TV sketch show it will be interesting to see what effects that exposure will have exactly now that Facebook is being lampooned as they place to hang out for those who really don't have any friends.

But whether the figures Facebook reports are anything in similarity to those we hear about SecondLife is an altogether different story. How many have set up an account, taken a wee peek and never returned?

Friday, May 2, 2008

the funny side of facebook

Ok, I admit and you all know it. I am not the greatest fan of Facebook, so when I came across this video on YouTube (where else?) I thought I had to share it with you. Does any of this ring a bell with you?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

can a charity make file-sharing taboo?

A charity organization by the name of Childnet has launched an campaign whose primary aim is to educate young children about copyright infringements, i.e. downloading music through sites like Limewire.

What makes it eerily odd is that the campaign is funded by the music industry! The BBC-website has an interesting story about it followed by a hoard of comments, one of them mine to be frank, albeit under an even cooler pseudonym than my regular one.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

the funny side of the terminal 5 disaster

Just came across this video through a link on the Edelman-website. Who says there isn't a funny side to British Airways Terminal 5 disaster? Criticism in a song? You've got it. Sit back and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

rss feeds – a tool of real convenience

News feeds allow you to see when websites have added new content. You can get the latest headlines and video in one place, as soon as it is published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from. Feeds are also known as RSS.

There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but most people use the 'Really Simple Syndication' definition. Basically, the feeds themselves are just web pages, designed to be read by computers rather than people.

In general, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. This is a piece of software that checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications. I prefer the latter version.

Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using Outlook, or keep it on a web-based service like Hotmail.

If you click on the RSS button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the feed into your news reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your news reader. Most sites that offer feeds use a similar orange button, but some may just have a normal web link.

Some browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Safari, automatically check for feeds for you when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to feeds much easier. I tried using the built-in Explorer reader but didn‘t find it convenient enough. It could be just me, but once I had tried using Google Reader I realized I had found my RSS-tool of choice. Simply brilliant.

It is possible to create your own feeds, by using the search engines of particular websites. The first step is to choose a search term, and type it into the search engine as normal. You then review the results and if they accurately reflect the topic you have chosen you can now use the orange feeds button to add the selection to your news reader, or to your website.

PS. I know this post exceeds the ideal length but I just found it too complicated to explain the RSS-features in fewer words!

Monday, April 21, 2008

hurdles for beijing olympics blogs?

The freedom of information through blogs is something we've become accustomed to. But what we take for granted has posed a new type of threat to Chinese authorities as they're hosting the Beijing 2008 Olympics this summer.

The IOC, International Olympic Committee, raised the issue on blogs as early as February. And to make the IOC's stance on this totally clear it issued new guidelines stating that: "The IOC considers blogging ... as a legitimate form of personal expression and not a form of journalism," and to allow bloggers only to do so from unaccredited areas.

China has said it will lift the "Great Shield of China" (an existing Internet firewall) during the Games – not least so the thousands of journalists in Beijing will be able to do their jobs properly, but it is interesting to see that the IOC is attempting to put pressure on the Chinese government. The Beijing officials recently "un-blocked" BBC's website in China, although they never admitted there ever was a block of any kind.

The recent unrest during the world-wide run with the Olympic torch should have alerted Beijing that the world will be watching this summer and not just the athletes. But since when have Chinese authorities taken any notice? This time they might be forced to, if only from their own PR point of view.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

early signs of "facebook fatigue"

British internet users are falling out of love with Facebook and the social-networking site has shed 400,000 visitors between December and January, the website's first decline in users, the Guardian writes. According to Alex Burmaster internet analyst of Nielsen Online this year we are likely to see a plateauing of social networking.

Despite the dip, Facebook remains the UK's most popular social-networking site with 8.5 million unique users at the end of January, according to Nielsen Online, down from 8.9 million in December. During the previous 12 month period Facebook sprung from 1.1 million users to 8.9 million highlighting how fast it caught on.

Facebook's nearest rival, MySpace, saw UK traffic drop 5% between December and January. It had 5 million unique users in January. Third-placed Bebo saw its users decline a more modest 2% month on month with 4.1 million users. Together the three networking sites attracted a combined figure of a whopping 21.6 million UK users! From a PR perspective this is a crowd that deserves to be monitored to some extent.

But has the balloon burst? Burmaster claims users are beginning to suffer from “Facebook fatigue” and maintains the aura has worn off a bit. According to the Guardian “there’s a growing sense in the online world that the hype around the company, founded by Harvard drop-out Mark Zuckerberg, has been overdone and the honeymoon is over.”