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  • Gerrit Eicker 17:59 on 3. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Personalisation, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Free News.me 

    News.me of NYT and Betaworks relaunches as a free Twitter/Facebook aggregator on the iPhone; http://eicker.at/FreeNewsMe

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:00 on 3. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      News.me: “News.me is a small team based out of betaworks in New York City. We build applications that improve the way people find and talk about the news. – We have an iPhone app, an iPad app, and a daily email that deliver the best stories shared by your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

      News.me: “News.me for iPhone delivers the must-read news from your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Reading the news has always lent itself to a social experience: from the breakfast table to the water cooler to the classroom. But on the social web we’re no longer just ‘readers’ – we are all publishers, curating and distributing links to our own audience of friends and followers. – Yet when it comes to finding news on Twitter and Facebook, we hear the same complaint over and over again: ‘there’s too much stuff!’ At News.me, we want to help people wade through the chatter to find the news that truly matters. – News.me for iPhone analyzes all the links shared by your friends to find only the most relevant news for you. News.me is smart – it does the hard work of finding the right news so that you don’t have to. Each article is then presented in a beautiful stream that displays the publisher, headline, photo, and most importantly, what your friends are saying about it.”

      RWW: “News.me launched its free iPhone app this morning, which introduces Facebook integration, a saved offline reading list that syncs with the iPad app and Instapaper, and new, simple social dynamics of its own. It digests the links shared by Twitter and Facebook contacts, checks Bit.ly for their popularity, and presents a list of the top news stories in a clean, readable environment. … I hate ‘It’s-the-this-of-that’ tech news stories, but I hope this comparison is meaningful: What Instagram is to photos and Path is to personal moments, News.me is to news. It’s a one-thumbed way to connect with people over the news of the day.

      GigaOM: “News.me has an interesting history: It started as a skunkworks project inside the New York Times – an attempt on the part of a couple of NYT developers to come up with a way of filtering Twitter based on a user’s social network. The team formed a partnership with the New York-based incubator and venture firm Betaworks (creator of services such as the Bitly link-shortener and Chartbeat) and then News.me was eventually absorbed into Bitly and the New York Times wound up with shares in the company.”

      TC: “A bit unusually, the part of the app that you’ll use first may actually be the least interesting. In some ways, the new app is just a redesign of what News.me was already offering through its iPad and email products – a list of news stories, pulled from your Facebook and Twitter streams, then curated based on signals from Twitter and bit.ly, and presented with the context of the initial tweet or Facebook comment. … Although the company has been focused on the iPhone recently, and even though the iPad app has been less successful than the email digest, it sounds like Levine plans to add the new features to the iPad eventually.

      AT: “The goal isn’t to just be yet another news service – the idea is that you’re more likely to care about what your friends and family are sharing (compared to a standard firehose of news coming from every direction), which is why you might want to use a service that analyzes your feeds for shared stories. ‘We’re bringing you the best of your Twitter and Facebook in a streamlined interface, along with a venue for you to converse about news with your friends,’ News.me developer Robert Haining told Ars on Thursday. … The News.me iPhone app also offers a Reading List feature, which is pretty much what you would expect. Like Safari’s Reading List or even Instapaper itself, you can mark stories from your News.me feed to read offline.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:47 on 24. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Google Plus Pseudonyms, , , Google+ Pseudonyms, , , , , , , , , Nicknames, , , , , Personalisation, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus Pseudonyms? Not yet! 

    Google Plus updates its real name policy: allows nicknames if they areestablished; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusPseudonyms

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    • Gerrit Eicker 07:47 on 24. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Horowitz, Google: “Since launch we’ve listened closely to community feedback on our names policy, as well as reviewed our own data regarding signup completion. The vast majority of users sail through our signup process – in fact, only about 0.1% submit name appeals. … Today we’re pleased to be launching features that will address and remedy the majority of these issues. To be clear – our work here isn’t done, but I’m really pleased to be shipping a milestone on our journey. … Over the next week, we’ll be adding support for alternate names – be they nicknames, maiden names, or names in another script – alongside your common name. This name will show up on your Google+ profile and in the hovercards which appear over your name. … On Google+, we try to flag names which don’t represent individuals, such as businesses or abstract ideas which should be +Pages. Sometimes we get this wrong, so starting today we’re updating our policies and processes to broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trenchcoat to +Madonna. – If we flag the name you intend to use, you can provide us with information to help confirm your established identity.

      Google: “Your name and Google+ Profiles – Google+ makes connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world. Because of this, it’s important to use your common name so that the people you want to connect with can find you. Your common name is the name your friends, family or coworkers usually call you. For example, if your legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, any of these would be acceptable. – If you are unable to complete the Google+ sign-up flow, or if your profile is or could be suspended for a name-related issue, review our guidelines below. If your profile name was already saved, and we find your name doesn’t adhere to our Names Policy, you will have a four day grace period to change your name or appeal our finding before we take further action. … If you’ve followed these guidelines but your name still isn’t being accepted by our system, please follow the on-screen instructions to submit your name for review. You can provide us with several different types of information to help confirm your established identity. These could include: Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license – Proof of an established identity online with a significant following – References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc. – We’ll review the appeal and typically get back to you within a few days. We may also ask for further information, such as proof that you control a website you reference.”

      RWW: “Google’s initial handling of pseudonyms on Google+ was draconian. Critics argued that a real-names policy endangers politically active users, and that it’s not even how real peoples’ identities work. In response, Google’s Vic Gundotra said in October that Google+ pseudonym support was coming. Today’s addition of ‘alternate names’ at least allows users to display an identity of their choice, but Google will still actively patrol the network to establish users’ identities. … Kevin Marks has captured Google engineer Yonatan Zunger’s explanation of the policy, making clear that Google only cares that the names on Google+ sound real. According to Zunger, Google doesn’t care whether you use your own name, only that it looks like a name to Google’s algorithm. Short online handles are not allowed.

      VB: “However, Google+ accounts are increasingly being linked to other Google web product accounts, from Gmail to Blogger. Someday soon, Google+ accounts will likely be linked to products like Google Checkout, where only a ‘real world’ identity will do. As Horowitz mentioned in a recent long interview with VentureBeat, Google is well aware of the complexities and challenges of managing multiple personas and identities online, and the company is thinking carefully about how to let each one of us be who we are, whatever that means for us, on Google’s Internet. – Saying that there are three ways to use any web product, unidentified, identified or pseudonymous, Horowitz told us last year, ‘Certainly, some products like Google search will support ‘incognito’ mode… (but) something like Google Checkout is the highest bar, where financial processes are involved. And there’s a spectrum in between. Some products make sense to support in multiple modes, and it’s sort of a product-by-product decision.‘”

      TC: “Moving forward, Google says that when the Google+ team flags a user name, people can appeal the decision by showing that it’s an ‘established identity,’ either offline or online – though if it’s an online identity, it needs to have ‘a meaningful following.’ – In discussing the issue, Horowitz says that only 0.1 percent of users submit name appeals. Of those users, 60 percent want to add nicknames, 20 percent are businesses that accidentally created a personal Profile rather than a company Page, and 20 percent are people who would prefer to use pseudonyms. To address nicknames, Google+ is adding support for alternate names that display alongside your legal name.

      ZDNet: “Pseudonyms on Google Plus? Wrong. – Google Plus is now only supporting ‘nicknames’ and names in another script in addition to the ‘real name’ users are require to register with the service. – Users’ birth names (or names on ID) are still rooted to the account and displayed with the added name. – The change they made on this explosive issue is minor. The implementation makes it clear that this is ‘nickname’ support and not true pseudonym support. – Clarification: The very limited pseudonym option to be offered in Plus is not tied to a user’s ‘real name’ only if the user signs up for a new account using a pseudonym (and the ‘nym is considered ‘established’ and gets approved by Google’s hazy ‘appeal’ process – or you are famous, like Horowitz’s example, Madonna). … A pseudonym is a different name that is used in place of someone’s real name, for a wide variety of legitimate reasons. … Google Plus and its truly problematic pseudonym policy encompasses issues of online harassment, personal safety, political speech, sexual minorities, women and gender identity, privacy, the collection and use of personal information by corporations, identity verification, and online deception. – So if you left Google Plus because you couldn’t safely use a pseudonym – don’t come back just yet.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:50 on 12. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Department of Justice, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Personalisation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Search Plus 

    Constine: There’s blood in the water surrounding Google Search Plus; http://eicker.at/SearchPlus

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    • Gerrit Eicker 08:50 on 12. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Constine, TC: “Sharks Circle Around Google Search+: EPIC Cries Antitrust, Twitter Provides Evidence – There’s blood in the water surrounding Google Search+… EPIC believes that by surfacing in search results the private content shared with a user by their friends, Search+ may violate privacy. I personally don’t buy that argument. Yes, it’s a bit shocking to see private content in Google Search results where we’ve come to expect only public content. However, private content isn’t exposed to anyone that couldn’t already see it, so I think EPIC is fear mongering around privacy. … The issue is that Google has the data to surface its competitors in People and Pages, but doesn’t. Hey, maybe this is all a clever ploy to bring antitrust scrutiny to Facebook’s deal with Microsoft’s Bing to sour its IPO.

      Eldon, TC: “Google+ Search = A Way To Call The Feds In On IPO-Bound Facebook (?) – Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to get my head around why Google has force-integrated its Google+ social network into its main search feed at the expense of leading social services like Facebook and Twitter. The situation seems like an antitrust case waiting to happen, because Google could easily choose to feature the publicly available content from its social rivals in the same way it is showing its own product within its market-dominating search engine. It just hasn’t. … There could be a grand strategy for provoking the US government to investigate the market shares of search and social products as a single issue, in a way that puts Facebook on the defensive, especially as it looks to go public. … The big catch to this idea, at least for now, is that when you consider Bing’s relatively weak market share, and the lack of effect Facebook has had on it, it’s unclear if the Justice Department will take this sort of issue seriously. Facebook may be the Google of the future, but Google is the Google of the present. And maybe Google is just trying to see what it can get away with ahead of what we can expect to be habitually slow federal interest in whatever moves it makes.

      Coldewey, TC: “There has been a great quantity of vitriol corroding the social web over the last few days, a reaction to Google’s decision to optionally integrate Google+ features into their search. … Google is a datavore. All it wants to do is collect data, organize it, and then deliver it to people, peppered with ads and the occasional sales commission. Viewed from this perspective, the new social search is simple – innocuous. The biggest crime Google has committed is giving it such a cumbrous name. … A search that is ostensibly social-focused should be pulling information primarily from Facebook and Twitter, right? I agree. Yet it doesn’t. And people’s accusing fingers jumped up to point at Google, though the problem isn’t Google’s. … What rich data does Facebook share? What deep search does Twitter permit? Google can’t produce something it doesn’t have, and what it does produce isn’t destructive to search – and if it were so, it can be turned off with a click. … There’s nothing controversial about competition. Google has started a new service that gives social data prominent placement. Ironically, the fact that people are complaining that it is not integrative enough (as opposed to Twitter and Facebook initiatives, which are often not integrative at all, and sometimes deliberately exclusive) testifies to Google’s adherence to their promise of even-handedness. … I think it falls outside that area, which to me begs the question, but no doubt the discussion will continue, and Google’s actions will have repercussions further down the line.

      SEL: “Real-Life Examples Of How Google’s ‘Search Plus’ Pushes Google+ Over RelevancyBy having a dominant position in search, Google might ultimately be responsible for going above-and-beyond to include competitors. That’s part of what the current anti-trust investigations into Google are all about. One complaint over today’s move – though likely mostly about privacy – is already being readied. – Google’s job as a search engine is to direct searchers to the most relevant information on the web, not just to information that Google may have an interest in. – These suggestions would be better if they included other services, and that’s the standard Google’s search results should aim for, returning the best. … If You’re Not On Google+, You’re Not A Suggestion… Why Google+ Is A Must-Have For Marketers… Is there anyone out there who still wants to say that being on Google+ doesn’t matter? Anyone? Because when being on Google+ means that you potentially can have your Google+ page leap to the top in those sidebar results, Google+ matters. It matters more than ever before. … It’s not Google’s job to be sticking it to anyone with its search results. Those results are supposed to be showing what are the most relevant things for searchers out there. That’s how Google wins. That’s how Google sticks it to competitors, by not trying to play favorites in those results, nor by trying to punish people through them.

      RWW: “Will Bing Get A Boost Thanks To Google’s Your Way? – All of this could play well for Bing. Since 2009, the number three search engine has had a partnership with Twitter similar to the one that lapsed with Google last summer. Since the Google agreement expired, it is now easier to find tweets in Bing via realtime searches than it is in Google. At the time of the breakup in July, it was unclear which side walked away, but Bing was quick to renew its ties with Twitter and strike a similar deal with Facebook. … The fallout from search isn’t the only reason why Bing may get a boost this year. The company has improved integration of Bing with Xbox and Kinect, which helps Microsoft grab a younger demographic when gamers move their search activity online from their consoles. Bing has also been working to improve its mobile offerings, releasing a much-imtpoved Bing app for Android and iOS5. – But perhaps the biggest indication that Bing is worth paying attention to came from Google itself, when it paid $900 million to Mozilla to be the default search engine in Firefox for the next three years.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 11. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Personalisation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Search Plus 

    Google Search goes Plus Your World: personal search adds Google Plus, global doesn’t; http://eicker.at/GoogleSearchPlus

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    • Gerrit Eicker 08:54 on 11. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Search, plus Your World – Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. … We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features: Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts-both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page; Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and, People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community. – Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started. … When it comes to security and privacy, we set a high bar for Search plus Your World. Since some of the information you’ll now find in search results, including Google+ posts and private photos, is already secured by SSL encryption on Google+, we have decided that the results page should also have the same level of security and privacy protection. That’s part of why we were the first major search engine to turn on search via SSL by default for signed-in users last year. … We named our company after the mathematical number googol as an aspiration toward indexing the countless answers on webpages, but that’s only part of the picture. The other part is people, and that’s what Search plus Your World is all about.

      SEL: “Google’s search results are undergoing their most radical transformation ever, as a new ‘Search Plus Your World’ format begins rolling out today. It finds both content that’s been shared with you privately along with matches from the public web, all mixed into a single set of listings. … The new system will perhaps make life much easier for some people, allowing them to find both privately shared content from friends and family plus material from across the web through a single search, rather than having to search twice using two different systems. – However, Search Plus Your World may cause some privacy worries, as private content may appear as if it is exposed publicly [it is not]. It might also cause concern by making private content more visible to friends and family than those sharing may have initially intended. … ‘The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful,’ said Amit Singhal, who oversees Google’s ranking algorithms, when I talked with him about the new features. … Search Plus Your World doesn’t cover content on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Flickr. Or any social network or place where content might be shared to a more limited audience. Currently, ‘Search Plus Your World’ would be better described as ‘Search Plus Google+’ … As said, the ability to search for private content on Google+ isn’t new. However, I wonder if having it integrated into Google’s search results itself might cause some surprises and issues for both Google and its users. … Don’t like the idea of personalized search? Disappointingly, Google didn’t go the opt-in route. Instead, you have to deliberately opt-out. … Personalized Is The New ‘Normal’ … Overall, I like the integration that allows for searching through private and public material. As I’ve said, I think many people will find it useful. – I do think there are some additional privacy controls that could be added, in particular, the ability for people to opt their content out of being found through search, if they want. … Yes, there are things that Facebook or Twitter might not allow, not without Google cutting deals or agreeing to terms it may not want to.

      RWW: “If you’re like me, you’ve dreaded this day. Just last week, I wrote that Google+ was going to mess up the Internet by turning Web search into a popularity contest. But the new Google unveiled today leaves the user in control. ‘Search, plus Your World,’ Google has called it. It’s two kinds of search, and they’re separate. If you don’t want Google+-flavored results, just switch to global mode. You can even turn off personalized search altogether. … Even when you search in personal mode, Google wants to show you the most relevant result at the top, even if its not from Google+. Prior to today’s update, this wasn’t happening reliably. The source of my concerns about Google+ was the prominence of Google+ results in search when outside Web results were more relevant. … Of course, this mode will still privilege content posted to Google+ ahead of other social networks.But today’s ‘Search, plus Your World’ update actually softens the impact of Google+ on search. Google+ content is better integrated with outside stuff now, and, of course, it’s optional, even for logged-in users. There are still problems with the state of Google search, but none of them are as dire as they were a week ago. – Now that Google users have control over the level of personalization, I don’t think Google+ will mess up the Internet anymore. Social SEO will not take over, because natural search results still matter. My fear last week was that anyone who wanted to use Google would be forced to use Google+. Today’s update shows good faith. Google has given its users control.

      GigaOM: “Google+ just got a new killer app: search – Google has begun to integrate Google+ posts, pages and profiles into its Google.com search results. The move is meant to personalize search, and offers some interesting opportunities for content discovery – but first and foremost, it’s gonna be a big boost for Google+ itself. … The new Google+ search integration comes with a kind of on-off switch, making it possible to switch back and forth between the classic Google view of the world and a more personalized version. Users who opt for the personal approach will get to see relevant posts from the people they have added to their circles as well as pages from brands and celebrities relevant to their search results. … I’ve long argued that Hangouts are a kind of killer app for Google+. With the launch of personalized search, the service just got a new killer app.

      TC: “What most alarms me about today’s ‘Google Search Plus Your World’ announcement is how it will distort name searches. When I Google someone’s name, I’m typically looking for a Wikipedia entry, their Twitter account, a personal website, or an author page on their blog. … I know getting people to sign up for Google+ is crucial to tying people’s behavior across Google products to their identity to power ad targeting. But seriously Google, best-in-class search is why we love you. Is it really worth sacrificing your integrity to drive signups?

      VB: “Twitter is not happy with Google’s new social search features. So unhappy, in fact, that the company is calling it a ‘bad day for the Internet’ and media overall. ‘We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone,’ the company said in a statement. ‘We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.’ … One Google spokesperson told VentureBeat: ‘For years now we’ve been working with our social search features to help you find the most relevant information from your friends and social connections, no matter what site that content is on. However, Google does not have access to crawl all the information on some sites, so it’s not possible for us to surface all that content. Google also doesn’t have access to the social graph information from some sites, so it’s not possible to help you find information from those people you’re connected to.'”

      GigaOM: “Is adding Google+ to search a red flag for regulators? – Neither side has said why the arrangement with Twitter came to an end (sources say the company wanted a lot more money in return for its data), but today’s note about unfair competition suggests the two won’t be working together any time soon – and the odds of Facebook suddenly wanting to make its data available seem equally remote. But as others have pointed out, Google is being somewhat disingenuous when it says it can’t get information from Twitter, since all tweets and profile info (unless explicitly hidden by a user) is available to be crawled and indexed by anyone, including Google.

      TC: “But Twitter does have a point: people trust Google to serve up the most timely, relevant information possible. And without Twitter’s data, it’s going to have a hard time doing that. Of course, Google probably already has its own answer to this drafted, and I suspect it reads something like, ‘if Twitter wants people to find tweets in Google, they can open up their API.’ I’m reaching out to them for their official response now. – Update: Google just posted this response to its official Google+ Page: ‘We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.’

      RWW: “Sure they’re concerned. Is it true, though? It’s not like Twitter’s own search tools are that helpful; Google is still the best Twitter search tool there is. It recently acquired Julpan, a social search company, so maybe Twitter has a better idea. But if you search for content that’s on Twitter, Google will find it. If Twitter wants full-featured integration into Google search, that’s up to them. I’m sure Google would be delighted to oblige. – Nothing about today’s update makes things worse for Google’s competitors in Google results. If anything, it just means they have more work to do.

    • webwerkstatt 21:30 on 11. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google ist still no.1 and they will keep their position for years. Twitter is only a short message service and an integration would be great for them

      • Gerrit Eicker 07:01 on 12. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I suppose Twitter wouldn’t be Twitter if it’d be “only a short message service”, but that’s just my 2 cents. – But I’m with you regarding the question who’s got to deliver: it’s Twitter, not Google. Twitter will have to decide if they want money or attention…

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:55 on 10. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Collecting, , , , , , , Decor, Decoration, , , , , , , , , , , , , , Personalisation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Pinterest 

    The expoding sharing and curation service, Pinterest, is first and foremost a women’s network; http://eicker.at/Pinterest

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:55 on 10. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pinterest: “Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. – Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To get started, request an invite.Redecorate your Home! Joy uses Pinterest to save decorating ideas for her new home in LA. She saves patterns, furniture, and accessories that catch her eye. … Plan a Wedding! Divya and Ben use Pinterest to plan their wedding. Their Moms can leave comments about the dresses, flowers, and ties they pin up. … Find your Style! Tim uses Pinterest to share his personal style. He pins clothing, shoes and accessories he finds while browsing stores and fashion blogs. … Save your Inspirations! Sha uses Pinterest to save design inspirations for his job. He can reference inspiring design work to share with his team at Trulia. … Save Your Recipes! Jessica uses Pinterest to discover new gluten free recipes. She always has a collection of tasty appetizers and desserts she can cook when she’s hungry and looking for ideas. … Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.

      Hitwise: “The social media space continues to evolve. Pinterest, a site launched in March 2010 that describes itself as an online pinboard to organize and share things you love, recently emerged as one of the top 10 websites within the Hitwise Social Networking und Forums category. The invitation only site received nearly 11 million total visits during the week ending December 17, 2011, almost 40 times the number of total visits versus just six months ago (week ending June 18, 2011). … Pinterest content has something for everyone, but the site is dominated by images featuring home decor, crafts, fashion, and food. Not surprisingly, visitors to the site in the 12 rolling weeks ending December 17th skewed female (58%) and between the ages of 25 and 44 (59%). … In fact, nine of the top ten over-indexed states for Pinterest visitors also over-index for the Hobbies and Crafts category (versus the online population) which is expected given the abundance of crafts content on the website.”

      RWW: “A Guy’s Guide To Pinterest – Once I had added a few people and pinned a few images, the second thing I noticed is that my main feed resembled the walls of the college apartment I shared with three other guys in the mid-nineties. We barely had enough money for books and beer, so our decor was mainly posters thrown out by video rental stores (remember those?) and stuff torn out of magazines. … In addition to following curated lists, it didn’t take long for me to figure out ways I could personally use Pinterest. So far I’ve mainly had fun just browsing images and seeing how other people use Pinterest, but it does seem to hold some advantages over the other sites I’ve been using to store links and found items from the Internet. … Arik Hanson has interviews with 15 top Pinterest users on his Communications Conversations blog, and those seasoned users have far more ideas on how to use Pinterest than this rookie. It’s interesting to note that almost all of the respondents say something about using it to collect ideas and thoughts that interest them.”

      DT: “Pinterest was launched in March 2010 and over these 20 months it has built up a large base of followers, even with its invitation-only hurdle. Hitwise points out that in just the past six months the social bookmarking site has had a surge of visits, topping out at 11 million at the end of last week- which is almost 40 times the visits it had in June. … Online pinboard sites seem to be the new social networking wave, and though Pinterest is the lead representative, we’ve previously pointed out a few noteworthy virtual collector alternatives. Pinterest basically allows you to ‘pin’ images found while surfing the web onto your virtual pinboard and organize the images into different themes, which users can then share with others.”

      GigaOM: “Essentially [Pinterest] allows you to create visual collections of things that you like and find on the web… Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr – these are all services that are about a major societal trend called hyperpersonalization. … From the foods we eat, the drinks we chug, the jeans we wear, the bags we buy, the shoes we run in – they are pretty universal. As a result, we all want to stand out in this massive mass of humanity. … The online world is even worse: Everything looks so similar that we do need to do something to stand out. And you can do that by building a carefully curated image of yourself that you are trying to project onto the world. … I am sure we are going to hear more about Pinterest and other curation-centric companies in the months to come.

      Elad: “The most interesting wave hitting the social web in 2012 is social curation. This was kicked off in 2011 as Pinterest’s growth was noticed by Silicon Valley and a number of companies quickly followed suit – Snip.It launched as a social information curation platform, Quora adopted boards for a similar purpose, and Fab.com launched a structured social commerce feed. … Social Media: Evolving From Long Form To Push Button – In the evolution of social media over the last decade, the trend has been a move from long form content, which has high friction of participation (both on the production and consumption side) to ever lower requirements placed on a user to participate in a conversation. … This new affordance is currently being adopted by other sites leading to all sorts of interesting behavior including: Collecting news and information. Commerce. Social media. … 2012 will likely see an acceleration of structured, push button, social curation across the web. Why? Because most users don’t want to take much effort to produce content, and consuming content in a structured manner (especially photos) is also much faster.

      Forbes: “Pinterest And Quora: Why Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button Is So 2011 – The idea sounds simple enough to fall in the someone-must-have-thought-of-this-before category. And yet Pinterest seems to be doing very successfully what most Silicon Valley start ups struggle to pull off: It is appealing to people outside of its environs. … Pinterest asks you to create something in your liking, not just mention it scatter-shot, or worse, meekly affirm it. … Enough with this liking stuff, people. It’s time to love! … Liking, we’ll realize in 2012, was just too darn easy. … Please like this article on Facebook, pin it on Pinterest and post it to your Board on Quora. I’ll follow you on Twitter, I promise, and let’s totally hang out this summer.”

      RWW: “How Businesses Are Using Pinterest – Sharing Ideas On How To Use A Company’s Products: Whole Foods is getting around the blatant self-promotion ban by creating food-porn Pinboards that clearly encourage people to use their products. Pinboards with titles like ‘Super HOT Kitchens’ and “Who Wants Dinner?” are aimed at getting people into the kitchen (via an implied trip to their local Whole Foods). … Make Products Accessible: A lot of users have been using Pinterest to share photos of dreamed-for decadence: the perfect last meal, an extravagant, over-the-top wedding or the dream vacation. Picking up on that trend, vacation rental service HomeAway has started posting photos of its properties in an attempt to show viewers dream vacations may be within reach, according to HomeAway spokesperson Jordan Hoefar. ‘The content our social media team puts on Pinterest differs from other networks because there’s a greater emphasis on the uniqueness of images in order to capture the user’s eye and help them realize their vacation fantasy can both be a reality and also affordable, which leads to them going to our website, browsing more than 625,000 vacation homes and sharing possible homes for future stays,’ he said in an email.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:01 on 13. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Browser Extension, Browser Toolbar, , , , , , Link Filtering, , , , , , , , Personalisation, , , , , , , , , Social Framework, , , StumbleUpon Paid Discovery, StumbleUpon Recommendation Technology, , ,   

    StumbleUpon 

    Is social bookmarking and link filtering service StumbleUpon finally gaining traction? http://eicker.at/StumbleUpon

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:01 on 13. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      In October 2011 StumbleUpon crossed the 20 million users‘ mark: “We are excited to announce that StumbleUpon has just reached 20 million members! We’ve come a long way over the last few years, and I wanted to thank all of our Stumblers for helping us get to this point. What started as a Firefox extension has now become available on any browser, as well as iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Our userbase – which has more than doubled since last year – now stumbles more than 1,000 times per second at peak times of the day. When I recently came across a magazine clipping from 2003, it struck me that we now serve as many stumbles in a single hour as we did in our first year of existence! So it’s very exciting for us to reach such a milestone, all from the simple idea of ‘click a button, find cool stuff.’

      StumbleUpon claims it’s driving over 50 percent of social media traffic in the USA: “You may have heard the stat that StumbleUpon drives more traffic referrals than any other social media site. We wanted to shed some light on this by describing the lifecycle of a web page in StumbleUpon, especially how long you could expect the average web page to keep getting visitors. … You might be wondering why the time-on-site data for StumbleUpon traffic that we’ve shared in this graphic may differ from what you’re used to seeing in your web tracking platforms, such as Google Analytics, WebTrends, Yahoo! Web Analytics, CoreMetrics, etc. It’s because these platforms assign a ‘zero’ time-on-site to all single-page visits, regardless of how long those visitors spend on that one page.”

      So what is StumbleUpon?StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of over [20] million other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend. … StumbleUpon uses ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages that friends and like-minded stumblers have recommended. This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn’t find using a search engine. … Using search engines to locate relevant content typically means hunting through pages of results. Rather than searching for quality web sites, StumbleUpon members are taken directly to web sites matching their personal interests and preferences. … Using a combination of human opinions and machine learning to immediately deliver relevant content, StumbleUpon presents only web sites that have been suggested by other like-minded Stumblers.”

      StumbleUpon’s Recommendation Technology: “StumbleUpon integrates peer-to-peer and social networking principles with one-click blogging to create an emergent content referral system. Our patent-pending toolbar system automates the collection, distribution and review of web content within an intuitive social framework, providing users with a browsing experience which resembles ‘channel-surfing’ the web. This architecture has easily scaled to millions of users. … StumbleUpon combines collaborative human opinions with machine learning of personal preference to create virtual communities of like-minded websurfers. Rating websites updates a personal profile (weblog) and generates peer networks of websurfers linked by common interest. These social networks coordinate the distribution of web content, such that users ‘stumble upon’ pages explicitly recommended by friends and peers. This social content discovery approach automates the ‘word-of-mouth’ referral of peer-approved websites and simplifies web navigation.

      How does StumbleUpon’s business model work? “Users stumble the best of the web, finding sites that reflect their interests and friends by simply hitting a button in their browsers or on their mobile devices. With Paid Discovery, your URL becomes part of that stream. The user is eager to engage with new and exciting content, making your product’s discovery a welcome experience in the eyes of a Stumbler. … Pay only for engaged unique visitors, on a budget that you control. No minimum spend and no bidding required.

      Wikipedia: “StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine) that finds and recommends web content to its users. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles. – Toolbar versions exist for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, but StumbleUpon also works with some independent Mozilla-based browsers… StumbleUpon uses collaborative filtering (an automated process combining human opinions with machine learning of personal preference) to create virtual communities of like-minded Web surfers. Rating Web sites update a personal profile (a blog-style record of rated sites) and generate peer networks of Web surfers linked by common interest. These social networks coordinate the distribution of Web content, so that users ‘stumble upon’ pages explicitly recommended by friends and peers. Giving a site a thumbs up results in the site being placed under the user’s ‘favorites’. Furthermore, users have the ability to stumble their personal interests like ‘History’ or ‘Games’.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 1987, 1996, 2007, , 2016, A5, , , , Apple Futureshock, Apple Knowledge Navigator, Apple Siri, , , , Artificial Intelligence Applications, , CALO, , , , , Conversational Interaction, , , , , , , , , Futureshock, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , iPad 2, , , , Knowledge Navigator, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Natural Language Processing, , , , , , , , Personal Assistant, Personal Assistant Application, Personal Interaction, , Personalisation, , , , , , , Siri Beta, , , , Spin-off, SRI, , , , , , , , , , , , , Voice Command, , , , , , ,   

    Siri: Let’s Talk! 

    Potentially Apple’s Siri changes how we interact with computers entirely: Siri, let’s talk! http://eicker.at/Siri

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “Siri. Your wish is its command. – Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it. … Talk to Siri as you would to a person. Say something like ‘Tell my wife I’m running late.’ ‘Remind me to call the vet.’ ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ And Siri answers you. It does what you say and finds the information you need. And then it hits you. You’re actually having a conversation with your iPhone. … Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. So when you ask ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ Siri will reply ‘I found a number of burger restaurants near you.’ Then you can say ‘Hmm. How about tacos?’ Siri remembers that you just asked about restaurants, so it will look for Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. And Siri is proactive, so it will question you until it finds what you’re looking for.”

      Wikipedia: “Siri is a personal assistant application for iOS. The application uses natural language processing to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to an expanding set of web services. The iOS app is the first public product by its makers, who are focused on artificial intelligence applications. Siri was acquired by Apple Inc. on April 28, 2010. – Siri’s marketing claims include that Siri adapts to the user’s individual preferences over time and personalizes results, as well as accomplishing tasks such as making dinner reservations and reserving a cab. … Siri was founded in December 2007 by Dag Kittlaus (CEO), Adam Cheyer (VP Engineering), and Tom Gruber (CTO/VP Design), together with Norman Winarsky from SRI’s venture group. … It was announced on October 4, 2011 that Siri will be included with the iPhone 4S. The new version of Siri is deeply integrated into iOS, and offers conversational interaction with many applications, including reminders, weather, stocks, messaging, email, calendar, contacts, notes, music, clocks, web browser, Wolfram Alpha, and maps. Currently, Siri only supports English (US, UK, and Australia), German and French. … Siri is a spin-out from SRI International’s Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project, described as perhaps the largest artificial-intelligence project ever launched.”

      TC: “The integration with iOS seems to be just as impressive as we’ve been hearing: you can ask it to remind you to call someone before you leave the office, and it’ll automatically create an entry in the Reminders app, complete with a geo-fence just to be sure. You can also ask Siri to read your queued messages to you and make an appointment in the Calendar app. – The worst part so far? Siri indeed seems to require the iPhone 4S’s extra horsepower, because it appears to be a 4S exclusive. The kicker? Siri was originally a run-of-the-mill iPhone app. What a shame. – Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come.

      WP: “As rumored, Apple’s doing some all-new voice-control AI stuff in iOS 5. It’s called Siri, which is the name of the app Apple bought for $200 million a couple years ago. … You can also ask Siri to look things up on Wikipedia for you, and Siri can use Wolfram Alpha to do more complicated calculations. Siri’s list of capabilities is near endless, including asking it to play genres of music for you, look up something on maps, or what the weather is. Our favorite question? ‘Siri, who are you?’ Siri responds: ‘I am your humble personal assistant.’ … The bad news? All this great stuff is only available for the iPhone 4S – Apple had to do something to force an upgrade! In all seriousness, some of this AI functionality can be incredibly processor intensive, so Siri might be leaning on the A5 chip quite heavily.”

      MLS: “Siri Search, makes use of Yelp’s business ratings, thus this makes instantly makes Yelp a strong local competitor to Google Places. Yelp is now very relevant to your small business rankings. Google Places has been the big dog in local optimization or as I call it, Local Awesomeization… And your places ranking and profile completion has become very important for your local marketing.- Now, Siri, which is a virtual assistant will be able to find you anything you want… and it is using the Yelp Reviews to rank the recommendations. … Nuture your Yelp account now. Claim it, and begin getting good reviews. Local search is a science, and you have to get that information out there.

      GigaOM: “Apple’s intent when it bought Siri was rumored to be building a search engine, though Jobs defused that speculation by saying, ‘We have no plans to go into the search business. We don’t care about it – other people do it well.’ But Jobs also said earlier last year: ‘On a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on the desktop. They’re (consumers are) spending all their time on these apps – they’re using apps to get to data on the internet, not generalized search.‘ – With Siri, Apple doesn’t have to get into the search game if it can use Siri to direct people to the apps, services and information they need. That’s probably not a big money-gainer for Apple, but it could put a hurt on rival Google, which relies on search advertising.

      TUAW: “Curious about the iPhone 4S’s new voice assistant feature? So were we. – [We] tracked down a set of example phrases that the new Siri voice assistant is capable of understanding. It turns out that Siri can handle many categories of voice interaction. – Without further ado, here they are, ordered by interaction category, along with Apple-supplied examples of using each category.”

      FC: “Don’t let her dulcet voice and easygoing, eager-to-please manner fool you. Behind Siri, the voice-controlled personal assistant app destined to power Apple’s iPhone 4S, lies the heart of a hardened combat veteran. That’s because the technology was spun out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s high-tech research and development arm. … For now it can only respond to simple commands, but the technology underlying it is anything but. The problem with most speech recognition technology has been that it has a hell of a time with all-too human variations in speech – accents, dialects, intonation, enunciation, and slang. Tell it you want to hide under ‘a rock’ and it might tell you about ‘Iraq.’ Like the dream of the paperless office, which the advent of the personal computer was supposed to herald, speech recognition often makes more work than it saves. Siri promises to change all that, and you should thank the wizards at DARPA. While they didn’t create the technology, they incubated it. … I can’t wait to tell that to my Siri-powered iPhone, although I doubt it’ll know how to respond – not yet, anyhow.

      TC: “The most talked about element of … Apple event had to be Siri. The new feature of the iPhone 4S, born out of Apple’s purchase of the company by the same name in 2010, looks amazing. But one thing never mentioned during the keynote was a key piece of technology behind Siri: Nuance. – We first reported that Siri would be a key part of iOS 5 back in March. As we dug deeper, we learned that Apple and Nuance were involved in negotiations to make sure this could be a reality. You see, Siri does not work without Nuance. … So, is Nuance a part of Apple’s implementation of Siri as well? Yes. Though, don’t bother trying to get anyone to admit that. …Nuance is powering Siri. But Apple clearly struck a deal with Nuance which precludes them from talking about it. This is Apple technology, this is not about Nuance, is how I imagine Apple may put it. Apparently, Nuance is happy enough with Apple’s undoubtedly large check for this licensing agreement that they are willing to keep quiet.

      RWW: “Apple finally introduced the availability of the voice-command personal assistant app it paid $200m for today, called Siri. The military spin-off technology was both widely loved and often panned when it was available independently; it was either lovable Skynet or a fish on a bicycle, depending on who you ask. I tended towards thinking it the latter, myself. … But what do I want as a user – on my iPhone? I want Swype! Swype is a keyboard program available on almost every smartphone in the world except the iPhone. … It’s the fastest way to provide input on a mobile device. It’s fabulous and it’s incredible that Swype isn’t on iOS yet. I assume it’s because of Apple’s strict control over interface design and unwillingness to provide options in design. … Time will tell, but I don’t think Siri is going to be a killer app on the iPhone. Will it be used more than the current iPhone voice control? We’ll see.

      TUAW: “Since the iPhone 4S features the same A5 processor as the iPad 2, owners of Apple’s current-gen tablet have wondered if it’s possible that Siri, Apple’s new voice assistant, might be offered on the iPad 2. … Voice Control as it now exists on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 doesn’t function on the iPad or iPad 2, but there’s a reason for that: the existing commands would be essentially useless on those devices. … On the other hand, Siri’s commands would be immensely useful on the iPad. … In fact, we’ve done some digging into Siri and found that most of the actual work of understanding voice commands gets offloaded to external servers. In essence, the iPhone 4S and its built-in processing functions determine what you said, while Apple’s servers translate that into what you meant and send that information back to your iPhone. … For the time being, Siri remains an iPhone 4S exclusive and one we have yet to test for ourselves. We look forward to putting this innovative feature under our interrogation lights once the iPhone 4S is released on October 14.

      Waxy: “In 1987, Apple released this concept video for Knowledge Navigator [the rest of the video is newer, probably circa 1996 or so, but the Knowledge Navigator part is from 1987], a voice-based assistant combined with a touchscreen tablet computer. … Based on the dates mentioned in the Knowledge Navigator video, it takes place on September 16, 2011. The date on the professor’s calendar is September 16, and he’s looking for a 2006 paper written ‘about five years ago,’ setting the year as 2011. – And … at the iPhone keynote, Apple announced Siri, a natural language-based voice assistant, would be built into iOS 5 and a core part of the new iPhone 4S. – So, 24 years ago, Apple predicted a complex natural-language voice assistant built into a touchscreen Apple device, and was less than a month off.

    • katrce 05:21 on 10. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      hi siri

    • Baby 00:16 on 27. September 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi siri

    • Yo Mama 06:02 on 27. October 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

    • Adrianna 00:56 on 7. March 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes she has a little attitude

    • Doll 01:09 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey siri.

      how you doing today.

    • bigL 22:36 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:13 on 22. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Personalisation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook News Feed: Relevance? 

    Facebook redesigns its news feed for more relevance: resistance is futile; http://eicker.at/FacebookNewsFeedRelevance

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 22. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Facebook: “Starting today, it will be easier to keep up with the people in your life no matter how frequently or infrequently you’re on Facebook. … Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner. … Ticker shows you the same stuff you were already seeing on Facebook, but it brings your conversations to life by displaying updates instantaneously.”

      Guardian: “‘Lame,’ snarks Brandi Genest Weeks on the Facebook blog. ‘Quite frankly I don’t want Facebook deciding who is most important in my life. I want my news feed to just go chronologically and if I want to hide posts from someone, I will. Stop changing. You’re becoming MySpace and I left there for a reason.’ – Ouch. And 845 people ‘Liked’ Brandi’s comment. Almost 500 disgrunted Facebook users concurred with Fiona Robinson, who blasted: “NOOOO! I STILL want ‘most recent’ at the top like it used to be, so we have the OPTION of seeing what has been posted most recently instead of what Facebook deems a ‘top story’. This is total garbage. … Once the ticker is populated with my friends’ Spotify tunes, Vevo videos or Wall Street Journal stories, then I’m interested. How about you?

      RWW: “Whenever Facebook launches a major re-design, there is a user outcry. Partly that’s because Facebook is known for its clumsy and confusing design, partly it’s because people are resistant to change. This time round though, the main issue is that Facebook is trying to be something it is not: a newspaper. … Don’t get me wrong, I applaud many of the changes that Facebook has recently made and is about to make. … Lists for friends, media sharing, filtering information that you see on your homepage through the Subscribe button. All of those are features that enhance Facebook’s core purpose: to be asocial network. And just as importantly, all of those features are directly controlled by the user. Not by Facebook’s software.

      GigaOM: “The repeated use of the term ‘newspaper’ makes it obvious that Facebook wants this new feature to be about more than just seeing updates from your friend’s birthday party – and it could become especially interesting when combined with another new Facebook feature: the launch of the ‘Subscribe’ service, which allows users to follow and get updates from people or sources they are not friends with, in much the same way that Twitter does. Facebook has been promoting that feature as a way to stay connected to what celebrities and journalists are doing, and it seems likely that many of those items could wind up on the top of your ‘personal newspaper‘ thanks to the news feed changes.”

      GigaOM: “The new updates show that Facebook is still in the midst of the ‘launching season’ CEO Mark Zuckerberg first discussed in June, when it announced a new video chat feature with Skype. With the company’s f8 developer conference coming up this Thursday, something tells me that Facebook still has a few more big announcements up its sleeve.”

      AF: “Lest any of us mistake the redesigned news feed and official ticker launch as Facebook giving away the goods before the f8 developers conference this week, Schact said that the company has plenty of other things to announce at the annual event on Thursday. – Of course, users of Facebook will likely grumble about the changed formatting and then decide they like this layout when the next one comes through – that happens every time the site revamps its layouts.”

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