The Future is Sukey

If you have been following the Arab uprising with any level of interest,  you cannot have missed the way emerging technologies are choreographing the entire dynamics of the protests.  And it is a level playing field: both law keepers and the protestors have an equal handle. When it wanted to control protestors during the March 26 protests in London, the Met Police (@metpoliceuk)  turned to Twitter: “A containment is now in place in Trafalgar Square. The Met Police ask that you remain calm”

The way the Arab protests ricocheted mainly through tweets, blogs, Facebook and email is now the stuff of legends. Two technological apps, however, stand out. The first is the student-developed smartphone app Sukey   which informs people where the protests are happening and directs them to either join in or move away. The second is the real-time blogging platform, LiveBlogging, where you can share your eyewitness experiences in realtime and receive instant dynamic feedback.  While the latter was, till very recently, mostly used by media organizations, it is now happily populated by union representatives and student bodies who constantly update activities in real-time throughout the day. And in a classic case of mutual reinforcement, it the media organizations that tap into Liveblogging to get the updates in the form of tweets, pictures and text, thus eliminating the need for a journalist to be physically present to record the happenings. Continue reading

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Filed under Civil activism, crowdsourcing, Social media technologies

Dodging The Wall in style

Goliath is now asking for David’s help.

After the New York Times’ online content went under a paywall last week,  it looks like paywall dodgers have not lost time sharpening their knive

Earlier this week,  a Nieman Journalism Lab report spoke about  NYClean,  a bookmark app for web browsers  developed by a Canadian programmer, that tears down the paywall in one click. All it took to break the paywall, according to the report, was ‘four lines of Javacript’.   And all you need is to drag the NYClean bookmarklet  into your toolbar and click it everytime  the NY Times blocks you out of  an article. Continue reading

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Filed under Charging for online content, Online content aggregation, Online journalism

What’s the word on IE9?

Not that I was ever a fan of Internet Explorer, but news of the launch of IE 9 had me tempted for a while, for it came packed with glitzy promises and an overwhelming buzz. I almost gave the boot to my die-hard loyalty to Firefox, but was just about saved by a few blog posts that put things in perspective.

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Filed under IE9 launch, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Online privacy, Safe Browsing

Some good news, and some bad…..

A cluster of posts this week, all of which tie into one another. This is  more likely to be the format from now on since it seems the best way to get the most across.

Happy Five, Twitter!

First off, it will be Twitter’s fifth birthday in just a few days. Those of us twitter addicts who like to think the microblogging site has been around forever may do well to follow co-founder Jack Dorsey (@jack) who will be having a two-week tweetathon about how things started. Today, Twitter released some stats on how the beanstalk grew.  Also, today’s PCMag carries some interesting trivia. Worth spending a few minutes learning about the incredibly modest experiment that turned out to be the game changer that it is today.

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No news is good news

What goes down has to come up….well almost. The Pew Research Center’s much awaited yearly report on the fortunes and falls in the media unveiled today, and has some heartwarming news about how the industry may have started putting its worst years behind.

As you can see, all is not well with the news industry, while other major sectors

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Filed under Crisis in news industr, crowdsourcing, Google Circle, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Today, Newspapers in recession, Online journalism, Online privacy, South by Southwest, State of the News Media, Weekly digest

Beluga goes the FB way

If it was ever in doubt, it became clear early this week that in future, more and more social networking will be done not via  your PC but  your smartphone. Facebook  made a smart business move a couple of days earlier,  when information about the acquisition of the mobile messaging company, Beluga, came out. Beluga users operate in smaller invitation-only pods within which information can be shared using smartphones.


The application is currently available for iPhones and Android smartphones. A clear indication that FB is pushing for more social networking-on-the-go since at least 200 million out its current 500 million plus users access FB through their smartphones. Beluga said more details would be forthcoming. Watch this space for updates.

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More on online privacy. After several (mostly abortive) experiments with changing its privacy policy, Facebook is at it once again. Earlier this week, FB came out with a draft revised privacy policy. “We’re working on communicating about privacy in a simpler, Continue reading

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Filed under Beluga, internet advertising dollars, Newspapers in recession, Online privacy, privacy groups, social networking via smartphones

As if we needed any reason at all….

Not that we need many reasons to convince us that social networking has become an indispensable part of our lives, but having the numbers on our side is always a comfort. Came across this very interesting video by  Jess3 through Mashable.

As you watch, here are a few things you may well pay attention to:

  • The proliferation of zombie computers (those sneak-pullers that are used to send out spam bots, wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese had a separate Ministry for just these)
  • The very interesting graphic about the growth of social networking sites: the slow, almost salubrious pace throughout the ‘90s, the sudden burst of energy in the early part of ‘00s, uptil 2004 when, almost as if by an invisibible hand, the counter starts to  slow down. Looks like Facebook and Twitter’s monstrous growth has created very high entry barriers for start-ups.

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Filed under Growth of social networs

Not just tweeting…twiangulating.

I have a new Twitter toy these days, one that I am having enormous fun with.  I have been alternating between TweetDeck and Hootsuite over the past few months and was delighted to find that Selective Tweets lets me put a ‘follow’ link just below a Facebook update.   Twiangulate , however, ups the game several notches and it is easy to understand why so many social media evangelists are  excited about it.

What Twiangulate gives you is a complete mapping of your Twitter reach and lets you decide which way you want to head and all this without even having to register with them or give out your Twitter password. The screen grab above is pretty much indicative of the  kind of goodies that are in store. You are right in thinking it is like playing Scrabble with your Twitter.

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Filed under Twitter tools