Posts Tagged ‘Delicious’

‘Next year’s Twitter? It’s Foursquare’ by Pete Cashmore

November 24, 2009

We love Pete Cashmore’s insight into the future landscape of social media.

Next year’s Twitter? It’s Foursquare

By Pete Cashmore, Special to CNN, November 19, 2009 1:18 p.m. EST

Editor’s note: Pete Cashmore is founder and CEO of Mashable, a popular blog about social media. He is writing a weekly column about social networking and tech for CNN.com.

London, England (CNN) — As 2009 draws to a close, with Twitter undoubtedly this year’s media darling and Facebook continuing on its path to global domination, you may wonder which social-media service will become tech’s poster boy in 2010.

Among the Web’s early adopter set, the answer is nearly unanimous: Foursquare.

While the technology landscape is ever-changing, I’d argue that Foursquare already has aligned itself to become next year’s mainstream hit.

The Twitter connection

Birthed by the team that brought us the mobile social network Dodgeball (acquired by Google in 2005 and later shuttered), the location-based mobile startup serves a simple purpose: It lets an individual share his or her location with a group of friends.

Foursquare ventures beyond utility, however: It’s a virtual game in which participants earn badges for checking in at various locations; those that check in most become a venue’s “mayor.” By all accounts, this mechanism is as addictive as Twitter, Facebook or checking your e-mail on a BlackBerry.

Originally launched as an iPhone application and seeded by the young early-adopter set in cities such as New York and San Francisco, the site’s founders were able to leap from a ready-made springboard: Twitter.

With users’ “check-ins” being posted to the messaging service, Foursquare was able to gain a foothold in much the same way YouTube built its lead from videos embedded in MySpace pages.

The parallels with Twitter are numerous. As technology early adopter and popular blogger Robert Scoble wrote in September: “Go back three years ago. Twitter was being used by the same crowd that is playing with Foursquare today.”

The similarities don’t stop there: Twitter first took hold at Austin’s South By Southwest festival in 2007; Foursquare made its debut at SXSW 2009. Members of both founding teams have previously built successful social startups; both those startups were sold to Google.

The two companies share investors, too: Union Square Ventures is a backer, while Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey made an angel investment in Foursquare. Other notable investors include the founders of Digg and Delicious, and famed angel investor Ron Conway. Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson observed that Foursquare’s first round financing was “among the most competitive early round financings I’ve seen in a long time.”

Foursquare’s power play: Platform for developers, retailers

This week Foursquare debuted the singular piece that launched Twitter into the stratosphere: an API. This application programming interface allows third-party developers to build anything they desire on top of Foursquare’s location-based social network.

It’s been shown time and again that once these ecosystems gain momentum, potential competitors face an arduous task. From Flickr to Google Maps to Twitter and beyond, it’s clear that early critical mass — having enough users and applications to make a service invaluable — sets the stage for a landslide victory.

Google’s Android, entering the mobile platform wars long after the iPhone App Store had served up a veritable smorgasbord of apps to its army of users, is evidence of the chicken-and-egg problem that arises for new competitors: What’s the incentive for users and developers to switch to a smaller, less visible platform once a leader has emerged?

With the launch of its API, Foursquare looks set to capitalize on this “rich get richer” phenomenon before others can make a play. Foursquare is doing more than wooing users and developers, however: It’s also courting local bars and restaurants.

“Foursquare for Businesses” is a platform for retailers wishing to offer special deals to Foursquare users: Check in to frozen desert maker Tasti D-Lite at two venues in New York, for instance, and you’re eligible for a discount.

Competitors abound

Nonetheless, multiple players are vying for victory in the location-based services market. Between GowallaLooptBrightkite and Google’s Latitude, Foursquare will by no means have an easy ride. While Gowalla debuted an early version at SXSW 2009 alongside Foursquare, both Loopt and Brightkite have a head start.

All of these services, I’d argue, lack the highly addictive game play that appears to have Foursquare users hooked.

Google is undoubtedly the 800-pound gorilla, but the fastidiously numbers-driven search engine has proven time and again that it cannot grasp social-networking dynamics — from Orkut to Friend Connect (its Facebook Connect competitor) to its failure to turn Google Video into a YouTube competitor.

One company may unwittingly squash Foursquare in its infancy: Twitter itself. The very service that propelled Foursquare to prominence is rapidly building out its location-based features, with a location API that directly challenges Foursquare. Twitter already has the critical mass of users and ecosystem of eager developers. If it executes correctly, the service could leave Foursquare in the dust.

In Foursquare’s favor: Young, fast-growing startups such as Twitter often find their engineering teams overstretched simply trying to achieve scale. Twitter has added less than a dozen new features since launch as preventing frequent downtime has become its greatest challenge.

Meanwhile, the overlap in investors means the Twitter-Foursquare relationship is unlikely to turn sour. Foursquare may network its way to the top in 2010 or find itself lost in an increasingly competitive landscape. Early adopters are betting on the former.

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More social networking statistics

September 24, 2009

We found a few more statistics on social networking from Econsultancy, and wanted to share. (Posted August 2009).

  • Social networks and blogs are the 4th most popular online activities online, including personal email. 67% of global users visit member communities and 10% of all time spent on the internet is on social media sites.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth most populated place in the world. This means it easily beats the likes of Brazil, Russia and Japan in terms of size.
  • 80% of companies use, (or are planning to use), LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees during the course of this year. The site has just celebrated reaching its 45-millionth membership.
  • Around 64% of marketers are using social media for 5 hours or more each week during campaigns, with 39% using it for 10 or more hours per week.
  • It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners. Terrestrial TV took 13 years to reach 50 million users. The internet took four years to reach 50 million people… In less than nine months, Facebook added 100 million users.
  • Wikipedia currently has more than 13 million articles in more than 260 different languages. The site attracts over 60 million unique users a month and it’s often hotly debated that the information it contains is more reliable than any printed Encyclopedia.
  • The most recent figure of blogs being indexed by Technorati currently stands at 133 million. The same report into the Blogosphere also revealed that on average, 900,000 blog posts are created within a single 24-hour period.
  • It’s been suggested that YouTube is likely to serve over 75 billion video streams to around 375 million unique visitors during this year.
  • The top three people on Twitter (Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DeGeneres and Britney Spears) have more combined followers than the entire population of Austria.
  • According to Socialnomics, if you were paid $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia, you would earn $156.23 per hour.
  • The online bookmarking service, Delicious, has more than five million users and over 150 million unique bookmarked URLs.
  • Since April this year, Twitter has been receiving around 20 million unique visitors to the site each month, according to some analytical sources.
  • Formed in 2004, Flickr now hosts more than 3.6 billion user images.
  • Universal McCann reports that 77% of all active internet users regularly read blogs.

Do you have any cool stats on social networking? Share with us in our comments!

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Twitter is not just for microblogging

August 25, 2009

Sourced from Barb Dybwad at Mashable

“13 Things To Do On Twitter Besides Tweet”

Tired of delivering the typical stream of status updates on Twitter? Why not try some of the following ideas for other things you can do with the service?

Thanks to an open API and a philosophy of interconnectivity, Twitter’s vast array of third-party services has you covered on a number of alternative uses for the famed microblogging tool.

Let’s take a look at a few of them.

1. Share Files

A service called FileSocial provides a great way to send files smaller than 50 MB. Simply sign-in with your Twitter credentials to share your file with all your followers. FileSocial uses OAuth to log you in, which is more secure than asking for your Twitter username and password.

If you want to send a person-to-person file privately, check out FileTwt. You’ll have to sign up for an account on the site to enable private file-sharing up to 20 MB in size. The downside is they don’t use OAuth for authentication.

2. Exchange Business Cards

Routinely running out of those business cards made of dead trees? Work in an industry where almost everyone you meet is on Twitter? Check out twtBizCard, a simple service that lets you set up an electronic business card that can be easily tweeted to your new contacts by sending them an @reply with the hastag #twtBizCard.

When you sign up, the service will pull in the data from your Twitter profile as starter information, and you can add other details to customize your card.

3. Share Music

Music lovers have a lot of options in this category (see 10 Ways to Share Music on Twitter). Depending on exactly what you want to do, you might want to check out a few of these. For example, Blip.fmis very much like Twitter but specifically for music, and can integrate with your Twitter account to share what tracks you’re listening to or “blipping.”

To that list we’d also like to add Songza, a very easy to use music search engine that lets you easily tweet any track you’re listening to by clicking the song name and selecting the “Share: Twitter this” option.

4. Share Images

The media-specific Twitter tools abound, with a goodly number of options available for image sharing here too. Perhaps the “classic” service here is Twitpic, but even beyond image hosting services there are a number of alternative methods for sharing photos on Twitter by SMS, email and more.

To this list we’d also like to add that Flickr added Twitter posting earlier this summer as well, so if you already use Flickr to host your image collection, this is a great way to also share photos to Twitter in one fell swoop.

5. Share Videos

To round out the media-specific categories, there are also third party services lining up to help you share video on Twitter as well. From TwitVid.io to Tweetube (which handles other sharing duties as well), there’s probably a service out there to cover your needs.

We’d also like to add TwitVid.com and 12seconds.TV to that list. The latter perhaps obviously limits you to only 12 seconds’ worth of video, but it meshes well with the spirit of Twitter’s 140 character homage to brevity.

6. Raise Money

It’s still an emerging trend, but Twitpay is out in front of the microtransaction platform pack on Twitter. It’s a hot space that Facebook is looking to get in on as well.

There are still some limitations to using Twitpay as a Twitter payment platform, but for the adventurous there could be money to be made from selling your own wares via the service. Or, take a cue from Wi-Fi startup SkyBlox, who used Twitpay to raise a portion of their funding via Twitter.

7. Lobby for Health Care Reform

Want to bring a little participatory democracy to your Twittering? Check out Tweet Your Senator, a feature of the President’s website that mashes up Twitter with Google Maps to help you send a message to your Senator about healthcare reform legislation.

8. Screencast

Looking for a one-stop shop to whip up a quick screencast and distribute it on Twitter? Check out Screenr, a screencast tool with seamless Twitter integration.

You have 5 minutes to record your videos including the ability to pause and restart, and you can preview the screencast before sending it out.

9. Play Games

Love it or hate it, interactive Twitter-based game Spymaster can be addictive if you play it, or insanely annoying if you don’t. If you’re interested in playing, or just finding out more about the mechanics of the game and what it’s all about, be sure to check out our comprehensive Complete guide to Spymaster. And please don’t assassinate us.

Spymaster isn’t the only game in town, either. Check out some of these other alternatives for getting your Twitter game on as well.

10. Social Bookmarking

Delicious, diigo, et al feeling like too much overkill? Or just looking for an easy way to archive the links you share on Twitter?

Enter Fleck Lite, a simple bookmarklet-based tool that will both generate a shortened URL based on the page you’re sharing and archive the collection of links you’ve shared for later reference. If you share a lot of links on Twitter and want a convenient way to remember them for later, definitely give this one a try.

11. Be Someone Else

Ever wanted to know what Twitter looks like through another user’s eyes? Wonder no more: cTwittLike is an application that lets you see the Twitter stream someone else would see. Just enter the Twitter name of the person whose shoes you want to walk in, and you’ll get a list of the latest tweets from the users being followed by that person.

Unfortunately, due to lots of attention from the interwebs this app is currently down. But hopefully you’ll be able to return to your regular schedule of Twitter voyeurism soon.

12. Start a Petition

Looking to change the world but don’t know where to start? Petitions are a powerful tool organizers have been using for decades to raise awareness, demonstrate support for an issue, and bring people together around a common cause.

Check out several startups helping you start petitions on Twitter, from Act.ly to Twitition and more.

13. Find a Job

This is sure to be a popular one in today’s economy, or lack thereof. No single service will seal the deal for you, but check out our guide to landing your next paycheck via Twitter.

From finding new people to follow in your industry to making use of tools like TweetMyJobs, Twitter offers an unprecedented chance to find out about new opportunities and connect with potential employers in real-time.

What else can you use Twitter for besides our daily dosages of pointless babble? Let us know in the comments!

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