Archives: September 2009

Social Media Tools that Save Lives


You’ve probably heard or read about the tragic typhoon incident that happened in the Philippines’ capital last weekend. The typhoon caused heavy rainfall sending floods all over Manila and leaving almost 500,000 families homeless and at least around 150 people dead. The fatality could have been more if not for the barrage of information, call for help and communication brigade done by Filipinos through the help of social media tools. Read more

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Crowdsourcing Lessons of the Recession

The Museum of American Finance today unveiled a Wikipedia-inspired site called Recessipedia that intends to build a personal/factual history of the current recession based on input from, well, anybody.

As Peter McKay explains in the Wall Street Journal:

Like Wikipedia, Recessipedia will have community-generated encyclopedia entries on key players in the crisis, such as Lehman Brothers and the Federal Deposit Insurance Co. However, it will also invite personal testimonials about the recession from traders, investors, executives, government officials, and the public, with participants allowed to make submissions under pseudonyms.

Pseudonyms. Those should augur well for rational discourse, especially when GoNRAFreedomLovingSocialistHater exchanges views with DeathToCapitalistsAndCorporations.

Fortunately, according to the WSJ, while arguing will be allowed, libel will not. (Here’s a little jump-ball for all you Internet entrepreneurs, courtesy of yours truly: libelpedia is available — .com, .net and .org. Just remember me when it’s time for friends-and-family shares.)

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Good-Bye Fox Interactive Media, Hello News Corp. Digital Media

NewsCorpLogo.jpgNews Corp. changed the name of its Fox Interactive Media unit to News Corp. Digital Media (NDM) and announced several key appointments.

Dan Fawcett was named general counsel and executive vice president of business affairs, and he will add overseeing business and legal affairs for NDM to his duties as president of digital media for Fox.

NDM’s new executive VP of operations, Jack Kennedy, will oversee day-to-day operations. Kennedy had been executive VP of strategy and corporate development for FIM.

Jorge Espinel, formerly a partner with digital-media-investment firm Velocity Interactive Group (recently renamed Fuse Capital), was named executive VP of strategy and corporate development, and he will oversee long-term strategic direction, including mergers and acquisitions.

And Hemanshu Nigam was named senior VP of safety, security and privacy, and he will set strategy for safety, security and privacy programs across all of News Corp.’s online properties. Nigam had been FIM’s chief security officer.

News Corp. chief digital officer Jon Miller said:

In finalizing the structure of News Corp. Digital Media with the appointment of an incredibly talented executive team, our goal is to empower the leadership at our digital properties to operate in a more streamlined environment, giving them the freedom and support to more directly and efficiently manage their businesses. News Corp. Digital Media will play a lead role in shaping digital strategy across News Corp., ensuring a consistent, long-term vision of both product innovation and revenue generation across the entire company.

FishbowlNY Conducts ‘Exit Interview’ with Founder Laurel Touby

LaurelTouby.jpgOur sister blog conducted an “exit interview” with our “mother,” as FishbowlNY‘s Amanda Ernst spoke with founder Laurel Touby prior to her departure, with husband and BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine, on a six-month sabbatical, during which they will travel the globe.

Touby founded in 1994 and launched the Website in 1996, eventually selling it to Jupitermedia (now WebMediaBrands) for $23 million in July 2007 and inking a two-year pact to remain with the company. She became a contractor for WebMediaBrands when that agreement expired, and she is now taking a break.

Highlights from Touby’s conversation with Ernst:

I just feel like I’ve really gone balls to the wall for so many years and I just wanted a break, a real serious break, so I could come back fresh and renewed with new ideas and a new vision from this travel around the world. Who knows what that vision will be?

I’ve been looking forward to taking an extended break because I haven’t taken a real vacation since I started the company in 1994. I really have been going full-speed ahead, always worried, always kind of logged in at home. Even if I was away from the office or “on vacation,” I was always doing work constantly just like anyone who is tethered electronically to their job. Only this was my responsibility and I felt very much like it was a child in many ways. You feel this maternal feeling towards this company that you’ve started, especially as a woman. And especially as a woman with no other children.

I think the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that we’ve outlasted almost every other Internet company that started at the same time that we did. When you look back at the hundreds or thousands of Internet companies that were around when we started in 1994, there’s not many of them left. There was Nerve and AOL, but The Knot wasn’t there, Google wasn’t there, YouTube didn’t exist. I wish you could take a snapshot of the Web and see what was there at the time and what is still there. There’s not a lot that’s survived.

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Sanchez Twitter Update: Account Not Suspended (Just Inaccessible)

Rick Sanchez.pngHere’s the latest on Rick Sanchez’s Twitter account, which appeared this afternoon to have been suspended. From a CNN PR person:

His Twitter feed does appear to be displaying an error message – we’re looking into it and hope to be connected again soon.

Btw, Rick was able to log in and see his tweets; this appears to be affecting users viewing the site online….

So @ricksanchezcnn works only for Rick Sanchez, which to me means it still doesn’t work. But at least it’s not suspended, according to his spokesperson.

Here’s the original, panicky post.

Wales’ Tales of Wikipedia’s Editorial Policies

WikipediaLogo.jpgWikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales sought to clarify the Wikimedia Foundation‘s new flagged revisions editorial policy in an interview with Time.

When the flagged revisions policy was first announced, it was explained that anonymous Web editors could still freely change biographical Wikipedia entries about living people, but the changes would not be visible until an experienced Wikipedia volunteer had approved them.

However, Wales told Time the policy only applies to a small number of entries referred to as boldface names, such as Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Britney Spears.

The plan is still under development and in flux, Wales told Time, adding of the previous reports, “It’s just completely wrong.”

Facebook Connect Wizard, Playground Launch

facebook connect logo.jpgThe Facebook Connect team has been busy. On the heels of announcing its Translations for Facebook Connect, the social-networking giant announced the launch of Facebook Connect Wizard and Playground, which simplify the addition of Facebook Connect to other sites.

The company says developers of other sites can now incorporate Facebook Connect in three steps.

Platform engineer Alex Himel wrote on the Facebook Developers blog:

Earlier today, we announced Translations for Facebook Connect, which simplifies and streamlines the process of translating a Website into any of the more than 65 different languages Facebook currently supports. As we continue to provide ways for you to increase distribution and add social context to any site through Facebook Connect, we want to make implementing these tools as seamless and simple as possible. To meet this goal, today we are launching the Facebook Connect Wizard and Playground—tools that simplify the implementation process so that developers and non-developers alike can experience the benefits of Facebook Connect including increased traffic and site engagement.

With the Connect Wizard, you can now incorporate Facebook Connect into your site in three easy steps.

Additionally, the Playground for Facebook Connect provides code samples for adding profile pictures, user names and friends to your site. We will continue to add more code samples as we see more usage. The team worked hard to put this together and looks forward to getting feedback. In addition, we’re continuing to improve our Facebook Connect resources for developers to make it easier for you to learn and implement with new how-to guides and updated documentation.

Social Twitter Allows Tweeting via Facebook

Social Revitalizer offered its take on integrating Facebook and Twitter with its Social Twitter, which allows users of both social-networking services to tweet directly from their Facebook pages.

According to Inside Facebook, all Facebook users must do is add the app and input their Twitter user names and passwords, and the app contains a 140-character counter.

Facebook’s existing app for posting to Twitter does not let users selectively post status updates from their Facebook profiles to their Twitter accounts, Inside Facebook added.

Twitter may be happy for the additional traffic, but the inclusion of its name in Social Twitter may not go over so well.

Rick Sanchez’s Twitter Account Suspended?

CNN’s Rick Sanchez is one of the most popular people on Twitter, with more than 112,000 followers. Now those followers are being led into a void.

Rick Sanchez.pngHere’s the message anyone going to @ricksanchezcnn got today:

Sorry, the account you were headed to has been suspended due to strange activity. Mosey along now, nothing to see here.

Unlike most celebrities with large followings, Sanchez follows a lot of people — more than 45,000.

The first mention on Twitter of his account being suspended came shortly after 3 p.m. today.

WebNewser will try to find out what’s going on and report back. It could be a hack; it wouldn’t be the first time Sanchez’s account was attacked.

Sanchez also was the recent target of an anonymous account whose owner highlights a 1990 accident in which the car Sanchez was driving struck a pedestrian who eventually died from his injuries. That account has been shut down.

In the meantime, Twitterers who haven’t seen the “suspended account” message on @ricksanchezcnn continue to converse, berate and argue with Sanchez. It’s sorta funny. Announces First eBook Summit, Show on Wednesday announced the first eBook Summit, a conference and trade show designed to help content creators and publishers find opportunities in the changing digital publishing industry.

ebooksummit.jpgeBook Summit is scheduled for Dec. 15-16 at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City. The event focuses on innovations in digital publishing, including eBooks, eReaders, e-commerce, and publishing on-demand.

Among the sessions scheduled include “The Business of Free” (a topic we’re all familiar with); “The New Book Club: Social Networking”; and “Print on Demand.”

Speakers to date include:

Brandon Badger, Product Manager for Google Books
Susan Danziger, CEO of DailyLit
Steve Haber, President of Sony’s Digital Reading Business Division
Katty Kay, BBC World News America Washington correspondent and author of Womenomics’s eBook Summit is for media professionals involved in creating, distributing, marketing, or selling content — from the publishing industry to literary and talent agencies, as well as broadcast and online media. The vendor area will be a marketplace for organizations that provide devices, tools, technology, services and infrastructure for all aspects of the digital publishing world.

Click here for more information and to register for the conference.