Every so often a test Facebook feature pops up for some of the social network's 400 million users, and this week it was some sort of question-and-answer service. This generated more interest than a Facebook product prototype would have otherwise because a Q&A feature on Facebook would presumably compete with Quora, a new start-up founded by former Facebook employees--including CTO Adam D'Angelo, who left Facebook two years ago.
A 10-minute YouTube video called "The Yippity Yo Cooking Show" falls somewhere to the left of "Saturday Night Live" at its most surreal: The host, "Zaylee Jean," alternates between extreme seriousness and manic outbursts, with diction so slurred that it's subtitled (in the cartoonish Comic Sans font). Among other antics, she smears the mix for a batch of chocolate chip cookies all over her face, nibbles ingredients off the counter, and routinely pauses to scream something like "I LOVE COOKIES!" at the top of her lungs.
A key point: Zaylee Jean … Read more
This was, to put it plainly, not a great week for many developers. Modifications to Apple's software development kit license for its just-announced iPhone OS 4 software ban non-approved application program interfaces (APIs), including Adobe's Flash Compiler. That decision led Adobe's platform evangelist to blurt out an incensed "Go screw yourself, Apple" blog post.
But unrelated, and more surprising--OK, not really that surprising since we'd been able to augur the entrails of this one for some time now--is Twitter's decision to launch proprietary BlackBerry and iPhone apps. The former was built for … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Even the raspberry cream eggs were getting ignored.
At one Easter dinner party on Sunday night, a gathering of single and coupled adults with an average age of about 30, the real centerpiece wasn't the vase of lavender tulips that one person had arranged on the table or the glut of various pastel-colored marshmallow-cream confections that were passed around. It was, instead, a trio of brand-new Apple iPads that three separate guests had brought, eager to show off the glowing slates to the others in attendance. At least one of them had shown up in line at an … Read more
Facebook is squaring off with Twitter once again for the attention of the social media world, and we're about to see one heck of a marketing land grab.
There have been all sorts of strange little revelations about Facebook popping up all over the Web recently: earlier this week, a bunch of documents that Facebook was distributing to advertisers, explaining the company's forthcoming language change in on-site marketer materials from "Become a Fan Of" to simply "Like." Previously, there had been a report that Facebook's 'like' button will be unleashed to the Web at large.… Read more
Uh-oh. We've got another social-media-meets-public-relations disaster on our hands, and this one doesn't even involve any airlines yet. Food giant Nestle, already under pressure from environmentalists, became the subject of a Facebook- and Twitter-based "twitstorm" when the operators of the corporation's Facebook page took a hostile approach to critics.
So here's how it appears to have started: Environmental activist group Greenpeace has long been putting the pressure on Nestle to stop using palm oil, the production of which has been documented as a source of deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and endangered species loss. A … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--Some were wondering if Twitter's big Monday announcement at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) would be an attempt to one-up Google in search ads. But, no: With its new @Anywhere technology, the company's real target may be Facebook's successful Facebook Connect.
The Twitter announcement was part of a talk by CEO Evan Williams that was, well, a bit vanilla. But people are excited by @Anywhere, which will be debuting soon on third-party partners like The New York Times, eBay, and Amazon. Though a lot of the details aren't yet clear, the basic explanation … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--Author and New York University professor Clay Shirky thinks he's getting old, or in other words, "my average age has been going up at the alarming rate of about one year per year." Recently, he said, he had to explain Napster to a class of his students because they were too young to have known much about the groundbreaking music-sharing service in its heyday.
But that wasn't the point. Shirky's talk on Sunday morning at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival was called "Monkeys with Internet Access: Sharing, Human Nature, and Digital Data,&… Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--Analysts reported on Saturday that Apple sold 120,000 units of the iPad, an untested device that the vast majority of consumers have never seen or touched. Can you tap into that same gadget mania to sell an electric car?
General Motors thinks so. The company's Chevy division is a sponsor of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi), which it's using as a test platform for all sorts of edgy social-media marketing projects, but perhaps more importantly, it's previewing its forthcoming Chevy Volt plug-in electric car. The skeleton framework of a Volt was set up … Read more
With the days leading up to this year's South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) turning into hours, all eyes are on two scrappy rival start-ups, Foursquare and Gowalla, which both want to use the Austin, Texas digital-culture bash as a strategic playing field. They're the two most talked about start-ups in location-based social networking--using GPS on a mobile device to "check in" to places around you and announce it to your friends--and neither company wants to lose out to the other.
But in the real geolocation wars, these start-ups may be little more than toy soldiers. … Read more