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Content Curators Are The New Superheros Of The Web | #socialmedia #socialsharing

Content Curators Are The New Superheros Of The Web

BY Expert Blogger Steven Rosenbaum  

This blog is written by a member of our expert blogging community and expresses that expert’s views alone.

Yesterday, the ever-churning machine that is the Internet pumped out more unfiltered digital data.

Yesterday, 250 million photos were uploaded to Facebook, 864,000 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube, and 294 BILLION emails were sent. And that’s not counting all the check-ins, friend requests, Yelp reviews and Amazon posts, and pins on Pintrest.

The volume of information being created is growing faster than your software is able to sort it out. As a result, you’re often unable to determine the difference between a fake LinkedIn friend request, and a picture from your best friend in college of his new baby. Even with good metadata, it’s still all “data”–whether raw unfiltered, or tagged and sourced, it’s all treated like another input to your digital inbox.

What’s happened is the web has gotten better at making data. Way better, as it turns out. And while algorithms have gotten better at detecting spam, they aren’t keeping up with the massive tide of real-time data.

While devices struggle to separate spam from friends, critical information from nonsense, and signal from noise, the amount of data coming at us is increasingly mind-boggling.

In 2010 we frolicked, Googled, waded, and drowned in 1.2 zettabytes of digital bits and bytes. A year later volume was on an exponential growth curve toward 1.8 zettabytes. (A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes; that’s a 1 with 21 zeros trailing behind it.)

Which means it’s time to enlist the web’s secret power–humans.

If you want to understand how fast curation is growing on the web, just take a look at Pinterest. The two-year-old visual clipping and publishing platform has now surpassed 10 million users, making it the fastest-growing web service on the web ever, according to Comscore. Comscore reported that Pinterest was the fastest independent site to hit 10 million monthly uniques in the U.S.

Curation is the act of individuals with a passion for a content area to find, contextualize, and organize information. Curators provide a consistent update regarding what’s interesting, happening, and cool in their focus. Curators tend to have a unique and consistent point of view–providing a reliable context for the content that they discover and organize. To be clear, Pinterest both creates tools to organize the noisy web and, at the same time, creates more instances of information in a different context. So it’s both part of the problem, and a solution. The trick is finding the Pinterest pinboards that you like, and tune out the rest.

Sites like BoingBoing and Brain Pickings are great content curators. And now brands are getting into the act. Harley Davidson’s site Ridebook features content in culture, style, music, and travel. And increasingly, curators are emerging as a critical filter that helps niche content consumers find “signal” in noise. Jason Hirschhorn’s Media reDEFined newsletter distributes posts on digital media, mobile, gaming, and web content. A barebones newsletter of links, it has become a “must read” curated daily offering for anyone trying to stay in touch with the fast-moving pace of change in media. But curation isn’t limited to media. The Haymarket-owned site Clinical Advisor now curates web video for nurse practitioners.

Superheroes are extraordinary humans who dedicate themselves to protecting the public. And anyone who’s trying to keep their head above the proverbial “water” of the web, the rising tide of data and information, knows that we need super-help…and fast.

So anyone who steps up and volunteers to curate in their area of knowledge and passion is taking on a Herculean task. They’re going to stand between the web and their readers, using all of the tools at their disposal to “listen” to the web, and then pull out of the data stream nuggets of wisdom, breaking news, important new voices, and other salient details. It’s real work, and requires a tireless commitment to being engaged and ready to rebroadcast timely material. While there may be an economic benefit for being a “thought leader” and “trusted curator,” it’s not going to happen overnight. Which is to say, being a superhero is often a thankless job.

The growth in content, both in terms of pure volume and the speed of publishing, has raised some questions about what best practices are in the curation space. Here’s where you should start

1.  If you don’t add context, or opinion, or voice and simply lift content, it’s stealing.
2.  If you don’t provide attribution, and a link back to the source, it’s stealing.
3.  If you take a large portion of the original content, it’s stealing.
4.  If someone asks you not to curate their material, and you don’t respect that request, it’s stealing.
5.  Respect published rights. If images don’t allow creative commons use, reach out to the image creator–don’t just grab it and ask questions later.

How will curation evolve? A group of curators led by blogger Maria Popova are promoting a Curators Code. But this new collection of attribution symbols is getting early mixed reviews. New York Times columnist David Carr called the code a useful attempt for “creating visible connections between seemingly disparate pieces of information.” But others pointed out that the hyperlink has been providing attribution for years.

One thing I’m sure of–the web is going to keep growing fast. And the solution to making sense of the massive volume is a new engaged partnership between humans and machines. There are a number of companies building cool solutions you can explore if you’re looking for curation tools. Among them: Curata, CurationSoft, Scoop.it, Google+, Storify.com, PearlTrees.com, MySyndicaat.com, Curated.by, Storyful,Evri, Paper.li, Pearltrees, and of course Magnify.net (where I hang my hat).

So, if you’re ready to be a superhero, now’s the time. The web needs you. Your readers need you. All you need is a web browser and a cape. The rest is up to you.

[Image: Flickr user Zach Dischner]

Via: http://www.fastcompany.com/1834177/content-curators-are-the-new-superheros-of…

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Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Social Media

 

Go Beyond Likes: #Facebook Adds New Metrics for Advertisers | #socialmedia

Facebook has introduced several new metrics for advertisers based on the actions consumers’ take after seeing a Facebook ad.

Previously, the social network didn’t provide insight into what consumers did after clicking on an ad, making it difficult for you to see the impact of your advertising campaign.

Through the old system, you could only see data about the number of Likes a Page received as a result of an ad. The new metrics can be found in the ad dashboard called Actions, and will include comments, shares, app usage, and Credits spent.

Additionally, developers will also be able to measure actions within their apps, including purchases or any other Open Graph action. You can define which actions you’d like to optimize through the API.

By giving you more detailed data, Facebook hopes you will move away from establishing Likes as a goal and is encouraging more focus on engagement. The update doesn’t affect the pricing model; Facebook ads will still be sold on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis.

Additional insights will help you measure the success of specific marketing objectives, as you’re now able to distinguish which actions came organically or through paid media.

 

Via: SproutSocial

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Social Media

 

Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion | #Facebook #Instagram #socialmedia

Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion

Kevin Systrom, chief of Instagram.

Keith Bedford/Bloomberg NewsKevin Systrom, chief executive of Instagram.

Facebook is not waiting for its initial public offering to make its first big purchase.

In its largest acquisition to date, the social network has purchased Instagram, the popular photo-sharing application, for about $1 billion in cash and stock, the company said Monday.

It’s a notable move for Facebook, which has exclusively focused on bite-size acquisitions, worth less than $100 million.

With Instagram, Facebook will get a formidable mobile player – an area that is seen as a weakness for the sprawling social network. Founded two years ago, the service — which lets users share photos and apply stylized filters – has become one of the most downloaded applications on the iPhone , with some 30 million users. Instagram released a version of its application for Google ’s Android operating system last week.

On Monday, both companies expressed their commitment to run Instagram as an independent service.

Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook 

Pool photo by Yuriko NakaoMark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, which is expected to go public next month.

In a post on his profile page, Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg said Instagram would continue to work with rival social networks. That will allow users to post on other services, follow users outside of Facebook, and to opt out of sharing on Facebook.

“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote. “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”

In a separate blog post on Instagram’s Web site, the company’s chief executive, Kevin Systrom, also reiterated plans to preserve the service’s functionality and said he looked forward to leveraging the new parent company’s resources and talent.

The announcement comes as Facebook prepares for its highly anticipated initial public offering, widely expected to take place next month.

Though Facebook is known for smaller acquisitions, Instagram’s surging momentum likely compelled the social network to swiftly put together a billion-dollar offer. Last week, Instagram, which has just a handful of employees, closed a financing round worth more than $50 million with several prominent investors, including Sequoia Capital, an early backer of Google, Thrive Capital, the firm run by Joshua Kushner, and Greylock Capital, an early investor of LinkedIn. AllThingsD first reported last week that Sequoia was in the process of leading a $50 million round in Instagram.

That latest funding round valued Instagram at about $500 million, according to one person with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity because discussions were private. Facebook’s purchase, one week later, means that investment has now doubled in value.

The deal is expected to close later this quarter, according to Facebook’s statement.

Here is the news release from Facebook:

“Facebook announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Instagram, a fun, popular photo-sharing app for mobile devices.

“The total consideration for San Francisco-based Instagram is approximately $1 billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter.”

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Facebook, posted about the transaction on his Facebook page:

“I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

“We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

“That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

“We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

“These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.”

 

Via: NY Times

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Social Media

 

How Google AdWords is Becoming More Social | #Socialmedia #Google #Adwords

How Google AdWords is Becoming More Social

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Social Media

 

Jocelyn Goldfein, Facebook Engineer, Explains Why It Matters There Aren’t More Girl Geeks | #socialmedia

Jocelyn Goldfein, Facebook Engineer, Explains Why It Matters There Aren’t More Girl Geeks

Jocelyn Goldfein

Jocelyn Goldfein has a simple reason for wanting to increase the number of female engineers: She’s tired of meetings where she’s surrounded entirely by men.

“Personally, I care that there aren’t more women in tech because I love most aspects of my job, and the one thing I don’t love is often being the only woman in the room,” said Goldfein, director of engineering at Facebook. “I would just enjoy my job more if there were more women.”

Goldfein has not only worked on some of Facebook’s best-known products, such as Questions, Photos, and the revamped News Feed, but she also helps hire people for the social networking site’s expanding army of engineers.

The latter role has illustrated for Goldfein the urgency of encouraging women to specialize in technical fields. She says she can’t find enough engineers to meet her staffing needs, a problem she argues could be remedied if more women pursued computer science degrees.

“As someone who spends a lot of time hiring engineers for Facebook, I can tell you there are not enough qualified software engineers in this country — or probably on this planet — for my needs,” Goldfein said. “And as it happens, we’re missing half of our computer science majors. If you look at the gender divide, women are taking 50 percent of bachelor’s degrees, but presently they represent at most 20 percent of computer science majors.”

Goldfein has joined chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in the growing ranks of female Facebook employees who are pushing women to take charge of their careers and working to overhaul the male-to-female ratio in tech .

Doing so doesn’t require momentous societal shifts, or aggressive programs targeted at girls in elementary school, according to Goldfein. Her proposal: introduce female undergraduates to computer science courses early in their college careers. Goldfein notes that she’s spoken to many students who discovered an interest in engineering only after it was too late for them to switch their majors.

“If I could shift that to freshman year and those women could have that epiphany in time, that’d make a huge difference,” she said. “A lot of people think you have to begin with pre-adolescents and four year olds. But I think it’s not too late to influence women entering college now and try to show them that this can be a great career for them.”

In an attempt to woo more undergraduates to give engineering a try, the social network has experimented with targeting freshman students with Facebook ads promoting computer science courses at their universities.

In an interview for The Huffington Post’s Women in Tech series , Goldfein shared her take on why there aren’t more female engineers, what mistakes some women make in their careers, how social media can change the ways women think about technology, and more.

Why do you say you don’t love being the only woman in the room?
Sometimes it subjectively feels lonely. I think anytime you’re the only one, you can feel singled out. You can feel like, “If I say something dumb, am I letting down all of womankind because all women will be judged by my representation?” I’d rather just be representing for myself, thank you.

What’s the secret to increasing the number of women in tech?
I’ve come to basically believe this is a self-fulfilling prophecy: The reason there aren’t more women in computer science is that there aren’t very many women in computer science. You look into a computer science classroom and see mostly men and think, “Oh, this classroom is not for me. I’m going to go find a class that has more people that look more like me.”

Yes, it would be wonderful to have great social change — it would be wonderful to read books to my children that don’t have all male doctors and all female nurses – but I don’t think we need to solve that to solve this problem.

I think all we need to do is hold up enough great examples of the phenomenal women who are in tech and inspire the next set of girls. They don’t have to look around and see 50 percent women, they just have to see enough people like themselves that they can imagine themselves there.

Are there mistakes that up-and-coming female engineers make that their male counterparts do not?
It’s hard to say there’s one quality I’d ascribe to all female engineers, but as a general rule I think that women can be less confident. They’re more apt to question themselves.

It’s classic that men are going to negotiate harder for a position and role than women do and I’ve seen that play out. It’s classic that men assert all the credit for the things they did, whereas women will say that they should share the credit or that they’re lucky.

And there’s good reason for that — we have lots of good sociological evidence that suggests if men do that it’s seen as confidence, but if women do it, it’s seen as arrogance or bitchiness. So I think women have learned that behavior not because they’re not capable or confident, but because they’ve been in an environment where we have to negotiate that. You have to negotiate what it takes to be liked while being self-confident.

What advice do you give to the aspiring women who you work with?
The advice I give a lot of women is “fake it till you make it.” I give it to men and women and I think it’s universally applicable. Sometimes you will be over your head, but the act of trying and the act of putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, and trying something you’re not sure you’re capable of, is what it takes to become capable of it.

Women find “fake it till you make it” comforting because it says, “try anyway.”

Netscape co-founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen told Fortune recently , “Our industry historically … do we produce products initially aimed primarily at men or women? You’d have to say men.” Do you agree?
I think definitely there have been male-oriented interests that have driven technology forward. There have also been also gender-neutral interests that have driven technology forward. It is interesting and really true that in the last five years, we are seeing more and more things that are female first, which are being led by women’s interests. I think that’s tremendously interesting and good for the world.

How does social media have the potential to change the way women think about tech?
I think it’s fair to say that social media — and other forms of technology, too — have turned women into power users of technology and power consumers of it.

There are all kinds of places where women are claiming their place as the power users of technology. That creates a place for women as entrepreneurs as well. Increasingly, as the next wave of really successful startups will be social media-based, I think you’ll see more room for female leaders creating those companies and creating those experiences.

 

Source: Bianca Bosker at Huffington Post

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Social Media

 

#Posterous Joins the Flock at #Twitter | #socialmedia

Posterous Joins the Flock at Twitter

Index

Posterous is now part of Twitter.

The 4-year-old blogging platform officially announced the acquisition Monday afternoon on its company blog, noting that “the opportunities in front of Twitter are exciting, and we couldn’t be happier about bringing our team’s expertise to a product that reaches hundreds of millions of users around the globe.”

Twitter’s company blog echoed the same sentiments.

“We’re always looking for talented people who have the passion and personality to join Twitter,” reads a blog post about the deal. “Acquisitions have given us people and technology that have enabled us to more quickly build a better Twitter for you.”

Posterous as a platform particularly lends itself to mobile blogging. While posts can be added using the website’s rich text editor, posts –including those containing pictures, video, or documents– can also be added via email.The acquisition brings Posterous’ engineers, product managers and other employees into the flock with plans for them to work “on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.”

Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption, and the company promises to “give users ample notice” if any changes are on the horizon.

If you purchased a domain from Posterous, you’ll receive an email from its domain partner eNom in the next several days with instructions on how to access your account. If you’re redirecting your domain or subdomain to Posterous, the service will continue to point to your Posterous Space, with no need for you to make any changes.

For those who want to backup content from Posterous or move your content to another service, the company will be providing instructions on how to do so in the coming weeks.

Why do you think Twitter bought Posterous? Tell us in the comments below.

 

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Social Media

 

How to Allow Subscribers on Facebook | #Facebook #socialmedia

How to Allow Subscribers on Facebook

Facebook‘s Subscribe option allows you to share certain content with the wider public — without having to compromise your privacy.

Through the Subscribe function, you can post public updates you don’t mind sharing with the world, but keep other, more personal updates private to your friends and family.

At the moment, the option to allow subscribers is purely opt-in, so here we show you how to enable and manage this functionality.

SEE ALSO: How to Hide From Annoying Friends on Facebook Chat

 

Take a look through the gallery above for our simple walkthrough. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve enabled subscribers for your Facebook profile — and if so, why.

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Social Media

 
 
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