Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Google Testing "My World" Second Life Rival?

Things could get interesting if Google gets into this game.
"Rumors of Google's plans to create a virtual world that rivals that of Second Life have popped up once again over the weekend. The company could now be collaborating with Arizona State University to test the 3D social network, which may be tied into Google's current applications of Google Earth and Google Maps."
Slashdot | Google Testing "My World" Second Life Rival?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

IBM to offer free Office software

More free Word processors and Spreadsheet applications. Who needs Microsoft :)
"IBM on Monday said it would start offering free word processing and other office software, joining a growing group of companies with free applications challenging a core Microsoft Corp product."
IBM to offer free word processing, office software | Reuters

Monday, September 17, 2007

Yahoo to start testing Mash, a social network site

"Yahoo... is testing an experimental social network service called Mash that makes it easy for Yahoo users to share tidbits of their lives with friends and family online, the company said on Sunday.

Mash, to which a limited number of public users began being invited as testers on Friday, was described by a spokeswoman as a new, next-generation service that is independent from the company's 2- year-old Yahoo 360 degree profile service...

One aspect of the service is the power it gives users to edit their friends profiles and add personal blurbs, subject to approval by the profile owner."
Yahoo to start testing Mash, a social network site - Yahoo! News

Search startup ready to challenge Google

"Powerset, is... aiming to outshine the Internet's brightest star with a new search engine built to outsmart Google.

After nearly two years of hushed development, Powerset is finally providing a peek at a 'natural-language' technology that is supposed to make it easier to communicate with search engines.

Powerset's algorithms are programmed to understand search requests submitted in plain English, a change from the 'keyword' system used by Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and the owners of the other leading engines.

The distinction means Web surfers will theoretically be able to get more meaningful results by typing more precise search requests in the form of straightforward questions like 'What did Steve Jobs say about Apple?' instead of entering an ungrammatical mishmash like 'Apple Steve Jobs said.'"
Search startup ready to challenge Google - Yahoo! News

Glide Mobile Lets You Check Out PowerPoint Slide Shows on Your iPhone

"One of the sorely missed features of the Apple iPhone is full compatibility with Microsoft Office. Out of the box, you can read Word documents on it, but you can’t edit them. And don’t even think about running a PowerPoint slide show. But starting later today, Transmedia CEO Donald Leka tells me, Glide members will be able to go over to glidemobile.com on their iPhones (or Blackberries or Treos or Nokias) and show people slide shows that they’ve uploaded to Glide."
The Next Net: Glide Mobile Lets You Check Out PowerPoint Slide Shows on Your iPhone

Friday, September 14, 2007

SoCal college offers YouTube class

Here's a dream-come-true for Web addicts: college credit for watching YouTube.

Pitzer College this fall began offering what may be the first course about the video-sharing site. About 35 students meet in a classroom but work mostly online, where they view YouTube content and post their comments....

Class members control most of the class content and YouTube watchers from around the world are encouraged to comment, Juhasz said.

She hopes the course will raise serious issues about YouTube, such as the role of "corporate-sponsored democratic media expression."

YouTube is "a phenomenon that should be studied," student Darren Grose said. "You can learn a lot about American culture and just Internet culture in general."
SoCal college offers YouTube class - Yahoo! News:

A Case Study in Online Promotion

"Andrew McAfee, a professor of technology and operations management... says he's... become convinced that young companies will rely ever less on 'channel' technologies like e-mail and more on 'platform technologies' like Facebook and MySpace (NWS) to communicate externally and internally. 'Platform technologies are universally visible and transparent and open to everybody. I think the communication bias of young people today has migrated from channel to platform.'"
A Case Study in Online Promotion

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is this a future of Television?

With advertisers moving to the web to target specific audience and networks putting too many restrictions on content creators, creative minds are migrating over to the web. As broadband access expands and download speeds increase, the web looks more and more appealing for distributing video content.
The creative minds behind such TV shows as "Thirtysomething" and "My So-Called Life" are launching a Web-based show, hoping to find the artistic freedom online that they say is lacking on broadcast networks.

The show, called "Quarterlife," will debut Nov. 11 on MySpace.com and will also be paired with its own social networking site that will include story extras as well as career, romance and other information for the show's young audience.

Centered on a group of recent college graduates, the show started as a pilot for an ABC series called " 1/4 Life." It aired once in 2005 and was pulled because of creative differences between the network and creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick.

With the explosion of online video and the migration to the Web of such well-known artists as Will Ferrell, Harry Shearer and Bill Murray, Herskovitz and Zwick decided to resurrect the show and give it a cyber twist...

The show's 36 episodes will air exclusively on MySpace.... Each episode will be about 8 minutes long with two episodes debuting each week. The producers and MySpace will share revenue from ads that will run in the video. Additional revenue will come from product placement deals, Herskovitz said.

In a new wrinkle, the show also will have its own social networking site called quarterlife.com...
TV veterans produce Web-only show

The 8 Secrets that Make Apple No. 1

In his Computer World article, Mike Elgan makes some great points about why Apple is succeeding where other consumer focused companies are failing. I think these key points apply no matter what business you are in. Definitely worth a read.
Basically, you can divide consumer electronics companies into two groups: Apple, and everyone else. Apple really is that different. Its influence on global design is many orders of magnitude higher than its nearest competitors. It engenders customer loyalty significantly greater than that earned by any other company in the consumer electronics space. The Apple brand and awareness of its products in the general culture far exceed what you might expect, given the company's actual sales.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is famous for a crazy video in which he yells, "I...love...this...company." With Apple, it's the customers who shout that.

It's no accident, and it's not a passing phenomenon. Apple knows something that other companies don't. Here are the eight secrets that make Apple the best company in the industry.
The 8 Secrets that Make Apple No. 1

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Peachpit Releases Designing Your Second Life

Just what we need, a manual for our Second Life :)
"Peachpit announced the release of Designing Your Second Life by Rebecca Tapley... a guide to the subtle and sometimes baffling new world of the online community Second Life.

Designing Your Second Life teaches the reader everything they need to know to build a more rewarding second life, from creating an avatar to building impressive homes and planned communities to establishing a social community and career. Author Rebecca Tapley takes real-world topics such as urban planning, color theory, user experience, interior design, and landscaping, and maps them to Second Life conditions. This teaches readers to identify the best skin and hair, clothing, architecture and construction, property for sale, and more. In addition, her insights and observations on Second Life etiquette, manners, and customs will be an invaluable resource for all users."
Peachpit: Peachpit Releases Designing Your Second Life

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

5 Things Google Looks For

Key's to a higher page ranking on Google...
1. Keywords used in the title of your pages (between the TITLE tags)
2. Keywords used in headings (H1) and in the first paragraph of your blog
3. Keywords used in link text, both on your blog as well as on other blogs
4. The PageRank value of your pages
5. Pages that contain at least 200 words or relevant text content (the more pages the better)
5 Things Google Looks For - Daily Blogging Tips and Web 2.0 Development