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End of the World is tomorrow 12/21/12 12:12:12p in your respective time zones

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Thursday, December 20th, 2012 news No Comments

Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo Copies Instagram With New Flickr App (YHOO)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/marissa-mayer-copies-instagram-with-new-flickr-app-2012-12

flickr ios app

Yahoo just totally revamped its Flickr app for iOS with Instagram-like filters. 

Yahoo hadn’t updated the app since last year, so new Flickr fits in quite nicely with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s commitment to a mobile-first strategy.

The new app features a simpler sign-up process, 16 camera filters and full groups capabilities, which used to only be available on Flickr.com. 

Unlike Instagram, Flickr provides support for Twitter, in addition to Facebook, Tumblr, and email. 

Earlier this week, Instagram pulled the plug on Twitter, making it no longer possible to view Instagram photos in your Twitter stream.

SEE ALSO: Why In The World Should Instagram Allow Twitter To Scrape Its Photos?

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Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 news No Comments

How To Create The Fastest Growing Media Company In The World

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/upworthy-how-to-create-a-fast-growing-media-company-2012-11

eli pariser ted upworthy

On March 26, 2012, a new media startup called Upworthy launched.

Today, it is the fastest growing media company in the world. Upworthy finished October with 7 million monthly uniques, up from 6 million the month prior. In August, it hit four million uniques, up from 2.5 million in July. Its fast growth was rewarded with $4 million from investors.

There are lots of media companies out there, but none have grown that quickly.

Are Upworthy’s growth and business model sustainable? We’re not sure, but either way the stats are impressive. We asked CEO and co-founder Eli Pariser what Upworthy has been doing to smash traffic records every month.

Here’s what he had to say.

Don’t write about politics.

Before he started Upworthy, Pariser worked for a digital, political publication, MoveOn. He and his co-founder, The Onion’s former Managing Editor, Peter Koechley, thought the upcoming election would drive traffic to Upworthy.

But people weren’t sharing much of Upworthy’s political content, so the pair ditched that angle and broadened the site’s coverage.

“We thought, ‘Ok, it’s an election year, people are going to be really interested in politics and the campaign, and we’ll get a leg up that way,'” Pariser says. “The election was our whole argument for starting Upworthy this year. But it turned out to be a total non-driver of growth. Of all our top pieces, only a couple deal with politics or the election.”

It can be tough for startups to let go of initial ideas and pivot to what’s working. But as soon as Pariser let go of! the pol itics angle, traffic soared.

Find story ideas on social media feeds, not other websites.

Upworthy’s curators don’t start their days surfing other websites for news. They surf social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook instead.

Sometimes it’s easier to highlight a conversation than to start a new one.

“We have our team of curators spending all their time looking on the Internet for stuff,” says Pariser. “We go for visible, sharable stories and really stay away from doing more typical, text-driven articles and blogging. We lean into images and videos.”

Focus on Facebook, not Twitter

Upworthy has found that Twitter is small traffic potatoes compared to Facebook. At the end of the day, Facebook is where the most people spend the vast majority of their time online.

“Facebook is a huge piece of the puzzle for us,” says Pariser. “Our Facebook community has grown from zero in March to over 600,000 likes.”

Pariser says Upworthy hasn’t done anything particularly brilliant to juice Facebook for traffic. It just spent a lot of time and energy cracking the social network.

“Honestly, I think part of [our success with it] is we take Facebook much more seriously than many of the other social networks,” he says. “I love Twitter, and Twitter is a fun place to hang out with smart people, but it’s a small fraction of our traffic compared to Facebook. The time and attention most sites spend on [perfecting] their homepages is probably what we spend on Facebook. If you look at our homepage, it’s pretty mediocre.”

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung Is The World’s Largest Smartphone Manufacturer By A Long Shot

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-smartphone-shipments-2012-11

This chart comes from Business Insider Intelligence, a new research and and analysis service focused on the mobile and Internet industries. Sign up for a free trial here.

In the case of smartphone makers, a rising tide does not lift all boats equally.

According to estimates from Canaccord Genuity, Samsung has shot further ahead of the pack as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, shipping 56.3 million units in the third quarter. 

Apple is in an increasingly distant, but still formidable, second place.

Apple’s consolation is that it still takes a larger share of industry profits, despite shipping approximately half as many units as Samsung. 

The rest of the industry is grouped around five to nine million quarterly smartphone shipments.

One notable exception is Nokia, which only sold 2.9 million Windows-powered Lumia phones in the quarter. Lumia sales were ravaged after Microsoft announced that current Lumia owners would not get a full upgrade to Windows Phone 8. With Windows Phone 8 now launched, Nokia needs to see significant growth in sales if the one-time large! st manuf acturer of smartphones is to halt its tailspin.

Two other manufacturers to watch are Chinese up-and-comers Huawei and ZTE, which have catapulted from nowhere to 7.6 and 6.8 million smartphone shipments last quarter, respectively. The companies specialize in low-cost smartphones and could make a huge splash in the market with the heft of the Chinese government’s support. Those close ties, however, have drawn scrutiny from regulators in some markets.

chart of the day, global smartphone shipments, nov 2012

Follow the Chart Of The Day on Twitter: @chartoftheday

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Friday, November 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Caterina Fake Launches Pinwheel, Which Lets You Leave Notes Around The World

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/caterina-fake-launches-pinwheel-which-lets-you-leave-notes-around-the-world-2012-2


Caterina Fake

Caterina Fake, who previously cofounded Flickr and Hunch, has launched a new startup called Pinwheel, which lets you leave vitrtual notes around the world.

She announced the launch on her personal blog earlier today.

Enter the Internet of things, where you can choose to follow people, places or things. The notes you leave can be private, or you can share them with everything and everybody. 

The possibilities seem endless.

For instance, Fake shared a note she wrote for her friend Lauren:

note

Perhaps this would be a more useful note when you’re roaming around town: “Find me a Nearby Toilet NOW.” 

That seems to be coming soon: Fake wrote on her blog that she plans on building out a notification system so you can get pinged when someone you follow sends out a note.

We knew last year that True Ventures, SV Angel and her fund, Founder Collective, invested.

As far as making money, Fake is betting on selling sponsored notes.

The site is still in private beta — you can sign up here for an invite to try out the web and mobile app. The iOS version is coming up next.

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Friday, February 17th, 2012 news No Comments

The Rise Of Pinterest

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-the-rise-of-pinterest-2012-2


After less than two years in business, Pinterest is already one of the most popular social networks in the world, as measured by engagement, according to data from comScore, via BI Intelligence.

As you can see here, it’s ranked just below Facebook and Tumblr as the most popular site to hang out on.

One other thing of note on this chart is Twitter’s low engagement rate. It’s somewhat surprising, but we’d guess it’s a mix of factors. One being that mobile app usage is big for Twitter. The other being that clicking on links on Twitter takes you off of Twitter, unlike the other sites which encourage you to click to content they host.

chart of the day pinterest

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Friday, February 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Rice University And OpenStax Announce First Open-Source Textbooks

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/07/rice-university-and-openstax-announce-first-open-source-textbooks/

openstax

When we think about the distribution industry being disrupted, we tend to think about music and movies, whose physical media and vast shipment infrastructure have been rendered mostly obsolete over the last decade. To a lesser extent, we hear about print, and the effect of e-readers and web consumption on books and magazines. No one is making the change particularly gracefully, and the same can be said of the textbook business, which does millions of dollars of business every year selling incredibly expensive items to students — who likely consider them anachronisms.

Rice University, which has been pushing alternative distribution mechanisms for scholarly publications for years, has announced a new initiative, by which they hope to publish free, high-quality textbooks in core subjects like physics and biology via a non-profit publisher called OpenStax College. It’s the polar opposite of Apple’s iBooks textbooks, which, while they too help drag this dusty industry into the present, amount more to a new sales vector for the publishers than competition.

Rice and OpenStax aren’t the first people to propose open-source or free textbooks. There are collections here and there, like Flat World Knowledge and Apple’s iTunes U — but they’re decidedly short on the type of books a freshman might have to buy for their year of survey courses: Biology 1, Physics 1, Sociology 1, Psychology 1. And 11 Learning has a similar idea of collaboration producing a book, but their creation model may not be economically feasible.

And of course there are the many companies that want to remove textbooks from the equation entirely. Setting up textbook platforms on new devices like Kno and Inkling, making an environment for meta-curricular activities and non-traditional learning like Khan Academy, or virtualizing the whole education experience, something with which many universities are tinkering.

But textbooks are still big business, and their utility in the education system is difficult to argue with right now. So OpenStax splits the difference: fueled by grant money from a number of private foundations (i.e. not government grants), they’re putting together full-on textbooks, peer-reviewed, professionally laid out, and all that. These textbooks will be provided for free in file form. But supplementary materials — quizzes, videos, presentations, and the like, presumably — cost money.

It would be petty to call this a bait and switch, since the bulk of the material is being provided for free. And a savvy professor or TA can scrape quite a few supplementary materials from the web already, thanks to those post-textbook services already mentioned. Providing the meat for free and the potatoes for a price is perfectly reasonable.

What remains to be seen is the quality of the textbooks. So far OpenStax has signed up “in the low tens” of colleged and universities to use the books. Institutions probably are waiting to see how the next year or so plays out: everything is in flux and to commit to one platform over another when the true costs and benefits are still unclear would be a bad move.

OpenStax’s first textbooks, for physics and sociology, will be coming in March, with others following later in the year. A strange time to make a debut, in a way, as the school year is well underway and many intro courses won’t be offered. But it will give time for the creaking machinery of academia to notice, acknowledge, examine, and judge the OpenStax offering. It may be that they can demonstrate their agility in fixing, improving, and expanding the content on the fly, which could either impress or terrify nodding faculty members who use the same text for a decade at a time.


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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 news No Comments

RIM indulges in some ‘myth busting’ at BlackBerry DevCon Europe

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/07/rim-indulges-in-some-myth-busting/

Alec Saunders, VP of Developer Relations, just took the stage at RIM’s DevCon gathering in Amsterdam to build up and promptly knock down a few “myths” about RIM’s state of health. First up, he tackled the notion that BlackBerry is a declining platform by saying that App World is seeing six million downloads per day, which is up 30 percent from three months ago. He also rejected the idea that BB app devs don’t make money, revealing that 13 percent of them have made over $100,000 from their products and that App World generates 40 percent more revenue than the Android Market. Lastly, Saunders said “we’re sorry” that RIM’s strategy has been “hard to understand” for “some people”, but added that BB 10 will solve that problem. He said that the new OS represents a “simple and easy-to-understand strategy” that is about combining the best of QNX and the current BB OS, offering consistent cloud services and making software that is both backwards and forwards compatible.

RIM indulges in some ‘myth busting’ at BlackBerry DevCon Europe originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 07 Feb 2012 05:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Google+ Is Growing Much Faster Than Facebook Did In The Early Days (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-google-is-growing-much-faster-than-facebook-did-in-the-early-days-2012-2


Don’t write off Google+ just yet — compared to Facebook’s early days, its growth is meteoric.

It took Facebook nearly a year to reach a million users and more than four years to reach 100 million. It took Google+ about two weeks to reach 10 million, and less than a year to reach 100 million. Paul Allen, the “unofficial” statistician for Google+ and founder of Ancestry.com, says Google+ could reach 400 million users by the end of the year.

Obviously Google+ has a huge advantages over Facebook from 2004. Facebook was closed to everyone but students back then. Google+ is getting a push from the world’s largest search engine. The Internet is more widely adopted now.

But still. 

chart of the day facebook google+

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 news No Comments

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