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Improving Twitter Experience

My Twitter experience had been on a downward slope and I never stepped back to wonder why. So I did and came to the conclusion that I am just too overwhelmed, maybe it’s the noise in my stream or maybe it’s the information fatigue. My Twitter screamed re-tweets, links, digital beggars, and sponsored tweets. It’s not what I signed up for.

Twitter

I was following 800+ people/business/sites. I had to re-think why I am following businesses, what are they giving me in terms of information other than spamming their coupons. Why the hell am I following Starbucks?

First step was to unfollow all businesses including sites that I can access through Flipboard. Second was to unfollow people who I don’t remember why I followed in the first place. That includes lots of CPAs who keep re-tweeting IRS tax tips, bloggers who are now calling themselves social media gurus, the unimaginative wave of marketing newbies a.k.a growth hackers, and people who say RT≠ Endorsement. Seriously, what else can a re-tweet mean?

Cleaning out the house never felt so good. I am now following less than 100 people and my Twitter experience has improved significantly. Give it a try, if it worked for me, it will work for you too.

Stop SOPA before it’s too late

In the tech community, SOPA is not news. For an average American, SOPA is unheard of. The traditional media and major news organizations have completely ignored SOPA as if it doesn’t exist. SOPA is real, it does exist and if passed could mean the end of internet as we know it.

Apart from calling your representative, bloggers and social media influencers should do couple things. If you are on WordPress, download the plugin, Stop SOPA Ribbon, look at the upper right corner to see how it looks like. Go to BlackoutSOPA and change your profile picture. Stop American Censorship has few different ways to highlight censorship, check that out too.

January 18th is the day that is designated for a massive awareness campaign. Reddit, Wikipedia, Cheezburger Network etc have confirmed that they will go dark in order to garner attention and call for action. Google and other major companies are anti-SOPA but won’t do much apart from having a stand.

+Paul Tassi from Forbes has created “Stop Internet Censorship by Protesting SOPA” event on Facebook. Plan to attend and follow the steps to get the word out.

Still don’t know what SOPA can do to the internet? Here’s an infographic that sums it all up, courtesy of Stop American Censorship

SOPA Infographic

Be prepared to make some noise.

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Facebook not on the Technology Fast 500 list released by Deloitte

Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Deloitte, one of the Big 4 CPA firms, releases a list of the 500 fastest growing technology companies every year – Technology Fast 500. To be recognized as Technology Fast 500, companies need to own intellectual property that generates majority of the operating revenue. It looks at companies that have been in business for at least 5 years and have revenues of minimum $5 Million. It doesn’t matter if the companies are public or private, as long as they meet the criteria and are nominated, they have a fair shot at recognition.

My focus while skimming the list was on social media and internet companies and here’s what I found amongst other facts already mentioned in the report:

- Majority of fastest growing companies are in the West (LinkedIn, IMVU, Shutterfly, Tagged, Ooodle etc)
– Recent IPO darling LinkedIn’s revenue grew 2372% over 5-year period; overall it ranked 49th.
– Google is ranked 425th; revenue grew 176% over 5-year period.
– Facebook and Twitter not yet on the list.

I reached out to Deloitte to inquire why Facebook wasn’t on the list. That’s because according to publicly available data, it has had revenues since 2006 and if I use the formula [(FY’2010 revenue – FY’2006 revenue)/ FY’2006 revenue] x 100, used by Deloitte for 5-year growth percentage, I get 3746%.

In response, I was told by the Facebook page administrator, “Private companies must self-nominate themselves to be part of the program. To my knowledge, Facebook has never submitted a nomination form or the supporting documentation, and the selection team would not base revenue numbers off of a Wikipedia page. Interestingly, you’ll notice Facebook is also not listed on the Inc. 500 list.”

That explains why Facebook is not on the list but it still doesn’t make sense that a company that strives on selling personal information would be so secretive about its own growth. Most figures on Wikipedia page happen to be pure speculation based on market data that is not really verifiable.

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A Survival Guide for Facebook a.k.a Web within a Web

Facebook’s new Timeline feature can be considered an ambitious, but not unrealistic, vision for future. A future of web, within a web. A social web within the larger context of the World Wide Web. Homepage. Friends. Videos. Music. Photos. News. Everything organized by year, month, day…

Facebook Timeline

I joined Facebook in September 2006 when I got access to .edu email. If you are old enough to remember, it used to be a private network, only students with .edu email were able to join. At the time, I also had an account on Friendster, MySpace, hi5 and every other social network that popped up. Facebook was no different but there was something very unique about people on Facebook. They were all going to school with me, were students or had recently graduated. It was an online hangout place for college students.

When these same people graduated and moved on, Facebook eased its registration by opening it up to everyone. Soon, young adults in their early and late 20s started flocking, bringing their friends along with them. Rest, as they say, is history. Facebook today has 800+ million members.

In future, Facebook will be the largest player in the social sphere, with little or no competition. But, it will come with its own price – privacy. It will know everything about its users. Imagine reading a news story on Guardian, one of Facebook partner sites, and your Facebook profile posts an update about you reading the story. No clicking, no liking, no hoops. Seamless sharing, every time you browse partner sites. They refer to this as frictionless sharing which is a better name than calling it “24/7 sharing.”
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Some might think that this is really awesome, but is it? What if you clicked on the article by mistake? What if it was something you didn’t want to share but a lapse in judgment caused you to click the link? No going back, there are people living on Facebook. Someone will see the update, no matter how quickly you try to remove it. Just look at the ticker on the right side of your Facebook profile. Blink, update, blink, update.

There is no solution, except caution and there is no point in quitting Facebook. I love the Timeline feature even though I have a blog and can document my entire life if I wanted to. Important events in my life are of concern to my friends, not the entire world. The preceding sentence doesn’t apply to famous people and pretenders Timeline is intuitive, user friendly and all my friends have access to it. We all have passively created a trail of events that can now be looked at and memorialized. Think death!

Keep in mind, the Facebook CEO is a young guy and will keep trying to maximize revenue by providing information related to its users to 3rd parties. Can’t blame him, I would do the same, if I were sitting on Geopbyte of user information. Diversify your digital footprint and don’t use everything Facebook offers. For e.g. use Fourquare to check in instead of Facebook.

Be smart about what you share, where you comment, what you do on Facebook and there won’t be any problems. Fingers crossed.

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social_media

Fresh New Social Media Icon Sets That Include Google+

Fresh New Social Media Icons Bloggers, designers, creative nerds and everyone in between, it’s about time you have an all-you-can-eat resource of social media icons. These icons are those small, sometimes big, images and graphics you see all over the internet. Primary use includes linking them to your social media profile.

My list consists of icon sets that include Google+, that’s why I say its fresh. Instead of listing Google+ icons, I decided that it would be better to link to icon sets that not only have Google+ but other icons. This will help you maintain uniformity across the board, see my header above, I am using Flippa Social Icon Set (below).

This is not an all inclusive list and I will be updating it as soon as I find new sets.

Wooden Social: Free Icon Set

Wooden Social: Free Icon Set

Wooden social free icon set consists of 10 icons for social media sites, including Google+,as well as common content-sharing icons like an RSS feed icon and an email icon.

Download | Visit the Author

Flippa Social Icon Set (PSD)

Flippa Social Icon Set (PSD)

Flippa Social Icon Set (PSD) includes 18 social icons in JPG, PNG & PSD Format in size 64x64px. This icon set includes Google+, Dribble, RSS, Forrst, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr, Digg, Last Fm, Stumbleupon, You Tube, Skype, Share This, Google, Linkedin, Gwolla and tumblr.

Download | Visit the Author

Somicro: 27 Free Simple Social Media Icons

Somicro: 27 Free Simple Social Media Icons

Somicro contains 27 icons covering most of the popular social networks out there including Google+

Download | Visit the Author

wplift social media icons

wplift social media icon set

70 social media icons including Google+.

Download | Visit the Author

Stained and Faded Social Media Icons

Stained and Faded Social Media Icons

Stained and Faded Social Media icon set includes 20 stained social media icons with one added for Google+.

Download | Visit the Author

Hand Drawn Social Media Icons

Hand Drawn Social Media Icons

15 hand-drawn social media icons for sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, RSS, Digg, StumbleUpon and more.

Download | Visit Author

Social Media Bookmarking Icons

Social Media Icons

Social media bookmarking icon set consisting of 38 individual icons of all popular social media sites including Google+. PNG format in size 64×64 and 32×32.

Download | Visit the Author