Although it got its start by enabling people to throw virtual pies at each other and turn themselves into vampires and werewolves, the Facebook ecosystem is growing up before our very eyes.
Stories by C.G. Lynch
On Facebook, the struggle to figure out who owns and accesses our data remains years away from any resolution - if we ever reach one. Yesterday, Facebook announced that it would act to shore up some privacy concerns that were voiced a month ago by Jennifer Stoddart, the privacy commissioner of Canada.
Although TweetDeck remains one of the most popular desktop applications for Twitter, Seesmic Desktop has provided users with an alternative. It touts many similar features, including the ability to group certain followers into their own tidy window panes, multi-account management and integration with Facebook. Also like TweetDeck, Seesmic runs on Adobe AIR, which allows you to run Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) on your desktop.
On Twitter, URL shorteners have become vastly important. With the 140 character constraints for each tweet, we wouldn't have the freedom to share a link and explain its significance without them. It turns out, not URL shorteners are created equal, either.
Facebook rolled out changes to its search engine yesterday that let you query the service for status messages and other pieces of content that people post to the social network. The move reflects Facebook's desire to compete with Twitter, where people increasingly turn to share information about current events, such as the recent disputed election in Iran.
It's easy to miss little gems of information on Twitter, the social networking service that allows users to exchange short messages. Because we all can't spend hours in front of the service, we miss important messages (or tweets) posted by colleagues, friends and family while we're away. As the list of people you follow on Twitter grows, the problem becomes more acute: hundreds of messages pass by and flow off the page before you've even had a chance to look at them.
Although many companies have been shedding jobs, some employers and recruiters have turned to Twitter to post positions and find new talent.
After you join Twitter, who do you follow? Deciding this can be an overwhelming task, especially if your goal is to avoid the noise on Twitter and trade messages with trusted colleagues and thought leaders in your industry.
In its ongoing efforts to make its software more appealing to enterprises, Google took some key steps today, starting with removing the "beta" label today from some of its core applications, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs and Talk. That longstanding beta tag had sometimes affected business buyers' decision whether or not to buy the Google Apps product, industry analysts say.
Back in 2004, Texas Instruments (TI) noticed a problem in its customer service department, one that's typical in companies serving technical customer bases. Some of TI's main customers (engineers) buy and use some of the company's most technical products, such as digital signal processors. TI needed a better way to quickly provide answers to customer questions, without the customer sitting on hold with a call center, waiting for a representative who might not even have the technical expertise to answer the inquiry.
As the Enterprise 2.0 conference unfolds in Boston this week, the whole software industry will be observing Microsoft's shift to online services, as it responds to the cloud computing model championed by competitors like Salesforce.com, Google and start-up social software vendors.
A few years ago, companies were grappling with how to harness Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis and social networks inside the enterprise. Over time, on a departmental level, business leaders would buy these technologies with or without IT's blessing to help meet their internal collaboration needs.
This week represents an important inflection point for the Enterprise 2.0 market, a set of software vendors that sell social networking technologies to businesses. Analysts say the number of competitors will consolidate in the coming year as Microsoft captures greater market share. The start-ups that will survive must carve out a longterm place for themselves by building applications that are far more innovative and cheaper than those of the incumbent software giant.
Our LinkedIn guide delivers expert advice on how to build a strong profile, practice good etiquette, manage connections and recommendations, and stand out to recruiters and employers with the social networking service. You'll also find analysis on how to take your LinkedIn use to the next level with company profiles, free applications, and more.
During the past two years, Facebook became the darling of Silicon Valley, watching its user base grow exponentially as its founder bombastically turned down billion dollar acquisition offers. But as the sobering realities of a tightening economy set in, it turns out LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, might be on track to build a more stable and immediately profitable business model that, unlike Facebook, doesn't rely solely on advertising and never-ending injections of venture capital.