Posts tagged “Internet

MySpace fights for survival

Before Facebook took over the world, there was this little social media site called MySpace. It was uber-cool, attracting those who were hip, connected and expressive. It was arguably the first large-scale social network.

Trendy bands and celebrities all had a MySpace page, through which Gen Y was able to get that little bit closer to their idols. Above all though, it provided the first real way for people to connect with each other online, launching social media into the connected world’s consciousness.

Then Facebook came along, followed by Twitter and a host of other social networking tools and kick-started MySpace’s decline.

One area where it remained strong however, was in the music and entertainment arena, where it still provided a platform for artists to engage with fans in a dynamic environment. Then in July this year, Mashable reported that even this aspect of MySpace was losing ground.

MySpace’s reaction to this has been a complete rebrand and relaunch. Changes include a new logo, a focus on entertainment only, and the facility to share on Facebook and Twitter, the very sites that caused its decline.

The new site will hit Australian shores next month, with a mobile site and apps to follow for iPhone and Android thereafter. In the meantime, MySpace has released this video as a teaser:

Features of the new MySpace will include content hubs which combine programmed editorial with trending articles that feature news, videos and photos, a personalised content stream based on user preferences and providing recommendations and, seemingly inspired by Foursquare, badges that reward user activity.

Time will tell if these changes will save the once flourishing site. Positioning MySpace as a complement to rather than a competitor of Facebook is certainly a good start, and may well result in former users giving it a second look. However, don’t expect to see MySpace back on top any time soon.

And certainly don’t hold your breath for any movies to be made about its founders.


A blog post entirely from my iPhone

Last week I wrote about how the rise of mobile apps is changing the way we access the Internet. But what about how we create content for it? That too is changing, and to demonstrate how, this entire post comes from the WordPress app on my iPhone.

A variety of apps exist for creating web content via mobile platforms. Mobile technology allows us to shoot photos and have them online in seconds. And as I mentioned in my last post, content on the Twittersphere is increasingly being generated from tablets and smartphones.

WordPress has an app. Tumblr has an app. Smartphones have the ability to record video and post directly to YouTube. A number of generic blogging apps are also available which talk to the various platforms.

There are limitations however. The app I’m typing this on doesn’t have a function to add links. The picture I uploaded can only appear at the bottom of the post. I can still however add tags.

Due to the limitations discussed, an interface such as this one won’t become my sole tool for writing to WordPress. But it is very useful if I’m out and about and an idea comes to me which I need to get into words while it’s still fresh. I can always log in via the web later to beautify and add links.

For journalists the ability to get content up instantaneously cannot be underestimated. Media outlets vying to be the first with an exclusive now work in a new wireless battleground. Reporters will need to adapt accordingly.

And if there’s one thing that’s beyond doubt, it’s that with the speed of technological advancement, methods of creating content like this will definitely improve and limitations will be swept away.


Is the World Wide Web dead?

It seems that we had barely begun to declare the print media’s demise, now all of a sudden there are some that say the World Wide Web is treading the same path.

In a Wired.com report entitled “The Web is Dead. Long live the Internet“, authors Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff argue that the uptake of mobile apps means that fewer people are using their web browsers. Increasingly, they are checking their emails, getting their news, using social media and being entertained entirely through specialised applications. In short, they are using the internet but not the web.

But does this spell doom? No one can doubt that the smartphone/tablet revolution hasn’t had an effect. But is it a bit premature to declare the web dead? After all, corporate workers spend their days in front of computer screens where the web is a click away. Travellers continue to frequent internet cafes. And there’s still plenty of people out there who can’t use web apps from their old-school mobile handsets.

To try and answer this question, I decided to go out and ask a few people how they access the internet. Here’s what they said:

People are one half of the equation. Organisations who rely on their web presence aren’t going to give up without a fight either. Twitter has recently overhauled its web portal to combat the growing use of third-party clients. As Peter Cashmore wrote for CNN, the intent of the redesign was “to make Twitter.com a compelling Web destination”. Meanwhile, Facebook’s constant redesigning of its web portal suggests Zuckerberg and Co still place much importance on it.

All this leads me to think that it’s a little premature to be reading the World Wide Web its last rites. After all, chances are you’re reading this right now on a web browser.

Then again – having said that, as I sit in front of my computer writing this – I did just check my email on my mobile.


A news experiment:

Theoretically, could someone shun all other media and rely solely on Twitter for news? To find out I’ve decided to tell the story of Australia’s 2010 Federal Election in under 20 tweets.

To make it more fun, I’ve introduced three rules:

  1. I must include tweets from people – not just news sites
  2. I must include tweets from the politicians who are on Twitter where possible
  3. I cannot use the same tweeter twice.

Here goes:

sunriseon7
Election set for Sat Aug 21 12:05 PM Jul 17th

TonyAbbottMHR
This election is about giving a great people a better government. The Coalition will end the waste, stop the taxes and stop the boats. 6:35 PM Jul 17th

JonAppleyard
According to Wayne Swan, Labor can’t stop the leaks. If you can’t govern yourself, how can you govern the country? 10:49 AM Jul 29th

emmygrrl
So PM says she’s going to cut the PR and be the “real Julia”. Let me guess, a PR hack advised her to say that? 10:25 AM Aug 2nd

JuliaGillard
Switched on the NBN in Tasmania today. It will deliver faster internet to Australians & create jobs but @TonyAbbottMHR wants to axe it. JG 12:21 PM Aug 12th

abcnews
A new opinion poll gives Labor an election-winning lead – but it’s close 5:57 AM Aug 18th

GetUp
GetUp members and vollies are EVERYWHERE today as #ausvotes! 10:22 AM Aug 21st

TimOnTwtr
Poms split their vote across 3 parties to get hung parlt. Ha! we can do it with 2 parties and a few indies! 12:17 AM Aug 22nd

4zzznews
ALP, Libs to negotiate with Independents to win office after Saturday’s election 8:37 AM Aug 23rd

AdamBandt
Together with Bob Brown & Christine Milne, just signed agt with the PM to support a Gillard govt. Real movement on climate. More to come. 11:50 AM Sep 1st

MelbourneBuzz
3 independents don’t agree with each other but have put forward a “7 point wishlist” how will this be stable? 7:40 PM Aug 25th

naomiwoodley
Both Katter and Windsor have now criticised Abbott for refusing to put Coalition policies in to Treasury for costing. 10:41 PM Aug 25th

geeksrulz
A confidential Treasury analysis has revealed an $800 million hole in the Coalition budget costings 12:11 AM Aug 10th

fourhares
IND Wilkie reflects his constituency & backs Labor. 3 Amigos should reflect theirs & support LNP! 8:04 PM Aug 28th

SBSNews
Bob Katter throws his support behind the Coalition, but indicates it’s not unconditional support 2:10 PM Sep 7th

mattymcg
Tony Windsor chose to support Labor because of the issues of broadband and climate change. Onya Tony!! 3:09 PM Sep 7th

peter_tonoli
Do we have to wait another 17 days for Oakeshott to finish talking? 3:29 PM Sep 7th

mfarnsworth
OFFICIAL: Oakeshott and Windsor back Gillard. Labor survives election 76-74. Coalition defeated. 3:31 PM Sep 7th

Done – in 18 tweets!


English 2.0

The other day I was flipping through the Daily Telegraph when I came across the headline “Chaos as Amazon dries up”.

My first thought was “Wow, is Amazon.com in some kind of financial trouble?” Reading on, my folly was exposed as I realised the article was about that other great Amazon, the river in South America. That I immediately thought along tech lines got me thinking about the extent to which the internet, Web 2.0 and social media have influenced our language.

Terms that didn’t exist or were little-known just a few short years ago are now part of our day-to-day dialogue. Phrases like “I googled it”, “read my blog”, “send a tweet” and “I’ll IM you later” are now common.

Instant messaging too has spawned a language all its own. This clip explains some of the lingo that the tech generation have embraced as second nature (You’ll have to click through to YouTube as the video has had embed disabled):

But it’s not just the messaging folk that have all the fun. Here are some other terms associated with Web 2.0 and social media doing the rounds:

Thanks to the Web 2.0 Glossary!

Avatar: The visual (oftentimes cartoonish) representation of a person in a virtual world or virtual chat room.

Blog: Short for “weblog”, it  is a series of articles usually written in a slightly informal tone. You’re reading one right now.

Blogosphere: This refers to all blogs across the Internet regardless of whether they are an individual blog or part of a blog network.

Enterprise 2.0: The process of taking Web 2.0 tools and ideas and introducing them to the workplace.

Mashup: A recent trend, it is the ‘opening up’ of websites whereby they allow other websites access to their information, allowing information from multiple websites to be combined for creative effect.

Podcast: The distribution of audio and video “shows” across the Internet, such as a video blog or an Internet radio show.

Tweet:  An individual message or status update on social networking service Twitter.

Viral: The digital version of grassroots, ‘viral’ refers the process of an article, video or podcast becoming popular by being passed from person to person or rising to the top of popularity lists on social media websites.

Webcast: An audio/visual broadcast that takes place over the web. How is this different from podcast?

Having trouble keeping up? You might have something in common with this guy.


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