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  • We’re in the ‘McDonalds Drive-Thru’ model of the information age

    When is the last time you heard music that shook you viscerally? Not a dandle, but a jolt. Something that saturated every crease in your barren soul and made it efflorescent. I’m talking about music that made you lose all inhibitions. Music that made you unabashedly ebullient, music that marched into your life like a special operations unit and subverted the jaded preconceptions about the state of the music industry, that you didn’t even know you had. It’s been a while hasn’t it? That’s it, that’s one of the biggest problems with the music industry and the reason why piracy is...

  • Highest tweets ever — Bin Laden’s death shakes up the internet

    The news of Osama Bin Laden's death has, not surprisingly, caused a major spike in internet traffic. The news of a successful mission to eliminate the most wanted man in the world sent users flooding the web for information and confirmation. Akamai’s Net Usage Index, a company which measures traffic for news sites that Akamai delivers content, recorded 4.1 million page views around 11:30pm (US Time) Sunday, when President Obama began his speech. Around the same time Twitter announced via a tweet that, "Last night saw the highest sustained rate of tweets ever. From 10:45 – 2:20am ET, there was...

  • Five researched ways to get more followers [Infographic]

    For marketers the most important use of Twitter is to increase your reach to spread your content. To do this, you need to get more followers. Sure there are customer service uses of Twitter, but for marketing purposes, follower count is key. I’ve been doing research for a few years now on how to get more followers, and here are some of the most important points I’ve found. You can find graphical details about each point in the infographic (below). Show us who you are When you sign up for Twitter, you’re asked to provide three pieces of personal information: a bio,...

  • Europe’s newspaper industry unease about paywalls

    There is a growing unease rising in Europe's newspaper industry. The troubled industry is keeping a close eye on the outcome of experiments by English language sites to charge for content but is reluctant to install paywalls for fear of losing readers. The New York Times, The Times of London and the Financial Times have all introduced paid subscriptions for online content in recent months but so far continental dailies have been slow to follow suit. While largely agreed that the industry's future is online, delegates at the ongoing European Newspaper Congress in Vienna are trying to work out not only...

  • Russian search engine reveals details about anti-corruption crusader

    Russia's top internet portal Yandex said Monday it has been forced to divulge financial details about the country's top anti-corruption crusader to the powerful Federal Security Service (FSB). The news came just days after the fast-rising Russian internet giant announced plans to list on New York's NASDAQ stock exchange. The popular search engine said it was approached by the FSB about financial contributions made through its Yandex Dengi (Yandex Money) service to Alexei Navalny -- a popular blogger who operates the RosPil whistleblowing website. RosPil and Navalny have used Yandex Dengi to raise about 6.2 million rubles (US$225 000) for private efforts...

  • Is there a future for hyperlocal media?

    Local is the new frontier. Local ads, deals, and services represent a massive business opportunity for the Internet giants and media companies. But local ads need local content and that local content can't be machine aggregated, it requires feet on the streets: selling ads and collecting the news. And 'Local' is a tough nut to crack. In the UK, Guardian newspaper recently said it will close three local news sites set up as an experiment in March 2010. These are based in Leeds, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. Each of the local news sites has won praise for strong reporting on local issues and has...

  • Royal Wedding: The digital dream wedding [Infographic]

    Whether you are a fan or not, after months of media coverage ranging from the derisive to the slavishly complimentary, you cannot have missed what April 29th means. It is finally here, the big day has dawned, it's Royal Wedding day. The nuptials of course will be most celebrated in the United Kingdom and her colonies. However, in the months leading up to the day, from running a more than commendable social media campaign, to viral videos, one would have been forgiven in thinking the internet in its entirety had become a realm of the Empire. Anyone who has spent...

  • Social media really is a big factor in search

    Gigya published an excellent white paper a year ago on the intersection of Social and Search. It is still worth reading, which is unusual in this fast-changing tech space. Some of the most interesting insights: A majority of the referral traffic for some sites like USA Today and ESPN come from social networks. The method for content discovery is a function of search intent and the influence of your social graph (the item is viewed as worthwhile by a person or entity to whom you are connected). Traditional search is intentional. Whereas in feeds the person viewing the items...

  • Investigation forced TechCrunch founder to disclose investment

    Kara Swisher, editor of "All Things Digital," reported that TechCrunch Editor Mike Arrington disclosed his investments in startups following her questions about the matter, put to AOL senior management. Swisher writes: On Tuesday night around 10 pm (just when I start getting revved up), I wrote a testy email to Arrington's bosses at AOL-Huffington and CEO Tim Armstrong-as well as the Internet portal's sharp PR head, asking for a response about what seemed to me to be a glaring conflict of interest at TechCrunch related to new investment activity by Arrington and the site's coverage of those particular companies he had...

  • Why is email so very complicated?

    People have always asked me questions about the work I’ve done on email technology, but the most commonly asked questions have changed radically over the last thirty years. ”What’s email?” used to be the most common by far, but I haven’t heard it in a remarkably long time. For a few painful months in 1985, the most common question I heard was “why is email so unreliable?” Later there was an idyllic period when what I heard most was, “how can I get all my friends and family to use email?” — for a brief period, it felt...

  • 5 tips from Google for the Royal Wedding

    Millions of people around the world are waiting in anticipation for the big royal event in London on Friday 29 April, 2011. For those who can not be present live at the ceremony, Google provides five interesting tools that will allow fans to watch the wedding and get more information about the big day. Royal wedding live on YouTube: The entire ceremony on Friday will be live streamed in real time on http://www.youtube.com/theroyalchannel. The live stream starts at 11 clock SA time. Internet users can watch the wedding procession, the ceremony in Westminster Abbey and the newlyweds sharing a kiss on...

  • TechCrunch founder admits conflict of interest with investments

    Mike Arrington, editor and founder of TechCrunch, an AOL company, today disclosed his investments in some high profile startups. He said he had refrained from making investments in startups since 2009 because of distracting accusations of conflicts of interest but that he had recently changed that policy (following the sale of Techcrunch to AOL). Over the last several months I have begun investing actively again. We've noted these investments in Shawn Fanning's new startup and in Kevin Rose's new startup. I have also become a limited partner in two venture funds, Benchmark Capital and SoftTech VC. I am considering investments in a...

  • Facebook carefully: Protecting your personal brand online

    I have little doubt that when Christine Rubino, a seasoned junior-school teacher in Brooklyn, New York City, made public her acute frustrations with her fifth-grade class, she had no conception just how far reaching a single Facebook update could be. The Brooklyn community had only recently faced the death of a 12-year-old Harlem schoolgirl who, caught in an ocean rip current, had drowned on a class outing to the beach. A day later, Rubino, clearly referencing the event, posted, "After today, I’m thinking the beach is a good trip for my class. I hate their guts". A colleague and...

  • Q&A: Jon Gosier on crowdsourcing and the ‘Silicon Valley of Africa’

    Jon Gosier is one of the most impressive figures from the African technology scene to make it internationally. He is a TedX senior fellow, and works as the Director of Product for SwiftRiver at Ushahidi, which is a "platform for making sense of streams of realtime data." Gosier is also the founder of Appfrica, a business incubator for East African technologists. Gosier spoke to Memeburn about the future of crowdsourcing and why East Africa is such a thriving technology hub. Memeburn: What is it that has turned Kenya into the "Silicon valley of africa"? Jon Gosier: Hunger. It's natural progression....

  • Apple responds: ‘We are not tracking your location’

    There has been plenty of buzz about the iPhone and its operating system, iOS 4, and how it has been secretly tracking the locations of its users. After more than a week of silence, Apple finally responded. The first response was allegedly from CEO Steve Jobs—who is still on medical leave from Apple—when he replied to an email received from a customer. The customer was unnerved at the realisation that their “location is being recorded at all times” and they asked Jobs why they should remain with Apple over, say, Android, as “they don’t track me”. Jobs shot back...