Posted tagged ‘Digg’

Google To Acquire Twitter?

April 3, 2009

It’s just a rumor but…wow!

According to a report by TechCrunch, Google is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter.

From TechCrunch:

We don’t know the price but can assume its well, well north of the $250 million valuation that they saw in their recent funding.

Twitter turned down an offer to be bought by Facebook just a few months ago for half a billion dollars, although that was based partially on overvalued Facebook stock. Google would be paying in cash and/or publicly valued stock, which is equivalent to cash. So whatever the final acquisition value might be, it can’t be compared apples-to-apples with the Facebook deal.

Why would Google want Twitter? We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game.

From Silicon Alley Insider:

One of Arrington’s sources says the deal is in “late stage” negotiations, while another says the deal is in “fairly early stages” and that the companies are also just talking about working together on a “Google real time search engine.”

There is a price for everything. But unless Google is offering a fortune — in cash — it’s too early for Twitter to sell itself.

Twitter is flush with cash, having just raised another $35 million at a $250 million valuation. Its growth shows no signs of slowing, it has little competition beyond Facebook — which has struggled to elegantly replicate Twitter’s real-time chatter — and has only just started trying to make money, with several revenue opportunities ahead.

If the price is right — $750 million to $1 billion in cash — Twitter and its investors are smart to take the money and run. Twitter doesn’t want to become the next Digg, which wasn’t able to sell itself at the peak of the Web 2.0 bubble, and now will have to do a lot of work to get a big deal. But we still think Twitter is in a very good position to become the “rails” that the real-time Web rides on… and that could be worth a LOT of money someday.

Meanwhile, why would Google want Twitter? It’s not making any meaningful money. And while that doesn’t usually stop Google — see YouTube, etc. — sales and profitability are more important today than in 2006.

The difference between Twitter and YouTube: Twitter actually has significant relevance to Google’s main search business. As Twitter’s popularity increases — which it is, rapidly — the idea of “real-time search” will be increasingly important to Google.

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iPhone to Add Cut and Paste Features

March 16, 2009

The founder of social news site Digg Kevin Rose has claimed to have a handful of details on what Apple will announce in its iPhone OS 3.0 unveiling tomorrow.

The cut and paste features sound interesting. Let’s see what is announced tomorrow.

From Ars Technica:

Among Rose’s mentionable tidbits is that copy and paste should finally arrive, and he even offered a believable explanation, a clip of which is embedded below, of how the feature will work.

Rose explains that, in iPhone OS 3.0, double-tapping a word will display a magnifying-glass-like icon that contains two draggable quotation marks. Drag the marks around the word or chunk of text you want to copy, and a contextual menu will appear, offering options to copy or paste. This sounds fairly plausible, and at least as good of a UI implementation as any of the previous mockups of how this feature could work. It is worth noting that Rose has a pretty good Apple rumor track record, nailing some announcements like the 4G iPod nano, the original iPhone, and iTunes 8. The full Diggnation episode (number 194), recorded live at SXSW this past weekend, is not yet up on the Revision3 Diggnation site. You will have to deal with the brief clips for now. Unfortunately, Rose does not get into specifics of just how far this copy and paste functionality will reach.

Google’s Android smartphone OS, for example, only allows the feature to shuffle around words in text boxes. Will iPhone OS 3.0 allow users to copy text from a webpage and paste it into an e-mail or a text box on the page for posting to forums? What about more ad-hoc behavior, such as copying details from a profile in the Facebook app for pasting into the iPhone’s internal Address Book?

From ZDNet:

According to Kevin Rose during a segment of Diggnation (video) the long-awaited copy and paste functionality will be demonstrated at Thursday’s iPhone OS 3.0 media event in Cupertino.

The revelation occurred during Diggnation #194 which was recorded live at Stubbs in Austin, Texas, during SxSW Interactive 2009. In it Rose reveals that copy and paste will be invoked by double tapping on a word, and a magnifier bubble will appear with two quotes that you can drag around your selection. Once you make your selection, you will have options to cut, copy or paste.

In the same segment Rose says that background apps and video didn’t make the cut for 3.0 but that the iPhone would catch up with all the features coming in the Palm Pre.

MacRumors adds that Copy and Paste will be arriving in 3.0 alongside a much improved homepage/springboard with the ability to organize in categories.

FriendFeed: More Twitter or Facebook?

January 27, 2009

With its ability to process information coming from more than 60 social Web applications, FriendFeed seems to be less of a competitor to Twitter and more of a threat to Facebook’s News Feed.

With a 3,170 percent increase in traffic over the past year, FriendFeed could be THE social application to watch in 2009.

From PR 2.0:

Defining FriendFeed is easier said than done. In fact, it’s less of a competitor to Twitter and more of a vertical threat to Facebook’s prized news feed. The News Feed featured in Facebook is considered the central nervous system to the social graph. It powers conversations, connections and collaboration. As Facebook Connect “connects” you and your social graph across the Web, it will increase in value as it aggregates all outside activity into one centralized stream for your friends, and friends of friends, to review, interpret, and respond. Also, don’t rule out an acquisition of Twitter either.

FriendFeed is one of the most prominent examples of a dedicated lifestream (brandstream). It channels your social activity and also that of your social graph into one simplified river of relevance. As new items appear in the stream, it invites bookmarking and threaded conversations that promote dialog. For example, you can import activity from flickr, youtube, twitter, backtype, blogs, Last.fm, Seesmic, Upcoming, LinkedIn, Yelp, Amazon, Picasa, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Disqus, and 12 seconds. The growing list of services currently sits at 60, but technically you can integrate any service that generates an RSS feed. Most important is FriendFeed’s ability to port your Facebook status into your stream. Technically, you can now host, contribute to and participate in a more comprehensive “news feed” with the potential of reaching a far greater, or perhaps focused and dedicated audience of people who either aren’t on Facebook or prefer something different.

Silicon Valley Feeling Effects of Tough Economic Times

October 15, 2008

It seems that although the storm clouds are hanging high over Wall Street in New York, the effects of a struggling economy are being felt all the way across the country here in the Silicon Valley.

From Newsweek:

As if waking from a dream, Silicon Valley has suddenly realized that the collapsing economy means trouble for tech companies, too. Especially at risk are the new startups created in the wake of the last dotcom crash in 2001. The signal traits of these Web 2.0 companies are cutesy logos, odd-sounding names—Twitter, Zooomr, Digg, Ning, Loopt—and flimsy business plans based on a vague notion of luring millions of people to free Web sites and someday selling advertisements. Most lose money. Some have raised enough venture-capital funding to survive for a year or more. Some may be able to raise more from venture backers, albeit at onerous terms. But many are going to flame out.

The correction is long overdue. Over the past two years, valuations on some Valley startups have soared to ridiculous levels. Facebook, the social-networking site, last year raised money at a $15 billion valuation despite being profitless and only three years old. Ning, another social-networking site, has raised $104 million and was most recently valued at $500 million. (Cofounder Marc Andreessen, a Valley veteran, said earlier this year he was raising money to ride out a coming “nuclear winter.”) Slide, a maker of software widgets that let Facebook users “Poke” and “SuperPoke” each other, earlier this year raised $50 million at a $550 million valuation. Just as in the original dotcom boom of the late 1990s, Valley types claimed these valuations were perfectly reasonable, and insisted there was no bubble. Those who have raised war chests remain upbeat. “Not to sound obnoxious, but this downturn could be good for us,” says Max Levchin, founder and CEO of Slide, in San Francisco. “Some of our competitors are going to go out of business.”

Public markets are practically shut down to new offerings. Even the chance of being acquired has grown slimmer. Without the prospect of a hefty “liquidity event,” as it’s called in the Valley, a lot of these former high fliers don’t seem so sexy anymore. Facebook attracted top talent with the promise of a public stock offering that would create loads of overnight millionaires (and a few overnight billionaires) the way Google did when it went public in 2004. Now Facebook employees are jumping ship, including Dustin Moskovitz, a company cofounder.

Blog Shack, Baby Blog Shack!

August 26, 2008

It’s known as the Blog Shack at the Democratic National Convention. We are told to think of it as Animal House, but with a corporate sponsor. The free beer starts at 1 p.m. and the couches are comfy and ready for social media to report on the event. Sounds like a lot of fun to me! Unfortunately, I was not invited. Oh well, maybe in 2012!

From SiliconValley.com:

Some 500 bloggers from Berkeley’s Daily Kos to Susan “the Neon Nurse” from Lamar, Colo. (pop. 9,062), are crammed into what, it turns out, is a not-quite-big-enough tent to meet the crush of bloggers descending on Denver this week.

The two-story, 8,000-square-foot tent, a few blocks from the convention center where traditional media types are holed up, is advertised as new media central for the convention.

With sponsors including Google, YouTube and Digg, the Big Tent also underscores how the blogging community is going mainstream.

“It’s old media meets new media. It’s new media meets new media. I’m just here to meet somebody,” laughed Matt Cooper, the former Time Magazine investigative reporter who blogs and writes for Portfolio, a national business magazine.

“I just wonder if bloggers can have as much impact when they are in the same place as the big dogs,” he added, referring to bloggers joining mainstream media to cover a political convention.

The Democratic National Convention has credentialed more than 120 blogs, but only a fraction of those who wanted in. The privately funded tent is meant to handle the overflow. Just because they can’t get onto the floor hasn’t stopped them from writing about everything from the 1,200 parties and the side political meetings to opining about, well, everything.

Apple, Yahoo and Microsoft also are in Denver. But marketing-minded Google is making the biggest splash at both this week’s Democratic convention and next week’s meeting of Republicans in St. Paul. Google has teams of people encouraging delegates and bloggers to use an array of Google-owned technologies offered by YouTube, Blogger.com and Picasa, a photo service. Yahoo is hosting public policy forums with Democratic party leaders.

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, is blogging from the Big Tent, too.

“I’ve been a couch potato, but this election is just too darned important,” Newmark said. “But this is how the media is changing. It gives guys like me a place and an opportunity to raise our voices.”

The Buzz on Yahoo Buzz

August 19, 2008

I’ve been taking a look lately at Yahoo Buzz and how it will soon be allowing users to determine what is popular on the Internet at the moment, all based upon stories from a set of pre-approved publishers. In fact, I have used this to see what people are and aren’t talking about, especially during a time when there is A LOT to read about in the news.

Michael Arrington From TechCrunch had this to say:

Buzz, Yahoo’s Digg-like effort to leverage reader gestures and third party content in determining the most popular news, removes it’s barriers to entry tonight.

Until now only a hundred or so invited publishers could post news to Buzz. This was a big plug – Yahoo pushes a few Yahoo Buzz stories to their home page every day, resulting in huge, server-melting traffic surges to the lucky third party sites.

Starting tonight, the invitation requirement is gone, and anyone can submit their stories to Buzz.

From Larry Dignan of ZDNet:

The update to Buzz, which is being rolled out tonight, may be an interesting experiment. For instance, Buzz today favors select publishers, but beginning tomorrow perhaps research papers, patent filings and Twitter messages could be added.

Buzz, which has given Digg a run for its money, will have more updates “over the next couple of months,” says Yahoo.

It’s good to see that Yahoo! has opened up Buzz to the general public. I wonder if the increased popularity in Buzz will eventually force them to open up the process completely, like Digg, or if they will maintain their current editorial moderation.

All I know is that I’ve found that taking a look at what others like me are saying allows me to better sift through the plethora of information out there. It also allows me to see what people are looking to hear/read about much easier. Thoughts?