Archive

Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

Not Only Is Spam Annoying, But It’s Killing the Earth!

April 22nd, 2011 No comments

In honor of Earth Day, Wordstream, a company that provides Internet marketing software and tools, created a very interesting infographic concerning the negative effects the Internet has on the planet. How were we to know that while we were  searching for “funny cat pictures” or watching LEEEEROOOYY JEEENKKINS go into battle, we were also causing harmful CO2 to be emitted into the environment.

 

 

It’s Finally Here!: Behold The Apple iPad 2

March 11th, 2011 No comments

Source: ZDNet.com

Beginning at 5PM local time, the much anticipated iPad 2 will be on sale across the U.S. at Apple stores (236 to be exact), AT&T & Verizon stores, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, and other Apple-Authorized Resellers. Additionally, customers can order their iPad 2 at Apple.com starting at 1AM PT/4AM ET on March 11th. Furthermore, Apple has stated that “every customer that purchases an iPad 2 at an Apple retail store will be offered a free, Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPad 2 by setting up email, loading new apps from the App Store℠ and even more. This new addition cuts down the time it takes to get our iPad 2 up and running  before you even leave the store.” Even though all of this sounds fine and dandy, it’s important to analyze the differences between the iPad and iPad 2, whether you are upgrading or purchasing your first tablet.

Size and Weight:

  • iPad: 1.5lb; 9.56×7.47x.528 inches; rounded edges, flat back
  • iPad 2: 1.33lb; 9.5×7.31x.346 inches; rounded edges, curved back

Display:

  • Same: 9.7 inches; multi-touch display at a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels; LED backlighting; fingerprint and scratch-resistant coating

Processor:

  • iPad: 1 GHz Apple A4 system on a chip

    Source: WashingtonPost.com

  • iPad 2: 1.08 GHz Apple A5 system on a chip

Operating Systen:

  • iPad: iOS 4.2.1
  • iPad 2: iOS 4.3

Battery:

  • Same: built-in-25 watt-hour rechargeable lithium polymer battery; 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music; 9 hours of surfing the web using 3G data netowrk

Environmental Sensor:

  • iPad: accelerometer, ambient light sensor, magnetometer
  • iPad 2: +Gyroscope

However, the iPad 2, despite having that ever so important earphone jack, comes with only a charger and sync cable. The new back camera is a more exciting function than the original as it shoots less than 1MP and does not have a flash; In addition, the new front-facing camera shoots at VGA-quality,which allows for Skype’s FaceTime.  One flaw is that it does not have HD-level video, like on the new MacBooks. Above the volume control sits the rotational lock/mute switch that can be adjusted in the settings menu to control either function. Additionally, the new Safari browser allows you to view some pages in full or mobile modes (i.e. ESPN.com), as well as watch some mini-videos on sites such as ESPN, CNN, and Vimeo. Customers will also have the option to purchase the iPad 2 in white or black and the new Smart Cover. The Smart Cover is made of either polyurethane or leather and comes in an array of colors. A nifty new accessory, the Smart Cover magnetically attaches to the side of your iPad, protects the screen, and automatically sends the iPad to sleep when it’s closed and wakes it when it’s opened.

WashingtonPost.com

 

Prices for the iPad 2 are as follows:

Wi-Fi Only:

  • 16 GB: $499
  • 32 GB: $599
  • 64 GB: $699

Wi-Fi+3G

  • 16 GB: $629
  • 32 GB: $729
  • 64 GB: $829

If you can’t decide whether or not you want the option of a 3G service plan in the future (or know you want it now), here is what you can expect to pay from AT&T and Verizon Wireless for data services:

AT&T

  • 250MB: $12.99
  • 2GB: $25.00
  • AT&T is also offering 1 free month of 2GB of data; Overages for AT&T are $10 per GB if you exceed your limit.

Verizon Wireless

  • 1 GB: $20
  • 3 GB; $35
  • 5 GB: $50
  • 10GB: $80
  • All of Verizon’s data plans will be available without a contract, so the users have the option to activate or cancel service at any time.

So no matter what you are planning on doing to get your hands on the iPad 2, whether it be standing in a long line, pre-ordering to avoid the craziness, or you have some other method.  Let us know about your experience in your adventure to get the latest in mobile technology or whatever thoughts you have on the Apple iPad 2.

 

Yahoo! Gives MyBlogLog The Pink Slip

March 3rd, 2011 1 comment
After a little over six years as an online community, MyBlogLog has been given the proverbial pink slip by  its parent company, Yahoo!, in an attempt to cut costs. Originally created by Cloudspace, MyBlogLog allows interactions between bloggers by way of a web widget that also enables members to see who visited  their blog. Acquired for $10 million in January 2007 by Yahoo!, MyBlogLog currently has over 275,000 members and averages approximately 22 million daily page visits by way of the MyBlogLog widget. On February 24, 2011, Yahoo! announced that MyBlogLog will be terminated on May 24, 2011 in an e-mail to its users:

Dear MyBlogLog Customer,

You have been identified as a customer of Yahoo! MyBlogLog. We will officially discontinue Yahoo! MyBlogLog effective May 24, 2011. Your agreement with Yahoo!, to the extent that it applies to the Yahoo! MyBlogLog, will terminate on May 24, 2011…

We thank you for being a customer on Yahoo! MyBlogLog.

Sincerely,

The Yahoo! MyBlogLog Team

The termination of MyBlogLog brings into light the failure of Yahoo!’s recent acquisitions that are unable to hurdle the integration difficulties and endless, bureaucratic red tape to continue moving forward. As it turns out,  these issues ultimately cause the founders to bolt after the two-year mark and leave the users with the shell of the founders’ ultimate goal.

 

Geocities (acquired January 1999; $2.87 billion)

  • Announcement after Acquisition: Yahoo said it plans to integrate Geocities tools into areas such as auctions, chat, message boards, and classifieds. It also plans to integrate the community site’s home page building services into Yahoo Clubs. (Cnet)
  • Current Status: Geocities was closed done by Yahoo! in late June 2009.

Flickr (acquired March 2005; $35 million)

  • Announcement after Acquisition: “We’ll be working with a bunch of people that totally get Flickr and want to preserve the community and the flavor of what is here. We’re going to grow and change, but we’re in it for the long haul, with the same management and same team.” (Flickr)
  • Founders’ Status: After three years, co-founders Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield left the company, while many engineers were laid off in 2009.
  • What happened?: Ex-Flickr architect Kellan Elliot-McCrea on Yahoo!’s bureaucracy: “Roughly 15% of any of the large projects they (we?) tackled over the last few years (internalization, video, various growth strategies, etc) went into the building feature. 85% was spent dealing with Yahoo!.” (Quora).
  • Current Status: Even with Facebook grabbing some of the photo sharers, as of September 2010, Flickr had hosted more than $5 billion photos.

Upcoming (acquired October 2005; $1 million)

  • Announcement after Acquisition: “We’re happy to become valued members of the Y! Local Team, trusted to turn out part-time ideas and blue sky into a tangible, fully-featured events offering. The opportunity to join forces with Y! ultimately bespeaks all of our sincere interest in making a useful, interesting events substrate on which a flourishing, social community can naturally grow.” (co-founder Gordon Luk)
  • Founders’ Status: Co-founders Gordon Luk and Andy Baio left a few years later.
  • What Happened?: According to ex-Upcoming engineer Neil Kandalgaonkar, Upcoming was “parceled out to different parts of Yahoo! where they were subordinate to the existing hierarchy and agenda.” He additionally stated that the “Yahoo! model is to think of their sites as media properties with audiences, and bolder ideas like one social network encompassing them all was never a priority.”
  • Current Status: Yahoo! announced a new look for Upcoming in December, but it is also possible that it will be merged with other Yahoo! sites.

Del.icio.us (acquired December 2005; speculated $15-20 million)

  • Announcement after Acquisition: Joshua Schachter: “Together we’ll continue to improve how people discover, remember and share on the Internet, with a big emphasis on the power of community. We’re excited to be working with the Yahoo! search team – they definitely get social systems and their potential to change the web.”
  • Founders’ Status: Joshua Schachter left in June 2008 after his contract expired.
  • What Happened?: Joshua Schachter: “I was largely sidelined by the decisions of my management. It was an incredibly infuriating experience.”
  • Current Status: Still active with over 5.3 million users as of 2008; however, there have been leaks that Yahoo! may let the app sunset.

MyBlogLog (acquired January 2007; $10 million)

  • Announcement after Acquisition: “We don’t plan on making any immediate changes to the MyBlogLog Web site, distribution or branding. We want to encourage and not disrupt the continued growth of the MyBlogLog community and foster the innovation that has already made MyBlogLog an indispensable part of lives.”
  • Founders’ Status: The founders of MyBlogLog, left the company in July 2007.
  • What Happenened?: Co-founder Eric Marcoulier: “So much of your company’s long term success when it’s acquired is based on the amount of executive juice it has. The only way it survives and flourishes is if you have an executive champion who promotes it internally. Shortly after we were acquired we were transferred away from our champion and under someone who didn’t feel the same way about MyBlogLog. In those circumstances, things simply slow down.”
  • Current Status: MyBlogLog users were informed on February 24, 2011 that MyBlogLog would be terminated May 24, 2011.

Maven (acquired February 2008; $160 million)

  • What Happened? Yahoo! announced that expansion was no longer cost effective and wanted to focus on other video offerings. (PaidContent)
  • Current Status: Yahoo! announced that the platform will no longer be supported, beginning in 2010.

 

It can be argued that, in the end, it is all too difficult for acquired entities to change their organizational structure to overcome the bureaucracy they encounter at large organizations, like Yahoo!.  Additionally, as stated by Kellan Elliot-McCrea, it was not only difficult to move forward due to endless meetings and decreased control, but, in the case of Flickr, innovation and technological advances were stymied due to a decrease in available resources. However, there are examples that disprove this theory, such as the acquisition of Rivals.com (acquired by Yahoo! in June 2007 for a reported $100 million). For those of you that are unfamiliar with Rivals, it is a website that is mainly dedicated to college basketball and football recruiting. Even though it is a small niche website, Rivals successfully competes with Scout.com (acquired by Fox Interactive Media in June 2005 for a reported $60 million) and ESPN recruiting for the loyalty of college fans everywhere who seek out daily news on that next big recruit who is going to take their program to the top. (It must be noted that it is somewhat unfair to include ESPN recruiting in this discussion due to the fact that ESPN Recruiting Insider airs every Thursday at 5 on ESPNU). Regardless, even after Yahoo! acquired Rivals, it did not nose-dive, like other acquisitions, but continued to grow and compete as a top source for extensive college recruiting news. In other words, to use the an old cliché, only time will tell if each failure is solely Yahoo!’s fault or if these startups “sunset” due to a combination of corporate competition, absence of a forward-looking business model and/or bureaucratic setbacks.

Categories: social media Tags:

Hashable: Keeping Track Of Your Relationships

February 14th, 2011 No comments

Let’s face it.  Business cards are out of style.  People are no longer buying fancy business cards and handing them out for people to put in their rolodex.  Come on, it’s 2011 people, it’s time for a better way to track your business and social relationships in a more efficient and beneficial way.  Hashable is the answer.  These days most people carry around smart phones that have the latest technology.  Hashable uses that technology to track and manage each and every one of your relationships.

credit

credit

Here’s what Michael Yavonditte, CEO, had to say about it. “Hashable is a mobile-first service that allows you to track relationships. It’s similar to Foursquare in a lot of ways. As Foursquare is to location, Hashable is to people.  So when you meet a person, you can say, ‘I’ve run into this person, I’ve met this person, I’ve just had a meeting with this person’.  It runs the gamut to breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, coffee. Anything that a white-collar professional might do with another person, Hashable gives you a chance to log that event.”

credit

It also allows you to put a person’s information in the system and it will give you a list of other people who have had interactions with that person. It is a great networking tool that can  be utilized to establish and build existing relationships.  Hashable also allows the user the ability to go back through time and see every meeting and encounter you have ever had.

So instead of thumbing through your old rolodex or spending money on fancy business cards to try and impress your colleagues, grab your smart phone and give Hashable a try.  Not only will it save you space in your wallet and on your desk, but it will also save you the time and effort.  Heck, maybe even help you win a good, heated argument among friends about a past meeting.  So go to your App store and check it out!  Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments!

Why is About.me so Important?

February 11th, 2011 No comments

About.me is a single site with access to all your personal social media site information(Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Formspring, etc) and analytics on who comes to visit and what they read about you. Any user can figure out exactly who comes to look at their data. About.me allows users to personalize their own page by allowing them to choose their own fonts, colors, background style, and picture.

Profile Statistics: Users can monitor how many views, clicks, and links there are to their personal site. This can be done daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Historical statistics are also available. It shows average time spent on profile, total views, and percent of new visitors.

Datastacks: Shows the users activity. When an individual updates their Facebook or Twitter these updates are added to your about.me datastacks page. Weekly updates are provided to show you how many tweets or status updates you make per week as well as an per week average. This page also provides your reach which includes your friends and followers. It also allows you to see who you @reply.

Promote: There is an options to promote your about.me page to help improve your traffic by e-mail (Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, Windows Live); Social Web (Facebook & Twitter); an Embedded Link; Search Engines; & Google Adwords.

All of this might sound a bit complex, but it is not. Make your about.me today and see how straight forward it is. If you own your own business or looking for a new job this site is a great way to get yourself known on the web in a professional manner.

credit

Tony Conrad is the co-founder of About.me. Mr. Conrad is from Indiana, but has also lived in Chicago, New York, New Delhi, Paris, Jakarta, and San Francisco. For more information on Tony check out his About.me page.

Can’t shake the never ending Facebook trail? Here’s a suggestion.

January 26th, 2011 No comments

As we all know Facebook has taken over the internet.  It is currently the second most visited site and has roughly 500 million users.  With all the publicity and success that Facebook has had, they have also had a significant amount of backlash from users about privacy concerns.  So what can you do? The first and obvious solution to your concerns would be to cancel your account.  This may seem like the easiest and quickest solution, but it really isn’t.   Facebook is everywhere, most people you know use the site, and it is used as a means of communicating with current as well as past friends and schoolmates.  Not only would you be losing your access to those people and the information they post, but also missing out on opportunities with many organizations.  More and more organizations are joining Facebook’s Connect Network and incorporating the site’s development tools into their own web pages.  There are over two million sites on the web that you can sign up with by using your Facebook password and login and that number is only growing with each passing day.  It is getting to the point where not having Facebook can be a disadvantage and can lead to missing out on great opportunities.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

credit

By now you are probably thinking, “Well how do I keep my Facebook account, receive all the benefits it provides, while at the same time protecting myself and my privacy?”

credit

It’s rather simple.  Make yourself invisible, well nearly invisible.  You can set up your account to make it where only your existing friends can see your photos, account activity, or where you checked in.  Changing your settings to only allow friends this access will protect your privacy rights and ease those concerns, while still allowing you to use all of the great features Facebook has to offer.

So how do you change your privacy settings?  First go to Facebook and get yourself logged in.  Next, in the top, right-hand corner click on “Account.”  Then proceed to ‘Privacy Settings’ page and click “View Settings.”  On this page it will give you a list of different attributes to the site and what your current setting is for those particular features.  Change all of those to ‘friends only’.  Next click on ‘Customize Settings.’   From this page you can change your settings on what you share with people.  Change those to ‘friends only.’ Now for the third-party websites and applications.  Return to the ‘Privacy Settings’ page and click ‘Apps and Websites’ then choose the option to edit.  This page shows you exactly what third-party websites or applications you have given access to.  Check this list and remove any that you don’t want to have access to your information. Another setting to change on the ‘Apps and Websites’ page is under ‘Instant Personalization.’  Click on ‘Edit Settings’ and uncheck the box at the bottom of the page to block other websites from obtaining your information.  The last line of defense is also found on the ‘Apps and Websites’ page.  Go to ‘Public Search’ and click ‘edit’.  From here just uncheck the box and this will stop search engines from finding your Facebook profile.

credit

So if you are having any privacy concerns in regards to your Facebook account or just simply don’t want people to find you very easily, just go into your settings and try some of the above suggestions.  You certainly don’t have to apply all of these great tips, but even doing a few will help ease those concerns and allow you to keep that increasingly important Facebook account.

Got Questions? Need answers? Just ask Quora!

January 19th, 2011 No comments

So you’re probably sitting there thinking to yourself, “What’s the difference between Quora and the numerous other online question or information sites?”  Well there are actually several.  Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by all the users of the site.

credit

You can search specific questions, people, and topics and it will produce questions and answers submitted by users.  Users can then vote on the answer, comment on it, or even add your own question to the topic.  A neat attribute of the site is that each question becomes its own individual page.  Another cool aspect of the site is that you can follow questions and topics and be alerted when another user comments or adds something to it.  Yet another great feature is that you can choose “answer summary.”  Instead of doing your own research and looking through tons of questions and answers by other users,  it compiles a consensus of the community into a wiki that can be edited by an registered user.

Quora is a very unique knowledge market and is relatively new.  It was developed in 2009, but did not actually launch to the public until June 2010. Quora is very innovative and is great for finding detailed information about all sorts of different topics. Enough of the small talk.  Go to www.quora.com and check it out for yourself.  It’s a lot of fun and can be very useful when trying to find important answers or to end a friendly argument amongst your pals.

credit


Verizon Announces Support of iPhone 4

January 11th, 2011 1 comment

Ever since Apple’s iPhone was released, it has been available exclusively to AT&T users. However, this is soon to change.  Verizon has just announced that they will begin supporting the iPhone 4 on February 10, 2011.  Verizon customers can pre-order their iPhone 4 on February 3.  Those who purchase the phone through Verizon will be the first to experience the its new Personal Hotspot capabilities, which will enable them to connect to up to five Wi-Fi devices.

(Source)

(Source)

(Source)

The iPhone 4 on the Verizon network will cost $199 for the 16gb model and $299 for the 32gb model with a 2 year customer agreement.  It will be available at Verizon and Apple retail stores, as well as online at www.verizonwireless.com/iphone and www.apple.com.

Source

Free Shipping Day is the New Cyber Monday

November 24th, 2010 No comments

Cyber Monday outpaced Black Friday in 2009 as THE holiday shopping day by nearly $300 million in sales. Most holiday shopping surveys predict further growth this year. Forrester Research estimates total sales will increase 16 percent this yea and an Accenture survey found more than 70 percent of consumers plan to do a portion of their holiday shopping online.

But now there’s a new shopping holiday in town that’s giving Cyber Monday a run for its money. Celebrating its third year, Free Shipping Day on Dec. 17 is a one-day event during which an estimated 1,000-plus participating merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve. In a national survey, polling company Unicast found 37 percent of consumers will shop on Free Shipping Day this year to avoid shipping fees.

Conceived and created by Luke Knowles, the first Free Shipping Day in December 2008 was pulled together in just two weeks. Merchants from Knowles website FreeShipping.org were the first to jump on board. Tiger Direct free shipping and Ann Taylor free shipping offers opened the floodgates and, by 2009, more than 750 merchants participated, with 350,000 sales resulting.

As of Thanksgiving, more than 890 merchants have signed up for the 2010 event — well on target towards Knowles’ goal of 1,000 e-commerce participants.

While merchant interest has been high, media also have pounced on Free Shipping Day like a Lindsay Lohan sighting at a new nightclub. The event has been featured on Fox News, CNN, NBC and ABC, as well as in O Magazine, the New York Times, USA Today, Better Homes and Gardens, InStyle and Real Simple. Social media has also been a part of Knowles’ strategy. As of Nov. 24, the Free Shipping Day site was shared on Facebook nearly 4,000 times and Tweeted more than 1,200 times. The resulting buzz goes far beyond the traditional retail-savvy blogs and consumer websites that have already clued-in dedicated readers.

“Merchants have learned shipping costs are the number one reason online shopping carts are abandoned,” said Knowles. “Consumers see $10 shipping on a $10 item and it doesn’t make much sense to them. They’re less likely to commit when faced with delivery fee sticker shock, especially during the holidays. Nearly 43 percent will buy online only if free shipping is included. With Free Shipping Day, they know what they’re going to get before they even begin filling those shopping carts.”

Network Roulette: A New Approach to Networking

November 10th, 2010 No comments

If you’ve ever sought an alternative to awkward introductions and brief conversations that lead to nowhere, this is worth a look. Coined “Network Roulette,” the Brazen Careerist style of networking aims to cut straight to the chase, always giving each party the option to walk away without hurting any feelings. It’s like speed-dating for those looking to advance their careers.

In the developers own words, “The site translates offline networking events into an efficient online networking experience to help you meet new people and build relevant relationships to advance your career.” Network Roulette gives you three minutes to figure out if the conversation you’re having is worth continuing, and with that kind of time constraint, there’s no arguing their claim that you can get a lot further in a half hour than you ever would with traditional networking. So, if your methods of looking for a new job, a business partner, or just more freelance work are coming up short, trying a new approach can’t hurt. Connect with Facebook or provide some basic information to get hooked up and become a brazen careerist.

Interview: findmyaccident.com

November 8th, 2010 No comments

We recently got the chance to talk with Justin Schneider and the team from findmyaccident.com (FMA). Their site serves up interactive accident reports and resources across the country. In doing so, they’re taking advantage of a host of social media techniques. Read on to learn about how the idea developed, and get a glimpse at how social media is helping them execute it to its fullest potential.

credit

1. First, tell us how FMA got its start. What need did you see and how did the idea develop into the site’s current design?

Our operations manager recognized a need for a centralized resource for accident news online. The strength of the Web is specialization and traditional media outlets were bringing the public accident news alongside politics, sports and weather reports. As the Find My Accident team took shape, we saw the value in making accident news and accident prevention our mission. The design was meant to be simple and straightforward. We knew from the start that we wanted a map interface that used icons and was largely self-explanatory. The other component was a simple archive of accident reports.

2. Please explain the status bar. How does an incident go from “accident” to “legal”?

The status bar represents the stages of an accident. First the accident happens, then it’s reported on our site, and finally it moves into the courts. When the victim retains a lawyer or the case moves into a criminal proceeding, the status bar moves to “legal.”

3. How big of a part does social media play in FMA’s strategy? How have you integrated key sites like Facebook into the experience?

Social media has the potential to make a huge impact for Find My Accident. Right now, we’re sharing all of our reports on Twitter, which has proven especially valuable since Google began indexing Twitter. Meanwhile, Bing is indexing Facebook in a similar way. We have a presence on Facebook, but we’re exploring how to optimize it as a resource. Since we report on accidents in all 50 states, we’re considering whether it’s more valuable to have 50 Facebook accounts or just one. Social media is also a two-way street. We’ve gleaned information from Facebook and Twitter that helps shape our accident reports and we often connect a report with a relevant Facebook page.

4. It can be confusing trying to understand how sites dealing with social media make their money. What kind of monetization techniques are being used for FMA?

What social networking does for us now is bring exposure to our brand. With more than 500 million Facebook users and an estimated 100 million Twitter users, these services connect our mission with active, tech-savvy people who want our content. It’s not so much about monetization, but about building our reputation. Given the ubiquitous nature of traffic accidents, we believe that if we create a useful site, the money part will take care of itself.

credit

5. Do you see this integrating with existing traffic reports/radio on a local level? what is the thought to bringing online/offline integration?

I think Find My Accident will evolve in the way our users demand. One of our great strengths is that we have room to grow in several different directions. We’re not ruling out the possibility of any partnerships at this point. We’re committed to our core mission and our decisions will be based on how best to serve our audience.

6. Any plans for a mobile app?

A smart phone application is certainly on our priority list. Our analytics show users already access Find My Accident via mobile devices and that’s an audience we want to cultivate. As mobile technology improves, the demand for optimization will only grow. For a site so focused on transportation, the mobile side is vital. We want our users to have the ability to share with us when they’re on the road.

7. How far along is FMA’s growth, and what is your vision for its future expansion?

Find My Accident is in its embryonic stage. We have a business model that works and we’re starting to flesh out the site with content that visitors find useful. But that’s just a foundation. Moving forward, we will respond to the needs of our users and the public, and expand our content further to make Find My Accident the resource we believe it can be.

Take a look at some full reports:

West Hollywood, California

San Jose, California

Hendrick’s County, Indiana

Nobody Wins in Google Buzz Settlement

November 5th, 2010 No comments

For many of us, this recent lawsuit news might mark the first time you heard anything about Google Buzz. Launched in February of 2010, it was intended as a social sharing tool fully integrated into Gmail. But the “buzz” it created wasn’t nearly as resounding or influential as Google might have hoped. Instead, blatant privacy leaks without user consent lead to a backlash that is only now reaching it’s conclusion with an $8.5 million settlement.

credit

Despite Google’s quick response to correct the privacy issues in the first release of Buzz, it’s no surprise that a class action lawsuit was thrown together and lobbed at the Internet giant. After all, what’s several million dollars divided among users to a company so large? But that’s not what happened. A recent email sent by Google to all U.S. Gmail users announced that the $8.5 million in settlement money would go to an independent fund supporting organizations working to improve privacy education and policy. Talk about a let down.

But this email hasn’t created much of a wave (pun intended), probably because Buzz appeared to be dead in the water a long time ago, with most of the content showing up in peoples’ feeds being nothing more than rehashed content from Twitter or Facebook. Google ex-employee Lars Rasmussen (of Wave and Google Maps fame) says the company lacks the necessary patience to grow a successful social sharing network. But whether it just takes time or Google hasn’t struck on the right idea yet, we now know that it’s really not worth suing Google over seemingly important things like user privacy. That is, unless you experience a surge of pride when they donate heaps of money to an independent fund.

credit