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Google Gives YouTube Channels a Moderator

If you want to transform an otherwise “one-way” content site to a “tw0-way” community site, you have to do it one step at a time. And that’s what Google is trying to achieve with its priceless possession – YouTube. After rolling out some social sharing features, Google now deems it just about the right time to encourage more social participation not only to the YouTube site as a whole but to individual content channels created by its users. Hence, to facilitate real-time feedback and discussion on YouTube channels, Google Moderator has just been made available to everyone.

Google Moderator is a versatile, social platform that allows any YouTube user to collect comments, questions or ideas on their channels.  What’s fun about this feature is that your channel viewers can watch a particular rise to the top via this Google Moderator commenting/voting feature. Google has been using Moderator as part of its previous interviews with President Obama as well as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In case you’re interested in using Google Moderator on your YouTube channels, here’s how Google describes how Google Moderator works:

” You set the parameters for the dialogue, including the topic, the type of submissions, and the length of the conversation. Watch as submissions get voted up or down by your audience, and then respond to the top-voted submissions by posting a video on your channel. The platform operates in real-time, and you can remove any content that you or your audience flag as inappropriate. You can also embed the platform on your own website or blog.”

To find out some more examples of how people used Google Moderator on YouTube, watch 11 more videos from users who were asked by Google to try out the Google Moderator. It’s kind of fun, actually.

Yahoo’s Latest Game Plan with Farmville Maker, Zynga

zyngalogo Yahoos Latest Game Plan with Farmville Maker, ZyngaYahoo might have scored big time with its recent deal with Zynga, the company responsible for popular Facebook games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars. The two companies have reached an agreement that will see the integration of Zynga’s social games through Yahoo’s global network.

For Zynga, this could be a viable alternative to its Facebook presence, especially since Yahoo claims of more than 600 million users worldwide across all Yahoo sites. But the question is would users be open to the idea of getting their game on via the Yahoo platform?

Most of those users who play Farmville and Mafia Wars are into these games while at the same time maintaining their social networking profiles and connections on Facebook. Most of them play these games to while away time as they wait for their friends to go online, post updates and links. In short, Zynga games on Facebook are added functionalities for a site which has social networking as the main purpose.

Comparing these to Yahoo which doesn’t have a social networking site. Users go to Yahoo to find/search for information not to socialize. So, I don’t really see these Zynga games easily fitting into the demographics of  Yahoo users.

Still, Yahoo is pretty positive that this deal would be both beneficial to both companies. Hilary Schneider, Yahoo America’s Executive Vice President tells us:

“Zynga will bring top notch social game experiences to Yahoo!, including through our open platforms such as Yahoo! Application Platform and Yahoo! Updates. Yahoo! will also continue to work with other partners, developers and publishers to bring compelling innovations and experiences from across the web to our users.”

And with this deal, Yahoo have finally laid down its social strategy and adds up to its previous partnership with both Facebook and Twitter. Would this finally bring some good tidings to Yahoo as a whole? That we will have to wait and see.

LinkedIn Becomes More Integrated with Twitter

connections 300x207 LinkedIn Becomes More Integrated with Twitter

Sometime in November last year, LinkedIn started rolling out some Twitter integration features. If you’re one of those LinkedIn members who integrated your LinkedIn accounts with Twitter, you might also want to go deeper into these integration and install the Tweets app.

This new LinkedIn feature lets you easily find and keep track of your LinkedIn connections on both LinkedIn and Twitter. Once you’ve installed that Tweet app, you can access this from your Profile page by clicking on the “more” tab which you can find at the top of your LinkedIn profile page. Clicking on that “more” tab will display your Twitter public timeline including tweets from people you follow. From that page, you can post tweet to your account.

The new Tweet app also has a new module called – “connection to follow.” What this module does is to give you recommendations on new people to follow which are your LinkedIn contacts.

Another nice feature of the Tweet app is the “connections” category which list down your LinkedIn connections who have already installed the Tweet app. From there you can see their Twitter information, follow or unfollow them and see a sample of their last tweets.

If you’re into Twitter lists, the new LinkedIn Tweet app also lets you create a dynamic Twitter list consisting of your LinkedIn connections. This list displays tweets of your LinkedIn contacts and are updated real-time. It’s like your usual Twitter list built into your LinkedIn accounts.

Alright, enough of this blabber. If you’re into LinkedIn and Twitter, might as well integrate these two accounts.  You may install the LinkedIn Tweet app from this link.

MSN Launches its New Homepage with Bing Search in the Forefront

You know MSN, right? It’s Microsoft’s equivalent of the Yahoo content network. If you’re a Microsoft fan and an Internet Explorer user, this must be your browser’s start-up page.  For the past couple of months, MSN announced that it was redesigning its homepage and so the site is finally being rolled out to U.S. MSN users.

And what does the new MSN homepage brings to the table? Here’s a quick rundown of its new features:

  • It’s all about Bing – the Bing search box is now larger and is located front and center of your MSN homepage to let you search as quickly as possible. The new homepage also gives you popular topics and an increased prominence of Popular searches. There’s also a new TrendWatch feature which highlights the day’s top movers on Twitter. And finally, an increased focus on editorial programming of search-related content such as videos and images.
  • MSN Local Edition – MSN also has a localized version which gives you specific information depending on your local area. The new homepage now lets you personalize MSN Local and save up to 3 cities to follow.  The new feauture also brings in HyperLocal tweets which uses Bing search to power up local tweets. And MSN Local Edition now offers 3,000 news video clips a week across 36 local markets.
  • More HD videos on the homepage – in-line HD video is now being offered on the MSN homepage with minimal buffering.
  • Social networking on the homepage – Check your Hotmail, Messenger, Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live accounts on the MSN homepage.

Lo and Behold! Google TV Unveiled

There you go folks. Google has spilled the beans about its latest and grandest plan of conquering our lives. Google has just launched Google TV. This time Google is aiming to bring web contents we enjoy consuming on our computers to the sweetest spot in our homes – those areas where we sit back, relax and enjoy watching TV shows and programs.

But exactly is Google trying to bring in here? It’s not a TV set. It’s not a TV media player but what Google has been known for – software platform. And for Google TV, Google is interweaving the web and TV into a single platform.

Google TV will let us watch contents we enjoy from the web. It has  a built-in search with auto-suggest function, a web browser in Google Chrome, a TV homescreen console, and most importantly it has Android running in the background.

How will Google TV change our viewing habits? And how will it affect commercial TV programs. For our TV viewing habits, Google TV will give us more choices and possibly more TV viewing time. For commercial TV programs, this is like Google hauling competition. Google TV might blur the thin line that separates canned TV programs, to freely available online entertainment content.

So, what’s the big plan? Google is working with Sony and Logitech to bring in Google TV on set-top boxes, Blue-Ray players and other media hardware. Google is also releasing the Google TV SDK and web APIs to let third-party developers create more exciting and fun apps that will run alongside Google TV.

It’s going to be fun and exciting in the next few days. Google TV is certainly going to make waves. And if Apple rocked the tablet world recently, Google will certainly rock the TV world soon as well.

Twitter for BlackBerry App Updated, Brings in Quote a Tweet

twitterforbbbeta 1new1 Twitter for BlackBerry App Updated, Brings in Quote a TweetFollowing the release of Twitter iPhone app, it’s now time for the official Twitter for BlackBerry to get some attention and loving. The Twitter folks has just updated the app which is currently in beta and brings in several great new features as well as enhancements to existing ones. The updated Twitter for BlackBerry app now features – quote tweet, username  autocomplete, go to user, personal information guard, additional photo viewing support, viewing of geotagged tweets, and new navigation hotkeys.

The new version of Twitter for BlackBerry now lets you quote a tweet simply by selecting “quote a tweet” from your phone’s menu options. This new feature adds quotation marks around the original tweet so much so that you can edit or add some more text to the original tweet. This is different from retweet since it doesn not automatically  put the “RT @username” syntax as soon as you click on the “retweet” button.  Actually, it does act like “retweet.” minus the “RT.”

When typing “@” followed by the first few characters of the username, this feature will pop out a list of users as you type. It’s a pretty useful tool especially if you are trying to recall the complete Twitter name of a person that you are following on Twitter.

The “Go to User” feature now lets you access Twitter profiles from anywhere within Twitter for BlackBerry devices just by using the “auto complete” feature.

The new Twitter for BlackBerry app was also designed to help keep your personal information safe. The app warns you if any of your personal information is being shared.

The updated app also lets you view tweeted photos using YFrog and TweetPhoto as well as new navigation keys to help you navigate through your Twitter account.  These new hotkeys are:

  • R (reply)
  • L (reply all)
  • Space (page down)
  • F (retweet)
  • C (compose)
  • D (refresh)
  • Alt+0 (home)
  • Alt+1 (mentions)
  • Alt+2 (lists)
  • Alt+3 (profile)
  • Alt+4 (inbox)
  • Alt+5 (find people)
  • Alt+6 (search)
  • Alt+7 (popular topics)

Ready to update? Check the upgraded Twitter for BlackBerry beta app from the BlackBerry App World.

Google Wave Now in Google Labs, No Need for Invites to Use It


Six months after unveiling Google Wave in by-invitation-only beta, Google has finally put this service into Google Labs. This means that you don’t need to search or wait for invites anymore. You can just visit wave.google.com and start using this collaboration and communication tool.

According to Google, the latest version of Google Wave in Labs is faster, more stable and much more easier to use. Google has done many improvements to the service for the past six months. These include – email notifications when a wave has changed, easy navigation to unread parts of a wave, and a facility for removing participants which you’ve added by mistake.  In addition, Google has also added permission management options and an extensions gallery to Google Wave.

For Google Apps administrator, Google has also activated Wave. So, you can now easily enable it for all your users.

For developers, Google has also launched several improvements to the Wave APIs and has open-sourced additional components for building customized Wave services.

And in case you have no idea how to use Google Wave for your own collaboration and communication work, here are examples that you might want to emulate:

Business: Co-workers at companies large and small are using Wave, from writing software code at Lyn and Line and coordinating ad campaigns at Clear Channel Radio, to international project communications for Deloitte’s As One project.

Education: University students and professors worldwide have used waves within and beyond the classroom to collaborate on Latin poetry translations, write academic research papers and even build new functionality with Wave’s APIs. An ICT teacher also enjoyed having her 5th-graders do their class research in Wave.

Creative collaboration: From virtual art classes to writing the Complete Guide to Google Wave itself, waves make it easier for groups to review and critique multimedia content like images and videos. (We’ve heard that Wave is fun for gaming, too.)

Organizations and conferences: The Debatewise Global Youth panel explored climate change across 100 countries and waves at eComm (Emerging Communication Conference),LCA 2010 conference and HASTAC 2010 helped track speaking sessions. We are using waves in the same manner at today’s Google I/O conference.

Journalism: Mashable used Wave to interview journalists on the future of journalism, and The Seattle Times experimented with a public Wave to develop their Pulitzer Prize-winning news coverage.

Facebook Launches a New Mobile Site, and it’s Free

ofacebook Facebook Launches a New Mobile Site, and its FreeIf you don’t own any of the smartphone including iPhone, Android phone, BlackBerry or Palm, chances are you’re accessing Facebook via its mobile site – m.facebook.com. The thing is, accessing this site incur you more data charges than when using native mobile phone Facebook apps. Enter “0.facebook.com” a fast and free mobile Facebook site.

This new mobile Facebook site was made possible with around 50 mobile carriers globally. So, it means that if you’re current mobile carrier is not one of those on the list you won’t be able to access the new mobile site for free. You can still access the old Facebook mobile site though but like I said, appropriate data charges will apply.

Feature-wise, 0.facebook.com will let you enjoy all the key features of the standard Facebook mobile site (m.facebook.com). You can update your status, view news feed, like or comment on posts, send and reply to messages or write on your friends’ walls.

As for viewing photos, the new mobile site will not display them but instead redirect you to another page so as not to slow down the viewing experience on the new mobile Facebook site.

So, check out the list below if you’re mobile carrier is included. Facebook promise to bring in other carriers soon.

facebookmobilesite 490x356 Facebook Launches a New Mobile Site, and its Free

Microsoft Prepares Windows Live Mail for Battle vs. Gmail

windowslivemail 489x274 Microsoft Prepares Windows Live Mail for Battle vs. Gmail

When was the last time you checked out your Windows Live Mail account? Common, don’t be shy, I’m pretty sure you have one, like I do.  Either your using Windows Live Mail as a primary webmail or just a dumping ground for your “graymails.” Either ways, you’d be excited to know that Microsoft is sort of re-engineering its webmail service to, well obviously battle it up against Yahoo! Mail and Gmail.

In fact, while I was reading about the new features of Windows Live Mail one by one, I can’t help but notice that most of these features were either standard webmail features or copied from Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.

So what are the changes that you should expect from the soon to be released new Windows Live Mail. To tell you frankly, quite a lot.

First up is the perennial problem on inbox cluttering. The new Windows Live Mail will feature categorization whereby all your emails from social networking sites, emails from friends and contacts, shipping notices, appointments and more. What’s good about this new feature is that it will give you a sneak peak of what’s new in your Windows Live Mail inbox. You could even post updates to your Facebook accounts or post comments, right on your Inbox preview page. As you go a step inwards to your inbox, you can easily browse through all the emails you’ve received by those categories.

Next, while you’re in you inbox, you can also instantly filter your inbox to free it from spam mails. The new Windows Live Mail will have a “virtual broom” which you can use to sweep away spam mails.

Aside from cleaning up the clutter in your inbox, the new Windows Live Mail Inbox will also let you preview attached photos, view documents via Office Web Apps interface, preview videos from YouTube or Hulu and many other useful features.

The new Windows Live Mail will be rolled out starting next week. Are you excited about it? Will you be ditching Gmail once the new Windows Live Mail comes out?

YouTube Turns 5, Exceeds 2 Billion Views Per Day

May is YouTube’s month. It was on this month when the first beta version of YouTube.com come out into the open. That was five years ago when YouTube was launched with an aim of giving all of us a place to easily upload videos and share them with the world. Did YouTube achieved this? Obviously yes – and with a resounding success. In fact, as YouTube celebrates its five years of existence, the premiere video uploading site has achieved a remarkable feat – 5 billion views per day.

If 5 million views per day does not sound interesting or applaudable to you, I don’t know what is.  The fact still remains though that YouTube is a phenomenon. In fact, its current achievement can be compared to a double prime-time audience of perhaps all three major U.S. television netbworks.

After five years, YouTube has indeed transformed into a global platform that supports HD and 3D, live feeds of an entire sports season, top Holywood feature films, and even documentatries from activitists who want change.

What could be a better way of celebrating its fifth year anniversary but to launch a new YouTube channel that showcase how YouTube has helped changed people’s lives. The YouTube Five Year channel also lets you get into the mix by letting you upload your own video into the channel. But of course, you can’t just upload any videos there. It has to be something that tells about how YouTube has changed your life.

The new YouTube Five Year channel also features an interactive timeline that contains important moments and memes in the short history of YouTube.

Ready with your videos? Take part in this exercise and be part of YouTube’s history.