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Facebook Adds @ Replies a la Twitter
Monday, September 14, 2009
Rolling out over the next few weeks, the new Facebook tagging feature lets you alert someone to your post by writing @ followed by their name. As you type, the name appears from a drop down menu for you to select. Lots of recent updates with Facebook including the social networking site taking strides in real time search with Facebook Lite (lite.facebook.com) a slimmed-down version of the old site.


It appears as though Facebook is not taking the success of Twitter's popularity lightly. Having said that Facebook has always been one to do its own thing. They're not necessarily trying to compete directly with Twitter. I think that they'e realized that there are some pretty cool benefits for users of Twitter in terms of real-time search and the like. While Twitter is a micro-blogging service, Facebook provides more of a total social networking environment for users to hang out and find information about their friends, family and co-workers.

Internet speed is changing how we do everything. Facebook is quick to realize this and is trying to provide their users on a global basis the ability to efficiently and effectively use their service. The fact is incorporating the @ feature is the most Twitter-like feature that Facebook has rolled out as of yet.

More information can be found here:
http://mashable.com/2009/09/14/facebook-status-tagging-live/

Facebook vs. Twitter? I'm not so sure. You can enjoy a lot more than 140 characters on Facebook.

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posted by Jody @ Monday, September 14, 2009   0 comments
Search Landscape is Changing: Here Comes Real-Time Search
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Well there has been a lot of search activity as of late and some very interesting developments. With the popularity of micro-blogging (see Twitter) and the ability to obtain information real time, internet speed is quickly changing the way we search. Real-time search is a hot topic out there right now and we are starting to see some of the big players roll out real-time search capabilities.

On Twitter you can send information to the online world through 140 characters with one click. This information can quickly be read, absorbed and re-tweeted. (By the way did anyone happen to see the Teen Choice Awards yesterday where the gave away the award for "Choice Twit" - Ellen DeGeneres won for her tweet on why not to tweet about garbanzo beans... anyways I digress...). The fact is that Twitter helps communicate information is real-time (or very close to it).

Now Facebook is looking to improve search by offering real-time search capabilities. The announcement of Facebook's real-time search comes following their big announcement about the acquisition of FriendFeed, which comes with its own real-time search engine. Perhaps to compete directly with Twitter? Here's a look at some of the discussion about Facebook's new improved search from the Facebook blog.
http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=115469877130

Then earlier today, Google announces their Caffeine project, where the focus is on improving the
speed, accuracy, size, and comprehensiveness of Google search. Over at the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google mentions that there are three things that you need to do to build a great web search engine with the third item being:

"... to rank and return the most relevant pages for users' queries as quickly as possible." Sounds good to me. So what does this mean for real-time search? Well perhaps nothing right now, but the changes being made in Google's infrastructure are a step in the right direction in terms of returning quicker, more accurate results.

Early reviews of Google caffeine seem positive.

Want to check it out for yourself? Try visiting: www2.sandbox.google.com

Google's Matt Cutts has added some additional thoughts on Google Caffeine. According to Cutts,
The Caffeine update isn’t about making some UI changes here or there. Currently, even power users won’t notice much of a difference at all. This update is primarily under the hood: we’re rewriting the foundation of some of our infrastructure. But some of the search results do change, so we wanted to open up a preview so that power searchers and web developers could give us feedback.
Ex-Googler, Vanessa Fox points out:
we can guess that this new infrastructure may include ways of crawling the web more comprehensively, determining reputation and authority (possibly beyond the link graph and what’s typically thought of as PageRank), and returning more relevant results more quickly, although Google’s Matt Cutts told me that the changes are “primarily in how we index”.
Thje Google Caffeine infrastructure appears to be testing the placement of Universal (aka blended search) search results. Although with a lot of the searches that we tried, the results were pretty much the same. We tried some queries for:

Las Vegas
New York Pizza
Chickenfoot
Barack Obama
Canadian Housing Prices

So before all of you go out and try to figure out how to optimize your web sites, I would suggest addressing the fundamental site issues such as clean URL structure, relevant content, unique title and meta tags and proper interlinking etc, etc are still key. Or as Vanessa Fox states, "foundational elements of having a crawlable infrastructure and compelling content remain."

Looking forward to some real-time searcing in the near future.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 11, 2009   2 comments
Somehow I have become a loyal user of Facebook
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Perhaps it's because I'm not a big fan of Twitter, and perhaps it is because it was around first, but I have noticed that I have become a loyal user of Facebook. If you look at my profile you will see that I have a comment where I said that "...I'm not a fan of Facebook, I'm only here because I lost a bet..." Well that was in part true when I first joined Facebook as I was really trying to hold out on using it. I was still one of the early ones to sign up for a Facebook account, but I thought that it was only to check it out and that I would delete my account in a few weeks.

The Facebook Addiction

As I started poking around Facebook way back when, it happened. I was bitten, not by a radio-active spider, but by the Facebook Addiction bug. All of a sudden, long lost friends started adding me, people who I had always wondered about from my childhood. Some that had moved away when I was younger, others that had moved on throughout the years. Then family members who I do not necessarily keep in contact with on a weekly or monthly basis were now messaging me and leaving notes on my wall every couple of days. That was pretty cool. It was nice conversing with family memebers more regularly as well as catching up with some old friends. I could see why people were becoming easily addicted.

Since this time, I have really learned to enjoy Facebook and in this time have become a loyal user of Facebook. I tend to go on Facebook nearly everyday especially more recently. I have been able to use Facebook to:
  • view wedding pictures from my cousins wedding
  • let me family know about the birth of my son along with updates of how he and my wife were doing after his birth and the days after
  • upload pictures of my son to share with my family and friends
  • update my family's status as we were/are evacuated from our home due to wildfires in our area
  • inform friends and family that we were safe during this time of evacuation
  • obtain updates from friends and co-workers
  • read entertaining comments on pictures
  • receive and view thoughts and well wishes from friends and family
There is a consistent theme here. It is personalization. While some fear Big Brother and are weary of giving out too much information online, I think that environments like Facebook can be a great way to share and obtain information. I was one of those people who was hesitant to provide a ton of information online. I still avoid sharing a lot of stuff. So while, like many, I may not like all of the changes to Facebook's interface, I can still appreciate what I am able to use Facebook for, and that is to connect with friends and family. A lot of the information is timely more so than say if I did a search on Google. Twitter is limited in what you can and should share, Facebook makes it easy for me to control what I share and with whom. Of course there are business benefits to using Facebook as well.

In a recent issue of Wired magazine, there was an intriguing story about Facebook and how they are looking to challenge Google in the online world. While it is not a search engine per se. Facebook is an ever increasing online destination and has caused a ripple in the online world over the past couple of seasons. Why do you think that both Google and Microsoft (with Microsoft winning out) wanted to purchase a stake in Facebook? Facebook has some very valuable user data, and while you might be hesitant about giving information out, the more that you do share the richer your experience may be.

Somehow I have become a loyal user of Facebook. Who would have thought that would be possible?

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, July 21, 2009   1 comments
What's New on Facebook?
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Facebook continues to be the latest Internet "darling" and remains the talk of many. With rumors swirling of Microsoft making an offer to acquire a small stake in the company to full fledged reports of Microsoft actually acquiring the popular social network for an estimated $10 billion Facebook is the latest rage.

So what's new with Facebook? Well here are a few items that Facebook has been working on as of late:
  • Facebook PHP Embed - in order to make embedding PHP truly simple for Facebook developers, the Facebook team has developed the PHPEmbed library which is just a more accessible and simplified API built on top of the PHP SAPI.

  • Facebook for iPhone - Take your iPhone to iphone.facebook.com. Don't have an iPhone? No problem. Use m.facebook.com from any mobile browser.

  • Sort Your Friends into Groups - organize your list of friends into groups so you can decide more specifically who sees what. TechCrunch recently had a great post on this feature.

  • Now you can send messages to email addresses - No more switching back and forth between email and Facebook. When you are writing a message, simply enter any emails you like into the “To:” field.
With all of the numerous Facebook applications that are popping up, advertisers are beginning to take note. It's no wonder that Facebook is currently one of the hottest web properties out there right now. Many are suggesting that Facebook might even be a threat to Google. While they are two entirely different products, there are many similarities between the two. It will be interesting to see how the next few months play out.

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posted by Jody @ Sunday, September 30, 2007   0 comments
11 Business Benefits of Using Facebook Applications
Friday, September 07, 2007
Yesterday, I posted an overview of Facebook that included links to a number of Facebook related resources. (We mentioned that there are almost 100 million installs across nearly 3,400 applications on Facebook.) Some of the resources were links to reviews of Facebook applications. While the majority of these applications are fun and geared towards non-business related events, the use of some of these applications can definitely provide benefit to your brand and organization. As a result we have compiled a list of 11 benefits that businesses can receive by using Facebook and some of the applications available.

11 Business Benefits of Using Facebook Applications
  1. Branding - Facebook can be a great resource for generating brand awareness. Facebook is becoming popular amongst various age demographics and can be a create interception point for building your relationship with you consumers and prospects.

  2. Customer Engagement - Using Facebook applications can be a great way for communicating promotions, contest and events. Again it is another interception point that can be leveraged to entice consumer engagement with your brand, your products or your service.

  3. Drive Web Traffic - Facebook can act as a portal point for driving traffic to your site and other online properties.

  4. Reputation Management - can be a useful tool for seeing what users are saying about you and your brand. In addition your Facebook profile can now be indexed in the search results and as a result can provide another favorable listing in the organic search results of the engines.

  5. New Customer Acquisition - Facebook provides an opportunity to find consumers you may have not otherwise discovered.

  6. Lead Generation - Similar to the previous point is that Facebook can act as another potential lead gen tool that can be used to qualify leads. Reviewing potential prospects' profiles may help you build a relationship with your prospects and aid in the lead generation qualifying process.

  7. Client Retention - provides another potential interception point to build the relationship with your consumer.

  8. Access to the social world and it’s inherent value - aka the cool factor. You never know who is using Facebook. Consider the following scenario: a potential prospect could be doing research on your brand or organization and may use Facebook to see if you have a presence there. Then they see that you have a Facebook profile and see a number of positive posts about your brand. This in turn can shape their sphere of influence and could end up being one of many deciding factors as to why the prospect selects you over another vendor. The perception that Facebook is "IN" and the fact that you are using Facebook could help influence their perception of your brand. Having said that, there are still may who are anti-Facebook so it could also affect the perception about your brand. The fact remains is that Facebook continues to gain popularity and it is not going away anytime soon.

  9. The Viral Effect - Take word Of mouth to a whole new level. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd... Facebook is attracting quite a crowd.

  10. Feedback Mechanism - Using Facebook and the various applications available can help you understand consumer behavior based on the sharing of content and commentary on the social networking site.

  11. Build Business Use Cases - Facebook can provide you with an opportunity to build successful business cases as you target specific vertical markets with specific business objectives.



There have been other social networks and media sites that have had limited success in terms of promotion and creating brand awareness. With the amount of existing and new applications that are being created on Facebook, business owners have an opportunity to use Facebook to promote their brand even further. The above points illustrate that there is benefit for organizations who use Facebook. It may not be the tool or medium that many would first think of to promote their brand, but judging by the surging popularity, Facebook is not that bad of a place to create awareness of your brand.

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posted by Jody @ Friday, September 07, 2007   49 comments
The Facebook Years: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Is there anyone on the planet who is not familiar with Facebook? I don't claim to be an expert, but I've known about Facebook since its inception when, at that time, I was totally anti-Facebook. I was determined not to join another social networking site. However like so many after the Virginia Tech tragedy, Facebook continued to be more and more in the news and I began paying more attention to Facebook. It appears as though I was not the only one as the popularity of Facebook has soared in recent months.

The Facebook Years: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook

So what is Facebook anyway? We decided to perform a little research on Facebook and have come up with a little history of Facebook. At the time of this writing, Facebook is the second largest social network on the web, behind only MySpace in terms of traffic.

As you probably know, Facebook is a social networking website and "social utility" that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, family and co-workers. Facebook was founded in February of 2004 and is now headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

WHO: Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg with the help of Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes
WHAT: Social network site originally intended for students to join the school communities they belonged to. The name facebook originated from the facebooks that various prep school and colleges give to incoming students & staff.
WHERE: Cambridge, Massachusetts
WHEN: Founded in the winter of 2004.
WHY: Originally for students but now enjoyed by the masses, Facebook allows users to interact with long lost friends, past co-workers and family members who live across the globe. Users can send both public and private messages to other users and join various groups of individuals amongst the facebook community.

In 2007, the popularity of Facebook continues to surge. The following table from comScore depicts the explosive growth of Facebook over the past year.


Interesting facts about Facebook
  • According to Chris Hughes spokesperson for Facebook, users spend an average of 19 minutes per day on Facebook
  • It is estimated that 85% of all students have a Facebook profile (US)
  • A 2006 study listed Facebook as the second most "hip" or "in" thing among undergraduate students tied with beer and sex. Facebook was second only to the iPod.
  • It is estimated that Facebook's value is around $8 billion
  • The largest network on the site is Toronto, Ontario with over 600,000 users alone.
  • Facebook is the most viral software distribution platform ever.
  • The domain facebook.com was originally purchased for a reported $ 200,000.
  • Facebook has experienced no known major security breaches, despite opening the platform to anyone in the world.
  • According to comScore, from May 2006 to May 2007, Facebook users in the 12-17 age frame increased by 149%, users in the 25-34 age frame increased by 181%.
  • There are 98,979,539 installs across 3,343 apps on Facebook.
Here is a look at some of the people behind the Facebook phenomenon. Courtesy of insidefacebook.com.

Current Facebook Executives

  • Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Matt Cohler, VP of Strategy and Business Operations (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Adam D’Angelo, VP and CTO (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Dustin Moskovitz, Co-founder and VP of Engineering (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Chamath Palihapitiya, VP of Product Marketing and Operations (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Owen Van Natta, VP and Chief Revenue Officer (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Gideon Yu, VP and CFO (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Chris Kelly, VP of Corporate Development, Chief Privacy Officer, General Counsel (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Dan Rose, VP of Business Development (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Rudy Gadre, VP and General Counsel (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Mike Murphy, VP of Media Sales (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Jeff Rothschild, VP of Technology (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)

Current Facebook Board of Directors

  • Peter Thiel, Managing Partner at The Founders Fund (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Jim Breyer, Partner at Accel Partners (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • David Sze, Partner at Greylock Partners (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Paul Madera, Managing Director at Meritech Capital Partners (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)

Additional Facebook Co-founders

  • Andrew McCollum (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Eduardo Saverin (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
  • Chris Hughes (Facebook profile / LinkedIn profile)
Facebook Resources

Here are some links to some great Facebook related resources.
Official Site
Facebook Blog
Wikipedia Listing
Facebook Developers
Inside Facebook
Facebook Visitation Trends
30+ Awesome Facebook Applications
Facebook Biography
Why Facebook is the Future
Facebook Info
The Facebook Economy
12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally
Adonomics - open analytics platform for Facebook
Face Reviews - Facebook application reviews
Facebook Profile

The more I use Facebook, the more I like it. From finding old friends to the various application offerings, Facebook is becoming more of a regular destination in my online journey. For those interested, here are the links to the SEO-Space Group on Facebook, as well as my own profile.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, September 06, 2007   2 comments
Facebook Profiles to Appear in Google, Yahoo and MSN Results
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
According to various sources, Facebook will be announcing Public Search Listings today. What this means for users is that Facebook profiles will be searchable through the popular social network site with the profiles turning up in Google, Yahoo and MSN/Live search results pages.

As of this week, users will have one month to modify their privacy settings in Facebook prior to the search engines indexing them. Reports say that the indexed search results will include your name and profile picture. In order for your Facebook profile to be indexed by the search engines, you must have your profile set to viewable by everyone. Note that only your limited profile will be public. According to the official Facebook blog,
Starting today, we are making limited public search listings available to people who are not logged in to Facebook. We're expanding search so that people can see which of their friends are on Facebook more easily. The public search listing contains less information than someone could find right after signing up anyway, so we're not exposing any new information, and you have complete control over your public search listing.
In the past there have been some Facebook profiles that have been indexed by Google. While this may cause concern for individuals. there may be an opportunity for organizations to leverage their Facebook Group profile as a way of generating another organic listing for their organization. Manoj Jasra recently posted about Tips to Grow a Successful Facebook Group. Actually in July, Manoj actually predicted that the Facebook profiles would become indexed in the organic search results in his piece Why Google Should Acquire Facebook. Personally I was not originally a fan of Facebook, my perception has changed slightly as I continue to see innovation with their applications and ability to reach out to the masses. If anything else, it will be interesting to see how users react to the news that profiles will get indexed by the engines.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, September 05, 2007   0 comments
Facebook Hires Former YouTube CFO
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Popular social networking site Facebook has hired YouTube’s former chief financial officer, Gideon Yu, as its new chief financial officer. The announcement comes amidst rumors that Facebook is looking to go public. The company has also been involved in acquisition rumors involving Google and Yahoo. In fact Yahoo! reportedly offered $1 billion for the social networking site.

The hiring of Yu suggests that Facebook is looking to remain somewhat independent or does it? Considering the fact that Mr. Yu wound up helping to negotiate YouTube’s sale to Google in 2006, he may have been brought on board to do the same with Facebook.

Facebook, was started in 2004 by then-undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg, now 23, as a social site for fellow Harvard students. In an odd twist of fate, popularity of Facebook has soared since the Virgina Tech tragedy a few months back. Memberships have jumped by 25 percent to above 30 million since May.

Reuters on Facebook Hiring of Gideon Yu
Facebook Involved in Fraud Lawsuit

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, July 25, 2007   0 comments
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