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Discovery, Navigation, and Collaboration – Hello Holy Grail – Facebook Is Soaring – They Will Be Huge – Trust Me January 7, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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I am a big believer that Facebook’s massive growth is bigger than most people think. They are pushing a utility that delivers big time value. Over the past year I have been studying the utility of Facebook and can tell you that it’s not about just sharing and throwing sheep – It’s about people in a new paradigm. Facebook has the opportunity to take a very strong value proposition and evolve how users discover and navigate (the core principles of search) BUT more importantly they are in the exchange position of real value – actionable value transfer. Simply put: they broker transactions from finding lost friends, staying in touch with existing friends, making new friends, to finding and buying products and services. They can be a hub of collaboration of all sorts. All of those elements make them poised to make it big time. If they continue to keep their eye on the user experience (utility) ball then they can get there. Their numbers are just too big to be dethroned. The only way Facebook will miss the opportunity is if they screw it up on their own. Facebook as they say is ‘gold plated’.

Here is a post from Facebook’s CEO Founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Today, we reached another milestone: 150 million people around the world are now actively using Facebook and almost half of them are using Facebook every day. This includes people in every continent—even Antarctica. If Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth most populated in the world, just ahead of Japan, Russia and Nigeria.

When we first started Facebook almost five years ago, most of the people using it were college students in the United States. Today, people of all ages—grandparents, parents and children—use Facebook in more than 35 different languages and 170 countries and territories.

The full potential of the web is to make the world more open, so everyone has a voice and can share what is important to them. With 150 million voices and counting, we can’t wait for the rest of 2009, and we look forward to offering even more ways for you to connect with the people who matter most.

Microsoft Yahoo then Facebook? Rejected – Microsoft Did Bunker Down in Palo Alto July 2, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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Silicon Alley Insider has an interesting tidbit that confirms my story on June 19th that Microsoft was bunkered down in Palo Alto. It was that weekend that had Microsoft and Yahoo folks all over Palo Alto.

Henry Blodget writes on his blog today the details of what transpired on the weekend prior to June 19 as reported here on Furrier.org. Microsoft was in town to consummate the deal in Palo Alto as well as make a run at Facebook. It’s clear now they did make a run at Facebook but was rejected. Now Microsoft is trying to get support from the other players to stitch together a search plan. With Powerset now in the stable. Microsoft is moving to what looks like an orchestrated maneuver to get a search and online story fast.

He writes “Today’s Wall Street Journal, however, echoes reports that Yahoo left out at least one embarrassing detail from its “Microsoft timeline”–one that confirms that the excuse it used to reject the deal for months was nonsense:”

[On Saturday, May 17, in Palo Alto, Calif., two weeks after Microsoft walked], Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, director Ron Burkle and chairman Mr. Bostock met with Microsoft’s Mr. Ballmer. Messrs. Bostock and Burkle told Mr. Ballmer they were prepared to sell Yahoo for $33 to $34 a share, the price range Microsoft had offered before talks broke down, according to people familiar with the meeting. That would have valued the deal at about $47 billion, or $6 billion less than Yahoo’s previous asking price of $37 a share

Microsoft was moving to get Yahoo search and had the messaging ready then was off to put the ‘checkbook’ in front of Facebook. They were pushed aside. Microsoft isn’t getting both of them but will mount a campaign to get equivalent “pieces” to compete against the ‘tide’ that is search 2.0 and social networks.

Crack Pipe Alert – Friendfeed iPhone Interface July 1, 2008

Posted by John in social media, Technology.
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Services like Twiter once again prove that addiction lives for Internet conversations. Then Friendfeed launches this year. Friendfeed is crack and now they launch the ‘crack pipe’ for their users. Friendfeed is addictive and their interface was mainly on PC. I’ve complained that their interface needs work and they have been busy on that but now they give us an iphone interface – the proverbial ‘crack pipe’ for internet conversation junkies.

Brett Taylor posts the news on the Friendfeed blog. He says “When you visit friendfeed.com in your iPhone browser, you will get the new interface automatically”

The FriendFeed iPhone interface looks a lot like the standard FriendFeed interface, but the font sizes, graphics, and forms have been tweaked to make it easier to use on the iPhone.

If you decide you want the standard FriendFeed interface on your iPhone, you can get to it by clicking the “Normal (non-iPhone) interface” link at the bottom of any page. Your preference will be saved, so it’s easy to stick with the old interface if you choose to.

Friendfeed has a ton of potential but it poses a ‘job risk’. In talking to normal web users they think that Friendfeed is to distracting to getting their jobs done. For me it is a great way to track conversations.

Friendfeed will play (I think) a valuable role in the emerging social media marketing landscape. If they get their data sets correct they can pose a risk to algorithmic content and conversation search.

MG has a great writeup.

Podcast: Search 2.0 – From Search to Discover by Yezdi Lashkari May 1, 2008

Posted by John in Furrier Podcasts, Technology.
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Yezdi Lashkari outlines the origins and limitations of collaborative filtering, the importance of Web 2.0, and how the commoditization of certain specific web technologies will benefit both consumers and businesses alike. He addresses the importance of blending algorithms to effectively harness collective user behavior, and the wisdom of crowds.

Yezdi Lashkari was a co-founder of Firefly Networks (acquired by Microsoft), a pioneering company in the area of collaborative filtering and personalization.  Lashkari recently left Microsoft, where he played a number of senior product leadership roles, the last being a special assignment sponsored directly by CEO Steven Ballmer, focused on researching large scale network-centric computing infrastructures for thousands of hosts.  This work is now driving one of the technical pillars of the post-Vista Windows release.  Lashkari holds numerous patents in collaborative filtering, data protection and user profiling technologies.  He received his M.S. from the MIT Media Laboratory and has three computer science degrees covering research areas ranging from artificial intelligence, databases, to collaborative filtering and personalization.

Enjoy the podcast sponsored by Aggregate Knowledge – Leader in Web 2.0 Discovery Technology

Yezdi and I talk about the big trend in Search or Search 2.0 – and it has nothing to do with search as we know it today.

The full transcript from the Interview is here.

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